Sharing an Exotic Meal as ICD

Guest PostsSharing 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.

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SlowFood at the Migranti Film Festival

Applied ICDSlowFood 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).