The Life of a Chickpea

The Life of a Chickpea project uses the humble chickpea’s journey as a metaphor for understanding societal models, British values, and individual roles in a diverse community.

What is this?

The Life of a Chickpea is a seminar series that utilise the creative imagination of students to aspire to actively promote the British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs through the journey of “A Life as a Chickpea.”

Project website: www.chickpeastory.org.

The Life of a Chickpea  - Exploring Society through the Journey of a Chickpea

How do we do?

“What dish would you like to be in, if you were a chickpea?” is the first question we ask when asking students to begin their own journey in our seminars. As a decision maker in a school, your first question to us may be “What do chickpeas have to do with equality, diversity, and inclusion?”.

For a school student in the UK, sometimes the following questions can become as equally difficult to answer: 

  1. What are British values and how can you participate in their practice?  
  2. What dish would you like to be in if you were a chickpea?  

Comical and the link between the two questions itself perhaps at first not entirely clear, but after identifying a common difficulty that students experience throughout the UK in answering the first question, we were motivated to develop solutions and, in that search, emerged the second question.  
 
Through utilising creative imagination in our seminar and engaging students with diverse, local, community leaders we support their confidence in answering both questions.

What is Noah’s Pudding?

As the Anatolian tale goes, after the flood waters gradually began to recede Noah wanted to celebrate surviving the flood with a dessert. But with scarce resources left onboard, he began by bringing together all the left-over ingredients, including seemingly odd combinations such as pomegranates, white beans, and of course our chickpea, Noah created his own pudding. With its sweet porridge-like texture, Noah’s Pudding is something that is commonly enjoyed throughout Anatolia as both a dessert and specifically on the 10th day of the Islamic month Muharram, as a sign of respect to Noah and his followers.

Evolving through close to twenty years of community-rooted experience, our Noah’s Pudding and its tale have been a useful tool we utilise in dialogue at all levels of society, whether this be as an interfaith icebreaker in places of worship, bringing diverse community members together with the police or in schools throughout the country.

You can learn more about it from our Noah’s Pudding manual, which is part of Dialogue Society’s Community Dialogue Manual Series and was developed to encourage interaction between members of different communities.

Food is a great way to bring people together. So, with the common biblical figure “Noah” present in the three major Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as well as being well-known in popular culture, the story of Noah (and his pudding) seemed like an appropriate place to start.

Why the Life of a Chickpea?

For us at the Dialogue Society, we see Noah’s Pudding as more than just an opportunity to bring different faith communities together. By taking a single ingredient from the dessert on a journey of becoming part of a wider dish, and asking critical questions along the way, we ask our participants to evaluate how they see themselves in relation to their wider society.

Noah’s Pudding brings “diverse” ingredients together, that do not lose their individual texture, taste, or colour during the cooking process (unlike say in a salad or soup – the two other options for our chickpeas can pick to be in).

Aims and Objectives

Enhanced Understanding of the Concept of Dialogue

We aspire for all students to understand the significance of dialogue at community levels and through brainstorming, identify different outlets available to voice opinions in democratic Britain.

Increase Understanding and Identifying with British Values

At current the government states that British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance must be actively promoted. Our presentation does exactly this by engaging the students with diverse community leaders who are also on the same page. 
Thus, through increasing representation, engaging seminars, and cooperation with the students we aim to both increase understanding of and identity with British values. 

Build Resilience to Extremism

Unfortunately, a very real threat that remains in our schools is that of both far-right/left and extremist religious-interpretative radicalism. Our aim with this seminar is to build resilience by default to all forms of extremism as increased respect and tolerance negate the ideological basis of all forms of extremism. 

Individual Development

Teaching British values does not only support students’ interactions and engagements with the wider society it is also a major factor in supporting individual development. Our aim from the seminar is to have a positive contribution to the individual development of students supporting them in becoming fully rounded members of society with increased cultural and interpersonal capacity, treating others with respect and tolerance.

Leadership and Encouraging Participation in Democracy 

Our seminar aims to boost students’ leadership skills through the workshop following the seminar, in which students are split into teams and asked to work on possible solutions to barriers to integration they may have identified on various levels of society; this task we hope will also aid in supporting both the student’s ability to identify and partake in opportunities within British democracy.

Get Involved

For Schools

Don’t miss this chance to provide a unique learning experience for your students. Engage their minds and hearts in understanding societal models, British values, and their roles in a diverse world. “The Life of a Chickpea” is ready to guide your students on a transformative journey. To arrange a seminar at your school, contact us today, and let’s cultivate an environment of understanding, acceptance, and resilience together.

For Storytellers

Are you a storyteller with a passion for weaving narratives that foster understanding, empathy, and unity in diverse communities? We invite you to be a part of “The Life of a Chickpea” project. Bring your unique voice to our seminars, and help students navigate societal models, British values, and their individual roles in society. Your story could be the key to engaging young minds and hearts, fostering resilience, and cultivating a more inclusive society. To join us on this transformative journey, reach out today.

For Supporters

Are you passionate about fostering a more understanding, resilient, and inclusive society? Here’s your chance to make a difference. “The Life of a Chickpea” is looking for donors who can help expand our reach, enabling us to engage more students across the UK in our unique exploration of societal models and British values. Your generous donation could empower more young minds, cultivate acceptance, and contribute to a healthier, more inclusive society.

For Volunteer

Do you have a passion for fostering understanding, promoting inclusion, and empowering the next generation? We’re seeking volunteers to be part of this unique project. Whether it’s helping facilitate seminars, outreach efforts, or behind-the-scenes work, your time and skills can make a real difference. Together, we can inspire students to embrace diversity, challenge extremism, and become active participants in our democratic society.

Sign up today to volunteer and join us on this journey of shaping a more inclusive and understanding future through “The Life of a Chickpea”.

Project Contact

We are here to provide additional support when you have any queries. Please reach us at info@dialoguesociety.org