Everything started with the idea to bring refugees and Hamburg locals together at the dining table. Since 2015, we have arranged 2500 meetings – now we are broadening our concept.
When Welcome Dinner Hamburg started, many refugees had only just arrived in the city and did not yet have their own apartment. Our goal at the time was to welcome them to Hamburg and facilitate connections with locals.
By now, many of our guests have told us that they in turn would love to host a Welcome Dinner, since they now have apartments of their own and the capacity to host.
Therefore, we have reworked and broadened our concept: Now, anyone can become a host/hostess or a guest, regardless of their history of migration or flight or how long they have lived in Hamburg.
Odai and Anja already tried out the new concept: “I wanted to get to know new people and introduce them to my culture”, said Odai, who recently hosted Anja. “Integration is a two-way street and the fastest way to get there is through the stomach.” Anja, on the other hand, was happy to receive Odai’s invitation. “We were a good match on the personal and culinary level. We will definitely meet again – next time, Odai and his family will come over to our place.”
Did you already participate in a Welcome Dinner and would like to switch roles? Did you hesitate to sign up in the past because you didn’t feel 100% comfortable with the role assigned to you? Then it is now your turn to sign up!
The change of concept is based on the defining principles of Welcome Dinner Hamburg: A Welcome Dinner creates the opportunity for cultural exchange and personal encounters and thus strengthens the sense of community in the city. We want to show once more that Hamburg “is and eats more than Labskaus” , and that the city has many different facets, cultures, traditions and dishes to offer. In an effort to enhance mutual understanding and solidarity, Welcome Dinner aims to make these tangible. Sharing a meal connects all people, no matter where they are from.