November 2013 saw a series of 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.
At a Mayor’s Question Time at the Greater London Assembly (GLA) coinciding with National Interfaith Week, Noah’s puddings were distributed to GLA members. They were received with interest and appreciation. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, thanked the Dialogue Society team for sharing the tradition once again this year and personally handed out twenty puddings to the Mayoral team. He was presented with copies of some recent Dialogue Society publications and congratulated the organisation on its work.