International students cure homesickness with mom meals

BURSA, Turkey
Published 19.02.2019 08:15
Ghanan student (middle) prepares the traditional dish waakye.
Ghanan student (middle) prepares the traditional dish "waakye."

It is normal to feel homesick when you are living away from your home and family. While you are away, you miss everything about your home, especially your mom's delicious food.

International students studying at Bursa's International Murat Hüdavendigar Anatolian İmam Hatip High School are trying to overcome their homesickness by cooking the meals of their mothers as a part of the "Culture Bridge Project." With the food cooked by the international students, their Turkish peers learn about new cultures from around the world.

As a part of the project, which has been carried out for the last two years, international students coming from 30 different countries around the world come together with their peers twice a year in the kitchen of Şehit Erol Olçok Vocational and Technical High School, cooking and serving their meals to the others while socially interacting with their Turkish peers and practicing their Turkish.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), the headmaster of Şehit Erol Olçok Vocational and Technical High School, Halis Korkmaz, said the aim of the project is to enable Turkish students to learn the culinary cultures of countries that they might never visit. "The event takes place twice a year, and each time we host students from different countries," said Korkmaz. It is interesting for both the students and us to encounter different cultures through food. We first decide which meals to be cooked with the students and then they give us the list of ingredients, which we provide for them."

The project not only helps Turkish students get to know different cultures but also enables international students to enjoy their favorite meals. Even though it is not the same as their mothers', the project still soothes the feeling of homesickness.

Eighteen-year-old Hassan Lamın from Ghana is one of the students that have been living far from his home for many years. He said he misses the smell of food cooked by his mother.

Lamın cooked Ghana's famous dish "waakye" during the event. "This is a very special food, and it is cooked on special days. I miss how it tastes, and this event enabled me to cook it. This is the first time I have been able to taste it since coming to Turkey. I am also happy to cook it myself. I was able to introduce my Turkish friends the best flavors of Ghana."

Halid Ghattas, from Bosnia-Herzegovina, cooked "dudova," a dessert cooked only in his country. He said he is happy to socialize with his Turkish peers while cooking his favorite dessert.

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