The Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers (EMCN) has discovered food is the ultimate ice breaker.
The organization, which helps new immigrants integrate and settle in Canada, offers a Global Cooking Class on Mondays at Alberta Avenue Community League.
Each week, a group member teaches other participants recipes from their homeland. While the goal is to learn to cook, the class has many benefits. The leader practices his or her leadership, teaching, and language skills. It is also a social occasion, crossing cultural and gender barriers, and the group shares stories and translates for each other. Spontaneous song, dancing and laughter help participants feel welcomed and included.