Food and Identity

Posted: March 12, 2012 by nelsonbakshidts403 in Mar 14

In Mannur’s article, she talks about how the connection between foods creates a direct formation of one’s identity. That with the connection with food, it allows individuals to recollect to their memories of when they were a child. Mannur also talks about how when the Indian Diaspora came over to the United States, the lacking of traditional Indian ingredients forced cooks to come up with substitutes, such as rice Krispy’s for puff rice.

In the Lee article, he talks about how that eating practices are learned behaviour that are passed down from generation to generation. How that through these practices it promotes the cultural norms that were supposed to be followed in the Korean society. Lee though argues that the aspect of culture is one that is supposed to differentiate societies as being different from one another even though they may carry similar practices. Between the generations it creates a multi hybrid identity in which the younger generation develops as they become involved in a new society.

In Hirsch’s article, she talks about the cultural biography of hummus and who it belongs to. She talks about how hummus was originally a Arabian dish in which it had to gain approval to be part of the Jewish diet. How when the Jewish group decided to take on hummus it suppressed the original Arabian culture that it was a part of. Lately though, the Arabian community has reasserted itself as being connected to Hummus. Hirsch argues that through food, how politics can be involved in creating a sense of identity to regain and control what was once property of a entire group.

In the Mintz article, she talks about how food is able to shape the way in which society and politics work. Through the mass production of fast food corporations and increasing intervention of state policy makers, it creates tighter regulations in which the way food is produced and consumed. With the tighter regulations that are put in place it creates a barrier in which certain foods, plants and other products cannot be brought with the diasporic community with them when they relocate to places such as Canada, the US  and Europe. She also talks about how the interference of humans is not natural in the global aspect of domestication in which humans are heavily involved in breeding of animals. How the nature of food has changed and evolved from being centrally located in one area and is now a global aspect in which people can pay to be part of.

What these four authors were able to do well is lay down a logical and coherent essay in which they used examples that are relevant to today’s society.  Each author focused on a single diasporic community in which they brought out circumstances and conditions in which each group has faced in their diasporic movement.

  1. aresjoseph says:

    I love the way you summarized this week’s articles. I also like that the authors in this week’s readings used examples that are relevant in our modern society. I was able to relate to Anita Mannur’s article about cultural foods in the Indian diaspora. Cultural foods can influence a person’s diasporic identity.There is a Grenadian coconut tart dish that I make with my cousins when I visit Brooklyn, New York. There is this special plant based food coloring that turns the coconut pink before you place it into the dough. The first time we tried to make the tarts, my cousin and I could not find the plant based food coloring in Brooklyn after going to different West Indian stores. So we bought one that was produced in China from Associated, a grocery store in New York. The coconuts we used were produced in Thailand. Nevertheless, we made some delicious coconut tarts and sat down talking about our childhoods in Grenada.

  2. elyssamayer says:

    I also liked the way your summarized this weeks articles. When you were discussing hummus, you mentioned that the Arabian community is now reasserting itself to embrace hummus as an element of their cultural identity. I found this an interesting discussion point on what the significance of this is. Embracing aspects of ones culture, through food or other means, continues to be a significant assertion of diverse communitites that are dissipated throughout the world. I was wondering if the sudden re-assertion is linked to the growing popularity of hummus as a mainstream foodstuff, and how the ‘cultural control’ over hummus effects the Arabian community.

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