MULTI KULTI AT TEDXBG 2014

05/20/2014

Multi Kulti is part of the biggest and coolest TEDx event in Bulgaria for the second year running. Last January we organized a fantastic event devoted to refugees that was attended by about fifty people and this year we kept up the tradition of bringing together TEDx-ers with refugees.

TEDxBG 2014 grew from a one-day conference to a week-long festival comprising several parties, cooking a “disco soup”, a film panorama and a special activity day of volunteer and networking activities.

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17 May started early. We were outside the State Agency for Refugees in the Sofia suburb of Ovcha Kupel at 9 am to pick up seven children from Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Palestine. The idea was for them to join seven Bulgarian children of TEDx-ers in a special portrait drawing workshop led by our partners Vessela Dancheva and Ivan Bogdanov of Compote Collective. The two hours we spent at SOHO were tremendous fun! After drawing portraits of themselves first, the children split into pairs and each one drew a portrait of the other. Best of all, they were able to exhibit their work to over 1200 participants at the conference the very same day. More pictures of the workshop here.

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The second Multi Kulti event attracted huge interest immediately upon announcement and the thirty available places were taken up at the speed of light. Who wouldn’t want to take part in a culinary course led by our favourite chef Freddy? An Assyrian migrant, refugee from Iraq, expert caligrapher, chemical engineer, an avid sportsman (he loves athletics and football), screenwriter and director of comedies, Freddie is candid about his true calling. He says of himself: I was born for the kitchen! So could attest anyone who has ever had the pleasure of finding themsleves in his wonderful little restaurant. Freddy is indeed a gourmet wizzard and a lovely generous person to boot. The culinary school Amuse Bouche hosted the course in their brand new spacious premises. We hope their salon will host many more events of this kind in the future. We dreamt up the menu together with Freddy: fatoush salad, hummus, biryani rice and chicken kebab. After the obligatory chat we all got busy peeling, cutting, mixing and sharing a laugh with our new friends amid a cloud of Middle Eastern aromas which only served  to spur us in our enthusiasm. Freddie divulged the secret of the perfect hummus, told us what spices to use when marinating the meat so that it is succulent and tender and showed us how to serve the kebab in pitta bread. We also found out how to cook almond and raisin rice. More pictures of the wonderful atmosphere here.

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18 May, the day of the TEDxBG conference was also very exciting for Multi Kulti. All 1200 participants found the Multi Kulti Map in their complementary bags. We hope we kindled their interest in the authentic Bulgarian and other ethnic restaurants and shops to be found in Sofia and would like to hear from them about future additions.

Thank you, TEDxBG!