Auckland's Nepalese community want to use momos to break down barriers and build an affinity with other dumpling-loving communities.
Its business community is organising the first "Dumpling and Music International (DAMI) Festival", and have even appointed a "momo ambassador" to foster better understanding.
Nepali dumplings, or momo, are probably the most popular food item in Nepal, and almost every eatery offers them on their menu, from street stalls to fine dining restaurants.
"Momos are representative of who we are, really," said Somina Shahi, 28, the festival's momo ambassador.
Shahi said the dish was hugely popular in the Kathmandu Valley, where she's from, but few knew about Nepali momo or Nepali food here in New Zealand.
She said the dumplings were an integral part of every household back in Nepal.
"I sometimes feel sad when people here look at us and think we're one and the same as Indians," she said.
"We are hoping that momo will set us apart, and that this will be a start to help us forge our own identity here in New Zealand."
DAMI, planned for Saturday March 26, and organised by the NZ Nepal Chamber of Commerce, is an inaugural festival dedicated to dumplings.
Chair Dinesh Khadka said they wanted to make momos synonymous with the Nepalese "just like how sushi is to the Japanese and pizza to the Italians".
"At the same time, dumplings - called in many names like gyoza in Japan, mandu in Korea or jiaozi in China - is a staple for many cultures," Khadka said.
"So we are hoping that momos will also serve as a bridge, to help the Nepali community better connect with other dumpling-loving communities."
Organisers are working with these communities, and are getting them to be part of the March event.
The free festival will include food and craft stalls, stage performances and a culinary art exhibition.
"Our main aim for the event is to support local food businesses and performing artists who have been hugely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic," Khadka said.
"Food and music have no language barriers, and we feel these would make the festival a truly inclusive one."
Dami, he said, was a commonly used colloquial expression in the Nepali language meaning excellent, awesome or beautiful.
According to Stats NZ figures, the Nepali population living in New Zealand stood at 3630 in 2018.
"We are a small community, and although Sir Edmund Hillary has done much to make Nepal famous, it is a fact that people know Mount Everest much more than the Nepali people," Khadka said.
"Through DAMI, we hope to let others understand better our people. The festival's vision can be summed up as 'divided by culture and language, but united by dumpling'."