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DISPLAYING POSTS BY: Elise Murphy (3)

Sweet tidings

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by Elise Murphy
Publish date
10 May 2012
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Sweet talker Elise Murphy is working with Emily Kocaj to organise the Sweets festival and exhibition. Elise is responsible for community festivals at the Immigration Museum and has a very sweet tooth.

The power of sweets to bring people together was affirmed on Sunday 18 March at the Immigration Museum, as over 2,255 visitors flocked to the Sweets festival and launch of the Sweets: tastes and traditions from many cultures exhibition. Six months in the making, the festival and exhibition showcased the satisfying results of collaboration between the Museum and the Indian, Italian, Japanese, Mauritian and Turkish communities in Victoria.

Indian dancers Sweets for the Gods, Tara Rajkumar’s Natya Sudha Dance Company
Image: Dylan Kelly
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Heidi Victoria, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier and Assisting the Premier with the Arts, opened the sugar-fuelled occasion. Luscious treats made by community groups and local business owners showcased our rich cultural heritage alongside commissioned dance and music performances, cooking demonstrations from community members and stories, objects and films in the exhibition. By the end of the day, there wasn't a single sweet left in the Museum.

Women looking at exhibition showcase Heidi Victoria (second from left) viewing the Sweets exhibition with community members and MV staff.
Image: Dylan Kelly
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Turkish and Italian sweets Left: Visitor sampling Turkish sherbet | Right: Italian sweets stall
Image: Dylan Kelly
Source: Museum Victoria
 

It was a delight to see intercultural and intergenerational exchanges sparked by simple acts of sharing sweets and memories. "Energising, uplifting and reassuring," as Patricia Kimtia, President of the Cultural Historical Association of Rodriguans & Mauritians, suggests, "such richness and positive interaction restores hope that the fabric of our society is stronger than one may think and the sense of community prevails."

Women performing a Japanese tea ceremony Japanese tea ceremony demonstration with wagashi sweets
Image: Dylan Kelly
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Although the festival was a special one-day event, the exhibition will run until 7 April 2013 with opportunities for all to visit and share stories and recipes. The sweetest taste, the enriching experience of collaborating with community members and colleagues on this intercultural project, is one that will linger much longer.

Visitors enjoying sweets at the festival Visitors enjoying sweets at the festival
Image: Dylan Kelly
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Sweets festival and exhibition

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by Elise Murphy
Publish date
14 March 2012
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Sweet talker Elise Murphy is working with Emily Kocaj to organise the Sweets festival and exhibition. Elise is responsible for community festivals at the Immigration Museum and has a very sweet tooth.

There is only one day to go before the Sweets: tastes and traditions from many cultures exhibition opens and five days until the Sweets Festival takes place at the Immigration Museum.

The team have been very busy installing the exhibition over the past two weeks and it is looking fantastic. Each of the communities represented – Indian, Italian, Japanese, Mauritian and Turkish – have a display showcasing their beautiful cooking implements and serving objects. Delicate Turkish coffee cups with intricate designs sit alongside Italian marzipan fruits and elegant Japanese models of wagashi, which would convince anyone that they were the real thing!

Sweets exhibition installation A showcase from the Sweets: tastes and traditions from many cultures exhibition.
Image: Emily Kocaj
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Final touches are being put to the recipe wall, featuring home-made recipes created by the communities. You'll be able to jot down the ingredients for a syrupy, nutty baklava and learn how to make boondi ladoos, a favourite Indian sweet of Lord Ganesha. We've left space for you to leave some of your own favourite sweets recipes too.

It has been wonderful seeing the exhibition and festival come together over the last couple of weeks and to see all the ideas generated with the communities come to life. We hope that you will feel inspired to cook some recipes or sample a sweet at the Melbourne establishments that specialise in them – many of which you will find at the Sweets Festival this Sunday.

On festival day, we advise skipping breakfast to tuck straight into a mouth-watering array of sweet (and savoury) confections – from bites of nougat and tastings of sour cherry sherbet to baklava available by the piece or the half kilo. Enjoy plenty of other tempting performances, cooking demonstrations and workshops that will get your tastebuds dancing.

Do you really need another excuse to come along and immerse yourself in whole new realms of sweetness?

We'll give you a whole table full!

Sweet treats from five cultures Sweet treats from the five participating communities.
Image: Dylan Kelly
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Kids Fest: Carnivale

Author
by Elise Murphy
Publish date
4 August 2011
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Elise is the Programs Manager, Community Engagement at the Immigration Museum.

Q: Carnaval, Carnevale, Carnival, Kanaval, Karneval or Carnivale?

A: Brazil, Italy, Jamaica, Haiti, Croatia and the Immigration Museum on Sunday 17 July 2011.

If you came along to the Immigration Museum on 17 July, you and 1230 others experienced carnival traditions from all of these places and more at our winter Kids Fest: Carnivale.

While Carnivale has its roots in pagan, Roman Catholic and Portuguese festival traditions, it is now celebrated in different ways and at different times of year in many countries all over the world. 

visitors in the Immigration Museum Theatrette Crowd of visitors in the Immigration Museum Theatrette.
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria
 

On festival day, you may have marvelled at the Magic Punch and Judy puppet show, with its characters that emerged from 16th century Italian Commedia dell’Arte theatre and are still popular costume choices for Italian Carnevale today.

Punch & Judy
Punch and Judy from the Magic Punch & Judy Puppet Show.
Source: EntertainOz
 

You probably also joined Queen Jigzie and rapper Ru.CL to shake and shimmy your way through songs, dances and stories relating to Jamaican Carnival.

Kids enjoying Jamaican Carnival songs Kids enjoying Jamaican Carnival songs.
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria
 

You created your own unique Rara instruments just like people do for Haitian rural Carnival processions, and used them during the Brazilian batucada percussion workshops.

  Playing with instruments Making and playing percussive instruments
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria
 

You rang in the festivities with Museum Victoria’s Federation Handbells and cooked up a New Orleans Mardi Gras King Cake with play dough and loads of glitter.

Kids Fest activities Left: Federation Handbells. Right: making a Mardi Gras cake.
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria
 

You had your face painted as a Carnivale character or sported a Carnivale-inspired balloon creation, and made yourself an Italian mask or puppet, Brazilian headpiece or Guinea-Bissau bull mask.

Kids Fest activities Making an Italian Carnevale puppet.
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria
 

And finally, you danced and displayed all your finery in the kids parade alongside our prancing peacock float.

Thank you all for coming along and we hope to see you back at our next Kids Fest in January 2012.

Links:

Immigration Museum

Past Event - Kids Fest: Carnivale

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Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.

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