International Celebration of Grandmothers
02 Mar 2010
International Grandmothers’ Day is to be celebrated in 132 countries on 25th April. The event was established last year by Darina Allen from County Cork, Ireland.
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International Grandmothers’ Day is to be celebrated in 132 countries on 25th April. The event was established last year by Darina Allen, renowned Irish chef and founder of Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland.
A grandmother of six, Darina wanted to promote inter-generational exchange, the passing on of traditional wisdom and the fundamental ‘slow food’ values of sharing and generosity. The day is not a commercial event involving cards and presents but an opportunity for children to spend some quality time in Grandma’s company. Along with cooking together in the kitchen, it is hoped that the Elders will pass on other forgotten skills, such as sewing, knitting and crochet. Darina explains: “You often hear people saying: Granny used to make a wonderful apple tart. I wish I’d asked her for the recipe.”
Darina has been associated with Slow Food Ireland for a number of years and runs workshops on beekeeping, organic gardening, home butchering and cheese making. She discussed her idea of an Irish Grandmother’s Day with Carlo Petrini, founder of the International Slow Food Movement, a growing eco-gastronomic organisation, promoting biodiversity and variety in our diet; disfavouring fast food. Recognising the Day was too valuable to restrict to just one country alone, Carlo suggested they celebrate it around the world, under the Slow Food banner.
“It’s not just for grandmothers,” adds Darina. “Grandfathers could pass on tips about how to change a bicycle tyre, or tie fishing flies. Asking grandparents for their knowledge makes them feel more appreciated and creates a greater bond.”
Darina with some of her grandchildren
Photo: courtesy of Darina Allen
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