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Published February 19th 2017
Dive into multi-cultural society
South Australia can take pride in its diverse mix of many cultures ranging from the post World War migration of British and Europeans to the more recent Asians as well as refugees from all over the world.
Many of these communities have established either business based community cultural clubs or not-for-profit organisations based upon the tireless work carried out by teams of volunteers.
I thought it would be interesting to find out what sort of cultural clubs and community centres there are around Adelaide and I must admit I was staggered to realise how many there actually are.
Here are 9 that I came across in my travels around Adelaide.
The Cyprus Community Club has been established since 1948 and is situated in a quiet street in the suburb of Welland.
Like most of these types of clubs around Adelaide, it is not only limited to ex-pats or people from the Cypriot community. All are welcome, either for a meal, or a coffee, and the venue can be hired for various events.
If you are into infusing some different cultures, then keep October free as annually, the Cypriots celebrate the Cyprus Festival, usually two days of feasting and celebration.
If you are into all things Dutch, and I mean food and other household products and souvenirs, then the Dutch Pantry is the place to go. Although there is a Dutch Club up at Greenfields, the Dutch Pantry also holds special events and celebrations relating to Dutch culture on a regular basis.
Some of the mouth-watering delicacies on offer at the Pantry are Kroketten, Frikadelen, Speculaas, Hagel, Rusks, King Peppermints and Licorice. Kroketten for example is a Dutch word for Croquettes, which are small breadcrumbed fried food rolls. They originally started as a way of using up left-overs from roasts or meats used in soups. Frikadelen on the other hand are like flattened meatballs or dumplings. You also can't go past the wonderful Poffertjes with strawberries and cream.
The big annual celebration at the Dutch Pantry in April each year is the Konigsdag Festival, or King's Day. So whether it be some samples to take home or stop in for a meal and a coffee, it's worth a visit to the Dutch Pantry.
The Pantry is open 8.30 am until 5 pm Monday to Friday and 9 am to 2 pm on Saturdays. You can find them at 72 OG Road, Klemzig.
For the Polish community, there is the main Polish Club in Angas Street, Adelaide which is a business run venture. However I discovered a not-for-profit run community club down at Athol Park, on Grand Junction Road called Dom Mikolaja Kopernika.
Although a fairly nondescript looking place, the dedicated volunteers are passionate about the place, with one lady extremely proud and happy to promote that this is the only hall in Adelaide that was blessed and opened by Cardinal Karol Wojtila back in 1973, who went on to become head of the Roman Catholic Church as Pope John Paul 11 and more recently recognised as a saint.
Full celebration mode was evident as the volunteers were setting up for Karnivale, a celebration leading up to Lent, which was occurring that night, so the place was being decorated and prepared for the horde of guests expected.
For both the Austrian as well as the Swiss communities, the Austrian Club is the place to go, being located just off Torrens Road at Ovingham.
Established back in 1957 (celebrating their 60th year this year), the Austrian Club can also be hired for special occasions and members as well, as general public are warmly welcomed for a yearly calendar of celebrations.
One of the regular events held is the Fruhschoppen, a traditional family knees-up, held in their beer garden. The event is accompanied by live music, lunch and tombola (meaning raffle).
The great thing about this club and so many others is the opportunity to try authentic cuisine as well as ales and wines, an opportunity to really immerse yourself into the culture.
The club cellar is open every Friday from 6 pm and is free for entry for both members and guests.
The Friuli community originate from the north-eastern part of Italy, and like most Europeans migrated post World War 2. The Friuli mostly migrated to the north-east area of Adelaide, in the garden bowl area renowned for its market gardens.
The Friuli banded together and practised some of their cultural traditions under the protection of the symbolic fireplace or "fogolar", which was to become a meeting place for the entire community.
You'll find the Fogolar Furlan Club on Briar Road at Felixstow and you notice upon approaching how well maintained the club is.
Traditional dance, cuisine and other cultural activities are practised at the club on a regular basis, having been established since 1958.
Again the venue can be hired for special occasions including weddings, quiz nights and other fundraising activities. Their function room on the first floor, holds up to 450 people as well as 200 in their Osteria room, on the ground floor
The "Osteria is open every Sunday from 1 pm offering meals and drinks at reasonable prices. Bistro style meals are available from 5.30 pm.
If you are into speciality dishes, on the last Sunday of each month there is an offer of Quail as well as Polenta. Also, bi-monthly on a Friday evening they have a Gnocchi night, where a plate of homemade Gnocchi together with coffee and continental cake are available for $20 a head.
Long time home to the Estonian Community, Estonian House is well utilised as a cultural centre and on Fridays from midday the hall is available for those with a connection to the Estonian community until mid afternoon.
With over 300 members, the Estonian Cultural Centre helps preserve and foster Estonian culture in a big way. For those interested in community groups, the Estonians offer Hapukoor or choir, Vikerkaar or folk-dancing as well as family history club on a regular basis.
Some of the events throughout the year include folk dancing, musical performances as well as pub nights and BBQ's.
The hall can also be hired like so many of the other cultural community centres around Adelaide for any special occasions.
The annual Eesti Paevad or Estonian Festival is held each September. You can find Estonian House on Jeffcott Street in North Adelaide.
The Belgian Beer Cafe is well recognised as a great venue located off Rundle Street East in Ebenezer Place, Adelaide and for all things Belgian, including ales and food, it is the place to go.
For those of you who might be interested, regular punters can join a VIP club called "The Carrot Club", which entitles patrons to a $50 voucher every birthday, 25% off restaurant meals, free endless reward cards with the 6th beer free, $1 off the price of beer all day every day and free room hire for any function.
The Carrot Club has been running since 2014 and is based upon a tradition started up in Eastern Belgium, where window displays and everything else was devoted to 100% carrots, with village parties held in the summer, as a fun activity.
The Belgian Beer Cafe management thought it would be a great idea to adopt here, in the sense of a means of escape (temporarily) from working life, where people come to relax and have fun.
Some of the traditional Belgian fare on offer includes Waterzooi, a seafood bisque as well as Les Moules, a 1 kg pot of South Australian Mussels served with Pomme Frites and Belgian mayonnaise for $30. The staff suggest you save the first mussel shell to use as a scoop for the remainder of the meal - a handy tip!
Every Monday to Thursday for Carrot Club members, there is a $10 lunch available. Of course, you can't go past Belgian Waffles as a favourite dessert option.
The Belgian Beer Cafe is open for lunch Monday to Thursday 12 pm to 3 pm, dinner Monday to Thursday 6 pm to 9 pm, and Friday, Saturday and Sunday all day dining from 12 Noon to 9 pm.
Kilburn Community Centre, on Gladstone Road at Kilburn, is the focus for many community groups in the area including South Sudanese, Turkish, Vietnamese, Hindus, Congolese, Afghan, Swahili as well as Muslim. The multi-cultural program is available through the regular Community newsletter.
The colourful artwork depicted on the outside of the centre is striking and when I visited, a man was painting human faces as a wall mural. The art is being completed as part of the Adelaide Fringe Street Art Explosion.
The community centre supports English language programs, cultural immersion sessions which expose residents to other cultures, as well as free bus tours for new residents of Kilburn and Blair Athol.
Apart from that, many sectors use the centre on a daily basis, with programs running over 7 days a week.