By : Priya Shandhini
07 June 2018
Joanne Lye is only 23 but she has managed to get her entire block to come together – turning many strangers into good friends.
The Lyes have been active in organising bonding and games sessions for their neighbours and friends ever since their children were young. This affable family of 9 love to mingle and interact with others so it is no wonder that Joanne centred her final year project in university around bonding and food!
“I wanted to preserve the recipes from the older generation and thought why not use this project to ask my neighbours to share their recipes too and get to know them better!” she shared. Titled ‘Whiffs that Weave’, she started documenting the recipes for the cookbook in Jan 2017. Over a span of 3 months, she managed to get 12 recipes from 10 neighbours. She would go over to their home when they are available, to take photos and note down the recipe and steps. These sessions helped break the ice with familiar faces whom she might have seen previously but not interacted with.
Sophia, one of the neighbours who shared recipes, said she was open to the idea when Joanne approached her. “I thought why not? So I shared dishes that my family loved to be featured in the cookbook.”
Enthused by the support received for the cookbook, the Lyes decided to hold a block party to get everyone in their block to have some food, fun and games. The entire Lye family pitched in to help – some prepared and passed invitation cards to their neighbours, others prepared games for children and organised the food. The turnout was a good 50 neighbours, and many also bought/ made food to share.
Kesini who is relatively new to the block having moved in about 3 years ago with her family, saw this as a great way to meet her neighbours. “My work usually ends late in the evenings so I don’t get many opportunities to see my neighbours. I’m glad to have made new friends and I found out that Sophia lives on the same floor too!”
Lily, another neighbour, said she enjoyed getting to know more neighbours and is waiting for the next block party!
We will be sharing the neighbours’ recipes on MyNiceHome website so do keep a lookout for them each month.
If you know of neighbours who bring others together, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org! We would love to share such stories on MyNiceHome.