Open Meal with Refugees: The public potluck bringing newcomers and locals together in Amsterdam

Author: Iris Pase

This article is part of Changing the Narrative. Articles in this series are written by student or early-career journalists who took part in The Local’s training course on solutions-focused migration reporting. Find out more about the project here

Every month, people from all over the Netherlands and beyond come together for a night of food, games, music and dancing. The event aims at sharing food across cultures.

Sahr John told The Local: “This project is the best of my whole life, the one I’ve received the best feedback for.”

He added: “It’s particularly loved by families. Parents can just bring along their kids and we have plenty of games organised for them.”

The event began as a small project involving around thirty people. Just before the pandemic, it had grown to include 120 guests from 45 to 50 nationalities each month.

“We were really attracting people from all over,” said John. “There was this professor who used to come all the way from Tilburg [around 100 kilometres away]. Now she’s in Canada, but at the time she was encouraging her students to be part of the project and she was also helping us out. So that’s how broad and touching the project was.”

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