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Cooking and stitching: meet an expert cook and patchwork maker from Indonesia

Cooking and stitching: meet an expert cook and patchwork maker from Indonesia

2024-02-07

Many new immigrants in Taiwan share their skills with the community. Today we meet an accomplished cook and patchwork maker from Indonesia, who’s as much a part of her local community as any neighbor. Cynthia Meliana Lagunara, who lives in Yunlin, is a master chef and a patchwork teacher. She only started patchwork in her later life, but quickly became an expert. FTV was lucky enough to get to watch her at work in the kitchen, as well as in her sewing class.

Cynthia Meliana Lagunara is busy preparing the Indonesian delicacy nasi kuning, or turmeric rice. She adds spices and coconut milk to the rice until every grain is bursting with flavor. The expert in Indonesian home cooking often holds stalls at culinary fairs. More often than not, her dishes are the bestseller.

Cynthia Meliana Lagunara
Indonesian cook and crafter
I love cooking, even sweets. I make it for the neighbors, so everyone can try it.

This eye-catching turmeric rice shimmers like gold, symbolizing wealth and good fortune. It’s the perfect dish for a festival. Apart from being a cooking expert, Lagunara is also a patchwork teacher. Her incredible artistic skills are the second string to her bow.

Cynthia Meliana Lagunara
Indonesian cook and crafter
My eyes are getting worse every year. I’m losing my eyesight. I use this tool to thread a needle now.

She only started making patchworks after the age of 50, but she believes in lifelong learning. That attitude led the cooking genie to take up a new career as a touring patchwork teacher – a joyful new start in later life.

Cynthia Meliana Lagunara
Indonesian cook and crafter
If you work patiently, it comes out beautiful. You look at it, and think “I made this!” and you feel good. Students tell me, “I went home, and my grandson said, ‘Grandma, I can’t believe you made this! It’s beautiful! Can I have it?’”

Lagunara is now creating her own courses in patchwork, and teaching her skills in communities. Sewing is meticulous work, but it won’t be too much for a dedicated student. A kindly teacher, she makes traditional Indonesian drinks and snacks to give her students in their breaks. After 32 years in Taiwan, she’s even more fluent in Taiwanese than in Mandarin. Lagunara’s cooking and sewing skills have found her many friends, students and fans.

This story was provided by the program "We Are Family"
Funded by New Immigrant Development Fund

For more Taiwan news, tune in:
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Tue to Sat at 1 am on Channel 53

印尼美食高手 招牌薑黃飯銷售常勝軍

2024-02-07

很多新住民都非常擅長家鄉料理,常常參與美食展擺攤銷售。住在雲林的印尼新住民廖春紅,就是其中之一,她的印尼美食擄獲人心,常是銷售第一。來臺32年她說的臺語,還比國語流利,她不斷追求進步,不只是料理高手,甚至轉型走入社區教拼布,培育許多社區媽媽有第二專長。

為了準備印尼國民美食薑黃飯,廖春紅忙得不可開交,薑黃米飯加入辛香料和椰奶,讓米粒吸飽整鍋精華,廖春紅非常擅長印尼家鄉料理,常常參與美食展擺攤銷售,幾乎都是熱銷冠軍。

[[印尼新住民 廖春紅]]
“很愛煮很愛做,連甜點也很愛做,做一做就鄰居隔壁,大家都吃看看”

艷麗的薑黃飯,金光閃閃,象徵著財富、福氣,正是節慶的最佳代表。廖春虹除了是料理高手,更是一位拼布講師。精緻的拼布技藝,開啟了第二專長。

[[印尼新住民 廖春紅]]
“一年一年眼睛都有差,漸漸看不到,穿針現在都用道具啦“

雖然年過半百才學拼布,但她從零開始,活到老學到老的精神,讓她這位印尼美食銷售闆娘,成功轉型為拼布課程巡迴講師,成功打造自己的第二春。

[[印尼新住民 廖春紅]]
“你慢慢做,做起來漂亮,你看起來,這我自己做的,心情是好的。有人跟我說,老師,我回去家裡,我孫子回來說,阿嬤,你有辦法做這個歐,怎麼這麼漂亮,給我好嗎”

到現在她已經學會寫教案和計畫,走入社區教學,裁縫細活一點都難不倒有心人。貼心的她還準備印尼飲料和美食免費招待,讓專注於手工的學員可以嚐個點心喘息一下。不管是拼布還是美食教學,帶著她走入社區每個角落,在台灣生活32年,廖春紅台語說得比國語流利,已經完全融入在地生活。

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