November 2013 saw a series of community outreach events organised by East London Community Connector Tamer Yigit around the tradition of the Noah’s Pudding. Noah’s Pudding, a dessert traditionally prepared by Anatolian Muslims around the Muslim festival of Ashura and shared with neighbours, has long been used by the Dialogue Society as a way of connecting neighbours and bringing together different communities and stakeholders through the simple pleasure of sharing food. As well as reminding those of the Abrahamic faiths of common ground by the reference to Prophet Noah, who features in each of those religious traditions, the pudding is a fitting symbol of a healthy multicultural society: the many different ingredients retain their own flavours and textures in the finished pudding and the combination tastes great, just as in a thriving diverse society different people retain different traditions and beliefs while being part of a harmonious whole.
During National Interfaith Week, forty bowls of Noah’s Pudding were taken to Ilford Police Station. Some of the officers were familiar with the tradition from last year and were happy to see members of the Dialogue Society team sharing it again this year. In the spirit of interfaith sharing, some of the puddings were taken to the Salvation Army centre and served by the police officers with the explanatory Noah’s Pudding cards provided by the Dialogue Society.