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Food is any nutritional substance that is consumed to provide support to an organism by providing essential nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, fats or minerals. These nutrients are the building blocks of an organism. Food and culture go hand in hand, as different types of food can be identified with different ethnic groupings throughout history. These foods were classified by occasions on which they were prepared, some being ceremonial foods others being a traditional way of their living. Food can be represented according to the different setting in which they are made considering the cultural divide as referred to by different authors (Weingärtner, 2009).
Food is associated with different cultures. This study will seek to explore how food can be used to identify with different cultures all over the world in reference to the author, ‘Bich, Minh, Nguyen- “Stealing Buddha’s Dinner.” The study will also look into,’ Ha, Jin. “After Cowboy Chicken came to Town.” These two author try to compare cultural crash with different foods from different ethnic profiling around the world and how they have come to be assimilated and others not assimilated into the way of living of different communities that they now live in. This is in reference to how racial minorities in the U.S. are often tormented by the tension between the corporeal and the ontological, with the former experienced as confining and the latter expansive. Such ambivalence often expresses itself in one’s relationship with food (Bich,2007; Ha, 2000).
The essay is an evaluation of two works of Minh Nguyen and Jin Ha. They try to capture the different aspects of food and culture in regards to the different setting that they are prepared in. It tries to show diversities in the ways of preparing food and how the different communities receive foods from different ethnic profiling they are introduced to. They also try to explain how desire and curiosity are key to discovery when it comes to preparation of different foods.
The study tries to compare and identified how food is perceived and received by different cultures all over the world. Being a Vietnamese migrant, Jin Ha had to face cultural crash as he tried to assimilate to the new environment that he had been introduced to. In doing so, he had left all of the comforts of his mother country and had to learn the new way of living in his new home. The comparison between the two cultures shows cultural shock in the ways of food preparation to ways of living (Ha, 2000). In Minh Nguyen book, the fact that Rose could not believe the concept of homemade cookies itself is a cultural shock from where she was from, as there was only one idea of cookies being manufactured by companies. This shows that there are different ways of food preparation and perceptions (Bich, 2007).
Considering the diverse cultures that we have around the world food stands out as unique ways of identifying the diversities in culture in the ways of food preparation. The ways of preparing food is different across different divides and one can only assimilate the others way of food preparation meaning it takes time to learn and accept the others way of food preparation. Food preparation is guided by desire and curiosity, which lead to the discovery of new ways of preparing food across the divide.
- Bich, Minh, Nguyen. “Stealing Buddha’s Dinner.” New York: Viking Adult, 2007. Print.
- Ha, Jin. “After Cowboy Chicken came to Town.” Triquarterly, Vol. III, No. 107, 2000, pp. 98- 122.
- Weingärtner, Lioba. “The concept of food and nutrition security.” Achieving food and nutrition security 3 (2009): 21-52.