Weekly Response – May The 4th Be With You

I only indulged in that because I love the idea of Darth Vader lisping. 

So.  I’m sort of getting excited about this final paper.  I’m also nervous about it.  I’ve decided to write about how food divides us, since we’ve done so much reading and talking about how it brings people together – either in the nice cuddly yay-culture way, or nastier models such as, ah, colonization.  I think I want to do this because I’m really interested in figuring out what actually makes different groups of people seem so alien to one another.  I suppose this caught me initially because of the semi-unusual way my childhood panned out.  I spent the first nine years of my life in London, raised as a semi-observant Jew with an atheist unitarian-raised father and an enthusiastically conservative Jewish grandmother, with my mother (occasionally awkwardly) straddling the gap.  Keeping kosher was something my grandmother did, and my parents didn’t, and I remember my dad explaining it as a mode of differentiation.  And, having a great appreciation now for the potential there is in sitting down with people for a meal and talking, I can see how removing your diet from the realm of another group’s cuisine could really inhibit communication, which would quite readily lead to hostility due to sheer lack of understanding.  Whether or not this is or was an actual intention when parve and other dietary laws were developed, it sort of bothers me that, while they’re an enormous part of the cultures which keep them, they have the potential to dig really deep ditches between people who actually have a lot in common (I was totally shocked to observe how similar certain aspects of Turkish culture, for instance, are to Jewish).

So.  I only decided this a couple hours ago, and I hope I can make it work – it’s fairly abstract compared to some of the ingredient-specific reading we’ve been doing, but I guess that’s another thing that attracts me to it.  I charge you all with the task of calling me out when I inevitably start making too many generalizations about institutionalized religion.  Thanks.

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One Response to Weekly Response – May The 4th Be With You

  1. William Popov says:

    That is a very interesting topic, Imogen, and I understand where you are coming from. I often notice the culture gaps you speak of when I am with my Russian dad/grandparents. It can be sightly unnerving to share dinner with someone unfamiliar, not because they necessarily act differently, but their perception is different, and they are taking everything in differently than we do. It’s an interesting concept.

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