Harmony Week

Article | Updated 4 weeks ago

Food is one way that culture is expressed. What we cook and eat and how we learn to cook is connected to our identity, culture and our family’s stories. This can change over time, through generations and when people relocate to a new place and traditions and stories may be lost.  Sharing food and recipes with friends and family is one way to keep stories alive and to connect with culture.

For Harmony Week our staff celebrated with a lunch, where we brought in food that is meaningful to us.

Meet our staff

Svetlana is the Administrative Assistant for the New Museum Project. She brought in burek, a traditional dish from her home of Serbia.

Burek is a filled pastry made with thin, flaky dough. It can be filled with anything but traditionally has a meat filling. While this dish is found in many parts of the world, it is very common in the former Yugoslavia where Svetlana is from.

Svetlana remembers learning how to make burek sitting at the kitchen table while her grandmother cooked – her grandmother’s is still the best burek she has ever eaten. It is one of the few dishes from her home country that you can purchase easily in Perth.

Woman holds a plate of food, image to left shows food on plate

Svetlana brought Burek, a traditional dish from her home of Yugoslavia.
Image copyright WA Museum 

Zarina is the Marketing Officer at the Museum.  She brought in Russian salad and honey cake. She said both are common dishes at celebrations like New Year’s Eve in post-USSR counties, where everyone would be in the kitchen helping to prepare. She learnt to make them by watching her mother and grandmother, and helping in the kitchen.

Golden coloured cake, woman holds plate of food eating

Zarina brought honey cake, common celebratory dishes in Russia.
Image copyright WA Museum 

Fried rice was the dish of choice for Lian, Graphic Designer in the marketing department. She chose it because it’s always a crowd pleaser. Her cultural background is Malaysian/Chinese and she and her siblings grew up eating fried rice.

Fried rice is a dish that each home makes in their own way, using ingredients at hand or including their favourites. These days she makes it only occasionally, and customises it with ingredients she prefers such as char siu (barbecue pork) and lup chong  (Chinese sausage).

Woman sits eating fried rice, bowl of fried rice and hot sauce.

Lian brought fried rice, a dish she ate a lot of growing up.
Image copyright WA Museum 

It was a really beautiful lunch and a great opportunity to connect with our colleagues and share some stories and recipes that are important to us.

The New Museum’s Voices gallery will share stories about the many different people that call Western Australia home. It will explore the diverse cultures and experiences that shape WA’s character, community and identity.

What stories and recipes would you share about your family and culture in the New Museum?