Some months have passed since two tribal villages invited me for a cooking function. It was an amazing day. They had shown me how they prepare food, chicken and fish, bread, wheat, curries … How they prepare open fireplaces and cook in traditional manner. I had taken a lot of photos and with the support of two project managers of a local NGO (KKID Karl Kübel Institute of Development and Education) we asked the women to write the recipes on a paper. The idea of making a tribal cooking book was born… The women got very excited about the idea. Neverever someone had asked them to publish anything. Neverever they could contribute anything of their own live that would be shared in “the other, the modern” world.
However, it should take four months before I held the printed booklet in my hands. What a nice sensation to see the photos of that day and the recipes written in Tamil and English. It was back in Germany in the office a few weeks ago … And a few days before coming back to India.
When the women heard that I came back in late March they had not forgot and started to ask continuously when I would bring them a version of their cooking book. They were keen to see the result of their own work, not just the cooking itself, but the hours they had spent in thinking on how to write down the single recipes, discussions among themselves how to structure and who should write, getting back questions and recommendations by the project managers, refining the recipes … Finally we could translate and design the book.
An exciting moment
When we arrived in the villages, they already expected us at the first huts and houses. They smiled, laughed, started to talk in an exciting way (unfortunately, I could understand only a few words) and a lot of handshakes, and hugs from woman to woman followed.
The moment when they hold the cooking book in their own hands I realized that this book had been a huge afford to them and that they had not just written down some recipes, but created and achieved much more: being able to demonstrate the world that they could offer something to them, to gain more self-confidence and to manage “new and challenging” tasks in a group.
Download option and a wish
My wish: I’d like to create a small income to them by selling this booklet with the aim to finance vocational trainings. to set up a sanitary napkin so that they can earn money by themselves. If you want to get a download version or a printed booklet, let me know.
Please share this post!!! Also The Hindu published an article, paying attention to this cooking book:
German firm launches health project at Mankarai http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/german-firm-launches-health-project-at-mankarai/article7189564.ece