Words & photo: Geoff Lewis

Julia Jeanplong with her divine Lecso which she will demonstrate at the show.

Julia Jeanplong loves food. The vivacious 24-year-old was born in Hungary, arrived in New Zealand as a toddler and these days demonstrates her interest in Hungarian cuisine with vivid descriptions of ingredients and flavours.

Hamilton and the Waikato are home to more than 160 cultural groups and this growing diversity is expressed in the range of entertainments and culinary offerings which are a key part of the Waikato Show’s Cultural Village.

Julia is looking forward to demonstrating to Waikato Show visitors how to prepare Lecso, a popular spicy Hungarian dish that can be created with vegetables including tomatoes and capsicum. There will be samples for the audience to try.

The Cultural Village is organised by the Waikato Multicultural Council which represents more than 70 groups throughout the region. Co-ordinator, Boris Samujh, said visitors to the show should make sure they come with an appetite so they can enjoy the products of some of the fantastic ethnic food vendors. ”The tastes and aromas will be tantalising. We have a great line-up including Moroccan, German, Hungarian, Japanese, Indian, Mexican, Thai, Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese cuisines.”

The Council’s performance co-ordinator Linda Gee encourages people to come and enjoy performances of song, dance and traditional instruments. Cultural artefacts include traditional Maori carving and face painting will also be available in the village. ”The council represents a wide range of groups and many have made great efforts to prepare for this event. These include items from groups including the Chinese community, Japanese, Russian and Kiribati who will be sharing the stage with other entertainers from the wider community,” Linda said.

The performance organisers welcome any other individuals or groups, interested in presenting cultural items as part of the performance section of the Cultural Village until April 6, depending on available space.

Those interested should call Linda 0212 519 793 or Boris 021 708 277.