“The daughter spoke no Bengali; the mother spoke no English. Yet both smiled through their tears; the mother reassured the daughter not to be sad anymore, that she had a houseful of family waiting to shower her with love.” A true story about finding your family.
“My mom and sister began to think, brainstorm, and tear apart these characters from their words for significance, searching to give me, my mother’s new daughter, my sister’s new sibling, a new name with meaning…” A new name and a new connection
“I was young when I made the independent decision to leave it all behind and start a new life here. We’ve taught our children to look for new opportunities and maintain independence while staying close to family.” A teacher, an immigrant, and a mother reflects on lessons learned in an intimate interview.
“My mother’s descriptions are all comparisons: changes in the cut of kameez and the length of chunni, how sharp roadside food smells compare to the sweetness of onions fried slow at home, the loudness of early calls to prayer and late night parties compared to the quiet of home … She pauses with the realization that my Punjab is her Punjab, too.”
Chelaka grew up dividing time between Pandura, a coastal town in Sri Lanka, and Milan, where his mother helped run a family restaurant. They both arrived in Staten Island seventeen years ago and now cook side-by- side, reinventing homespun dishes for New Yorkers.
Like many people, I learned authentic Syrian cooking from my mom, and from relatives and friends. I decided to create SyrianCooking.com to share my joy of cooking with others, especially those who have not tried our dishes and long to taste new fresh and healthy flavors.