Invite the world to your table/Invitez le monde à votre table CROUS, Dijon, France.
Centre régional des Œuvres Universitaires et Scolaires (CROUS) of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in France organizes the event “Invite the world to your table.” It’s a wonderful invention: a cultural exchange lunch including international students enrolled in higher education and the inhabitants of Dijon, Besançon, Belfort, and Montbéliard. This event allows cultural exchanges around a meal between international students enrolled in higher education and inhabitants of Dijon and its surroundings.
How does it work? Inhabitants of Dijon invite one or more international students to their home for a Sunday meal. The purpose of these exchanges is for locals to discover a new culture, and for international students to learn more about French culture and gastronomy.
“Invite the world to your table” gives participants the opportunity to cross cultural boundaries. In a spirit of sharing and conviviality, the goal is to experiment with the gastronomy and the traditions of the participants but also to enrich everyone’s cultural knowledge.
Choe, Caroline. (31 August 2019). Cookie artist teaches edible lessons In Asian-American history. National Public Radio.
Who would have thought using baked goods as a platform to talk social justice was a thing? And yet, the attention it has garnered is exactly what we need to start dialog and to impart enlightenment.
“Jasmine Cho knows the power of a good cookie. ‘Cookies,’ she says, ‘can make anything more palatable.’ Including conversations about race and social justice in America.
A baker based in Pittsburgh, Cho creates intricate, hand-drawn cookie portraits of Asian-American figures as a way to increase representation and raise awareness of Asian-American history and identity.”
Lessner, J. (28 May 2019). Cafe Ohlone gives diners a taste of California’s oldest most traditional foods. mitú.
“Food is such a good way to have intercultural dialogue…It’s hard to disrespect a culture when you sit down and eat their food, especially when you enjoy it and you’re around the people, when you’re having a positive experience.” – Vincent Medina
“Indigenous communities not only had their own unique identities, culture, and language – they also had their own foods. And one California restaurant is working to show the world this original California cuisine….Cafe Ohlone is named for the Ohlone tribe indigenous to Northern California’s East Bay. It’s a small backyard restaurant serving up big flavors with even bigger dreams. The cafe’s founders, Vincent Medina and Louis Trevino, have dedicated themselves to reviving the foods of the Ohlone tribe.”
Sharing an Exotic Meal as a Trigger of Intercultural Dialogue. Guest post by Mine Krause.
Elif Shafak’s novel The Bastard of Istanbul (Turkish title: Baba ve Piç) tells the captivating story of a Turkish and an American-Armenian-Turkish patchwork family, both female dominated. Coming from very different cultural backgrounds, the characters’ mentalities often seem incompatible. The religious Banu lives under the same roof as her atheist sister Zeliha and their Kemalist mother Gülsüm… and yet they somehow get along and even love each other in this household full of contradictory world views. The serious issues dealt with in this novel are numerous: the role of collective amnesia and individual memory, patriarchy and women’s rights, incest, identity. Among these topics is also the relationship between food experiences and intercultural dialogue.
It might seem trivial but eating habits tell us a lot about other cultures and identities. After all, “we are what we eat,” as the slogan says. When it comes to the search for identity, the universal language of food can indeed play an essential part.
Continue reading “Sharing an Exotic Meal as ICD”
SlowFood recently posted an interesting article titled Glimpses and Smells: Recipes and Short Films, based on an interview of Diana Maria Tohătan (a Romanian immigrant to Italy, who prepared food for the Migranti Film Festival, held at the University of Gastronomic Sciences campus in Pollenzo and in Bra in June 2018. Among the quotes is this: “Food is a primary need, it’s the easiest way to start an intercultural dialogue” which shows the relevance of this article for followers of this site.
Additional resources on food as a form of intercultural interaction include:
Lum, C. M. K., & de Ferrière le Vayer, M. (Eds.). (2016). Urban foodways and communication: Ethnographic studies in intangible cultural food heritages around the world. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Leeds-Hurwitz, W. (1993). Semiotics and communication: Signs, codes, cultures. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. (see chapter 4: Food as sign and code).