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Photo: Christine Strotmann

520 kmfrom home
„I am a migrant out of curiosity.”
Cooking Activist
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[Für die deutsche Version klicken Sie hier.]

“I have been living in Berlin for nine years now. It is difficult to describe my profession, but maybe Cooking Activist fits it quite well”

“I quit my job in the Netherlands and did not know, what I would do in Berlin. But then I walked into a cookbook-shop and discovered they had a cooking studio as well. I asked, if they offer classes for Indonesian cuisine, or cooking classes for children – they did not and I could start right away.”

“Initially we just wanted to stay here for a year and see how we liked it. But after nine years, we’re still here and I don’t think that we’ll be leaving. We knew Berlin beforehand from visiting people here. Yet, there was even more diversity in every aspect of life than we had expected.“

“I’m actually a lecturer for textiles, art and painting, but I always used to cook a lot and learned from my mother. I teach Indonesian cooking, because I discovered that there is barely any Indonesian food around here and no one knew Indonesian cuisine. But since I was always engaged in social and cultural activities, that was not enough for me. So I founded enak, a club where we organise Indonesian events with music and Indonesian food. This year we also started to cook with refugees a lot.”

“In September 2014 I also founded the group “Cooking for peace”. Our aim is to bring Israelis and Palestinians together through cooking. It is our way to practise peace here in Berlin.”

“Sometimes I think the Germans attach too much importance to papers and permissions. On the other hand, Dutch people are better organised, describe their aims better, and are more concise. But other than that I am very happy here.”

For Ciska, whose parents were migrants as well – they came from Indonesia to the Netherlands in the 1950s - home simply means “joy”.


This is a story by Christine Strotmann

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