As my daughters and I discussed the menu for an upcoming family event we went back and forth on what should be served to satisfy all of our family and friends. I attribute the indecisiveness to our awareness that our circle is culturally diverse and wanting to insure our decisions will be pleasing to our entire guest list. This menu discussion allowed me to reflect on how food has been such a great way for our family to express its cultural diversity.
Food was also a way for both my husband and I to embrace each others cultures. As a newlywed, I made it my mission to learn how to cook all of my husband’s favorite Spanish dishes. On the other hand, he was always eager to try any of the soul food dishes I brought to the table. Everyone needs to eat; therefore food is something that everyone has in common making it a great way to help unite people from different cultures and ethnicity. Here are some ideas: (more…)
By guest writer Katharine Thomas
First written around 1992. Edited January 2011.
It’s the cusp of the New Year and, as I do every year, I am working to integrate my cultural traditions into some coherent thought and action. From the years I spent in Japan, I like to see the first light of the New Year (if I can stumble out of bed and administer sufficient caffeine to get my eyes open, that is). From my Italian mother, I have learned that eating lentils on New Year’s Day promises long life, and it’s even more auspicious if you add sausage (I have never, however, been a fan of pork, and chicken sausage was not so easy to find in those days). I draw bits and pieces, using what I can, to make sense of the life I have now…..I am pulling together my hopes, fears, prayers, wishes, for myself, my family, my people, the world. (more…)
Recently, I stumbled across a TV show called Four Weddings on the TLC network. The premise of the show is four brides enter their wedding day in a competition to win their dream honeymoon.
All of the brides vote on each other’s weddings in the following categories, Food, Venue, Dress, and Overall Experience. This particular episode caught my attention because all four brides were from different racial backgrounds and three of the brides were marrying men from different racial/cultural backgrounds from their own.
There was a Puerto Rican and Dominican couple, a Jamaican and Thailand couple and an Egyptian and American couple. All three bride/groom couple incorporated pieces of cultural tradition into their weddings. I immediately thought of my own wedding and how important it was for me to incorporate a little bit of tradition from both of our cultures. (more…)