This week, I caught myself daydreaming about what Christmas 2020 may be like with our new normal of COVID-19 safety measures. How will we manage Christmas shopping in busy malls? Will there be the same number of party invitations? My thoughts inevitably drifted to food.
If there is one aspect of celebrations that is universally binding among people of different cultures around the world, it is the sharing and eating of food. Although we are all different and celebrate our special moments in a myriad of different ways, food is undeniably a universal theme of celebrating. Food brings people together to fill our bellies, share a smile and enjoy some good conversation.
As evangelists of diversity and inclusion, the MultiConnexions team is pumped to see diversity, culture and cuisine celebrated through the new television program – Plate of Origin on Channel Seven. The program is shining a light on diversity, culture, and ethnic cuisines through a cooking competition. Lesser known cultural dishes are also creeping their way into Australia’s mainstream consciousness.
So, with two major festivals celebrated by Chinese/ Asian audiences and Indian/ South Asian audiences coming up, what better time to look at the special foods that are typically associated with Autumn Moon and Diwali.
Autumn Moon Festival (Mid-Autumn Festival)
The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, traditionally China’s harvest time. Every home makes various delicious food and good wines to celebrate the festival. This year Autumn Moon falls on 1 October 2020 – coincidentally the same day as mainland China’s National Day. What do people typically eat?
Mooncakes – round pastries filled with sweet and dense fillings including lotus seed paste, sweet bean paste and egg yolk, among others. Elaborately packaged mooncakes are a popular gift at this time of year.
Taro – eating creamy taro during the mid-Autumn Festival is said to bring good luck and wealth.
Hairy crab – this is a special seasonal delicacy, particularly in Shanghai. The delicious sweet crab flesh is often boiled and served with chilli and ginger.
Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights, usually lasting five days. It is widely celebrated in South Asia by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains alike. Like Autumn Moon, it coincides with the harvest and symbolises new beginnings and a triumph of good over evil. This year Diwali falls on 14 November 2020. What do people typically eat?
Sweets – this is the most common type of food eaten during Diwali. Sweets eaten include Kheer, Gulab Jamun and Shankarpale.
Chivda – a savory snack mix of chickpeas, lentils and crunchy salted tidbits.
Bhaji/ Pakora – various vegetables like onion, potato, spinach etc. coated in a chickpea flour batter and deep fried.
As Chinese and South Asian multicultural audiences look forward to Autumn Moon and Diwali, will COVID-19 stop them from celebrating?
Our experiences have shown us time and again that the COVID-19 pandemic will never stop these audiences from celebrating their special moments. Although there may not be the usual cultural festivals happening in their country of origin as well as major cities around Australia, people will still definitely be shopping more, enjoying time with their family and friends more and certainly eating their special foods more.
There is immense opportunity to develop relationships and goodwill with multicultural audiences during this time and tap into the increased spending and consumption associated with festival periods.
As multicultural marketers communicating with these audiences at this time, we need to be mindful of this as well as tactful and strategic in the kinds of marketing activities that will yield a strong return on advertising spend in this unique situation.
For further information on multicultural marketing during high-consumption festival periods like Diwali and Autumn Moon festival, contact MultiConnexions today.
This blog was written by MultiConnexions’ PR & Social Media Manager Katrina Hall.