Tastes from around the globe came to Limerick for the World Food Festival as part of Intercultural Week.
The Milk Market was decorated with the flags of various nations as stalls providing Turkish, Indian, Japanese and Italian delicacies kept local people lining up for a feed.
“People love food here,” said Kiera of Japanese restaurant, Kyoto Sushi and Noodle, which opened four months ago in Limerick.“The interest in food is one of the reasons that people are being drawn into the city and growing the business economy here. It’s really a good time to be in Limerick,” she said.
Many of the Japanese restaurant’s staff come from around the globe. With Chinese, Malaysian, Irish, Japanese, Nepalese and Brazilian workers, the restaurant represents the growing diversity in Limerick that is turning the city into a multicultural community that shares stories, music and, most importantly, food.
“Talking and eating,” said Sefik Dikyar, who has been running his stall of Turkish treats at the Milk Market for over three years, “This is how cultures mix and it’s how people are. They want to talk and get to know you. Doesn’t matter where you’re from or who you are. Just talking and eating, it all helps for understanding, and that’s lovely to see,” he said.
Having lived in Limerick for 11 years since leaving his native Turkey, Mr Dikyar has observed how multiculturalism has grown and been incorporated into the city with events like the World Food Festival and Africa Day.
“It’s all about getting to know each other and learning about each other’s culture,” he said.
The World Food Festival was the concluding event of a week of intercultural events in Limerick organised by the Limerick Integration Working Group and supported by Limerick City & County Council with events that ranged from music, art, history, sport, and theatre taking place in over ten venues throughout the city.
Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon, said, “As Limerick continues to grow and be enriched by people making Limerick their home, it’s important that communities come together. Everyone has their own unique identity but we all share a common bond – that of calling Limerick home.”