Food Is Culture

By Nadia, 14 June, 2011

Let's get one thing straight - when we think of our heritage, history, tribe or language and link it to our childhood, one of the first things that people talk about is food. Where did we smell this food? I guarantee you it was from the top or bottom of the stairs, at the front door or on the (skirt, trousers or wrapper) of the person that was cooking notably your mother or grandmother. Am I right? The smell that indicated lunch or dinner time, tearing you away from play, homework or tv. The smell followed by the call, that either came through voice, a knock on the door or even just the 'clanging of silverware and plate drawing from the shelves.'

The smell of African food fills the yard and finds it's way to the neighbours windows if only for a couple of whiffs. In the West, however, the smell swells in the house and hovers, until the next day...and possibly the next day. This smell haunts our palate and childhood memories taking us back to that special place of comfort, which we don't always seem to reach in Adulthood. Memories of food draws a sense of immense comfort, but it also stirs an understanding of culture.

African food is our stamp of family, culture and tradition. Food is an essential mastermind behind the all important family gatherings and can influence the mood, pace and tone of that setting. It also plants the seed of culture indirectly without effort at funerals, weddings, christenings, outings etc. African food is the very seat of cultural eccentricity passed down from generation to generation. This is why it is important that if you fail to pass the language and traditions to your children - the food will always prevail. I lie?


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