PM Rishi Sunak And President Zelenskyy Share Homemade Barfi

Indian sweets are more than just a dessert, they’re an integral part of South Asian culture with boxes of mithai and barfi being exchanged between households and families for most important occasions. They’re often a comfort food, a taste of home, and hard to resist and it looks like even Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy isn’t immune to their charms. In a recent Instagram video posted by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, we see Zelensky relishing some barfi made by Sunak’s mother with the caption, “It’s not every day that @zelenskiy_official tries your mum’s homemade sweets.”

Later in an interview, Sunak explained the whole story saying, “[My mum] was quite upset because I had come to visit the pharmacy that my mum ran, but I hadn’t told them I was back in Southampton and they tried to come and see me but it wasn’t possible. And my mum had got some Indian sweets, that she wanted to give me, that she’d made, called barfi, that she couldn’t give me then but then she managed to give them to me at a football match which was important to her. Oddly enough I saw President Zelenskyy on the Monday after that and he and I were chatting, and he was hungry. So I actually gave him some of my mum's barfi, which she was very happy to see. She was thrilled by that.”

The video warmed the hearts of Indians across the world as they were reminded of their own families. “This is the cutest…we can all relate to mum’s barfi,” said one user. Another added, “So proud of sir barfi is my favourite as well but being [an] international student in UK, can’t have it, especially from mums hand.”

This isn’t the first time the pair have shared a meal and in February this year, President Zelenskyy visited 10 Downing Street for a lavish breakfast spread that included granola, pastries, croissants, breakfast wraps, pigs in blankets and of course a large pot of tea. 

As President Zelenskyy continues his European tour to secure support for the Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russia, this momentary exchange of cultures has warmed hearts worldwide and reminded everyone of the power of homemade Indian sweets, especially when they’re made by a mother.