Cuisine a determinant of identity

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Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Culture is a manifestation of the life of individuals. Culture, a multi-dimensional approach, gives us an insight into the characteristics of a society by delving deep into understanding various lifestyle patterns in terms of knowledge, art, beliefs, music, cuisine, language, religious practices, habits, and all other social behaviors carried out by people. Culture, through these elements, determines the identity of an individual.

As such, Cuisine possesses an important element of any Culture. Food is considered to be a chain that connects older generations to younger generations. It is a component of unity within the society. Food is the unique reflection of the life of a group or society. Food helps an individual to get back to its own origin and thus acts as a signifier in identifying one’s community. 

Cooking provides a vital connection to one’s homeland. Culinary traditions are passed down from generation to generation. Recipes become intrinsic to tracing one’s traditional roots and keeping them intact.

Even while we all might try to cook the same dish, the recipe of it might differ from culture to culture. The difference in recipes is yet again a direct recognition of one’s community. Therefore, by consuming a particular type of food or by trying out a few recipes, we just are not limited to culinary practices but we end up representing our culture which is exclusive to our identity.

Food is associated with feelings of warmth and highlights the close bonds we have created over time, that are thus embedded in our memories. Food, therefore, traces not only our memories but also displays a clear visual of the lifestyle we have adopted and the values we are holding on to. As such, food is our culture, it is an expression of our lifestyle and the habits underlying it. Therefore, when we eat the dishes dominant in our society and special to the community, we are making it a part of our identity.  Cuisine represents an interrelationship between our identity, our memories and our culture.

Food is primary to understanding one’s culture. People from different places and regions differ in terms of their eating habits. The consumption patterns varies across societies. Therefore, what we eat is a portrayal of our culture and as such, our identity, thus displaying a connection between food and identity.

Thus, the essence of a community is reflected through the cultural practices followed by the individuals of various groups and communities, and these cultural practices shape who we are. It is, therefore, a community’s culture that acknowledges our existence in society. Thus, Cuisine, a significant element of culture plays a pivotal role in determining our identity, and thereby, shaping it.

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