Community Dialogues: Tea Stories with Al Hasaniya Moroccan Women’s Centre

TeaStoryGameOn a bright and sunny day at Kew Gardens, a group of ladies were enjoying a tea party. They ate yummy cakes and discussed foods from their native homeland, which brought back many good memories. ‘I spoke about food from my country Jordan, where I am going to visit tomorrow. When I get home my sister will come and see me and we will chat and cook some rice and chicken and work together, and sit and eat. All this food talk has made me hungry! So when I get home, I shall make food for my children and fold clothes before putting my feet up for some tea…..’

This is one of the many stories created during our bespoke tea party at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew with Al Hasaniya Moroccan Women’s Centre on Monday 29th April 2013 as part of the project Community Dialogues. The The tea party, originally a traditional English, became something new after the ladies all from Arabic descent from the Centre brought along their own traditional food. It was a lovely addition and very, very yummy! We really enjoyed this cultural mixing of food and language.

During the tea party the ladies played our specially designed parlour games exploring a series of edible plants at Kew Gardens these included tea, chillies, sugar, cocoa and the date palm; an edible plant cultivated in the Arab world. We explored their experiences of these plants and the ladies shared particular stories, recipes and memories, these were also captured on film in our set up ‘Stories Studio’ with filmmaker Shazia Ur-Rehman.

Here are a selection of photos from the day, we had our youngest tea guest attend this tea party!

(c) Photo credits: Mikey Knott

BBC Radio Interview with DJ Nihal

Having gone through my archives I came across this gem and decided to make a YouTube video for all to see! The interview took place last year during the Queens Jubilee celebrations of which I even provided a tea party for the Queen at the London Pride festival being one of the many things I talk about… I really enjoyed listening to the public opinions on tea and of course talking to DJ Nihal about my love of tea!