Meals - is it only about food ?
Updated: Sep 19, 2021
I have been away from blogging for more than 2 months now. Most of this time I was a bit under the weather, to put it mildly. While the first couple of weeks of my illness I was sleeping all the time, the subsequent weeks were spent lying on bed, being unable to do pretty much anything. Yes, I did read, listened to podcasts or saw videos that I always wanted to see, but I also indulged in a lot of mindless Youtube video watching.
And then I came across stuff that I would not have been looking for! One such is the Punjabi rural life videos - mind you, I don’t understand a word of the language, but many of these videos are a treat to watch. They depict their daily routine and I wasn’t surprised to see the ladies spending a lot of time cooking. They would come together, cook in the courtyard and then eat there along with children and rest of the joint family.
And I have been coming across articles by foodies. Well, most of these are nostalgic and talks about their memories about food. And how the food culture in their houses shaped them.
While I don’t want to get into the mode of seeing the olden times with tinted glasses, I also wonder what memories around food the children of today will have. What would they write about ? How would ordering in food, eating lot of junk food, or the family culture of celebrating festivals/holidays/spending time with guests by eating out will shape their memories and characters ?
Does food play such an important role ? What are your thoughts on this ? Of late I have been thinking a lot about this. I believe the customs and traditions around food that each family had developed over the years, from generation to generation, did indeed have the power to shape the values and personality of the family members. Most of the time this happened in a very subtle manner. Example, habits around eating together, not wasting food, indulging in treats as per family budget etc. Yes, these traditions indeed were divided between genders, between the power plays and politics within the large families.
In today's world our life styles have changed so fast that most of what we eat or the provisions we buy may not be recognised by our grandparents! So, the earlier traditions may not be applicable now. However, it is time to form new traditions around today's needs and today's life style.
Episode 6 of New Indian Woman podcast focuses on this topic. Listen to it here :
I discuss various points and I encourage you to be more intentional about the meals in your house. It would be wonderful to have discussions and other engagements around this topic. What do you say ?