Cooking Ajvar

2016-1-van-niekerk-2It is freezing outside and everyone is preparing for the cold winter months ahead. To deepen our relationships within our community, we join the longstanding folk tradition of cooking Ajvar (a type of relish made from red peppers) during the autumn. People fill the neighborhood streets as they cook outdoors. For two full days we roast, peel, mince, cook and bottle the Ajvar. During that time we talk with one another and share stories. Many topics are covered, from children to refugees and faith. We live in a mixed neighborhood of orthodox Christians and Muslims. Sometimes the tension can be felt between the two groups. We are slowly exploring the deep-seated animosity. However, when we sit down and help one another prepare the winter food, deep friendships are formed and old hostility is left behind.

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