who eats what when where with whom why?

Mitarbeiter von eßkultur Berlin

Azam - Back pullover and the German language

"Back when I was a child, it was a special celebration for us!" Azam is talking about her birthdays in Tehran. She is a little insecure speaking German. She has been living in Berlin for sixteen years, as has one of her sisters. Her other to siblings still live in Tehran, and if possible they all get together there once a year.

What do you take with you when you emigrate? Azam came to Berlin with her daughter and a small bag. How much of your old life can be pressed into one suitcase? The recipe for her birthday cake did not have to be pressed into any piece of luggage. It was in her memory, just the way she had learned it from her mum. It is a pretty simple recipe, she says, a pretty simple cake without cream. In Persian it is called "Esfanji": pancake. No birthday without this home-made cake.

For fourteen years Azam did not feel at home in Germany. She learned to speak German and spoke Persian only. She did not have the heart to meet people, and she did not gain ground in this strange land. She stayed at home. But some day a friend of hers brought timid Azam to us. And Azam mustered all the courage she could find and started her job at eßkultur. And then everything changed. Because you need colleagues to integrate into a society, because you only learn to speak a foreign language if you share it. Today Azam wrote down the recipe for Esfanji for the first time in her life, in German! The spell-checker changed "Backpulver" (baking powder) to "back Pullover". Azam laughs about it, she is not afraid of mistakes anymore. And next birthday she will make Esfanji for her colleagues, so that they all may know what birthday tastes like for Azam.