Ismaili seniors joined with members of other cultural groups for a rice-based lunch and a chance to learn a little about each other on Feb. 26 at the Pineridge Community Centre.
F.O.C.U.S. is a new seniors group, open to everyone with its base in the Ismaili community. F.O.C.U.S. held a Celebration of Achievement to note members’ participation in a variety of five-week long educational programs — from computer literacy and English as a second language conversation classes to aquacize and badminton club.
In conjunction with the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, the seniors group combined the honours with the Rice Festival, a chance for multicultural exchange. The food festivals — the previous one was the Corn Festival hosted by the Hispanic community — are often held as pot-lucks, but with 260 people attending, volunteers found it easier to cook up an Indian dish of rice with chicken, served with spicy carrot pickles and cool yogurt. Food stores Sabzi Mandi and Gonrad Foods donated the rice and chicken.
The lunch wrapped up with cultural dances, with F.O.C.U.S. teaching the group an Indian dance to celebrate the Aga Khan’s golden jubilee.
“Then all at once we were all on the floor dancing to the same music,” said Rossbina Nathoo, F.O.C.U.S. co-ordinator.