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Food – a Means of Expression

  • Date Submitted: 10/09/2011 07:41 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 61.6 
  • Words: 501
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Thesis Statement:
In Bukharian culture, food isn’t merely used to nourish (but also to express affection)
Food – A Means of Expression
      As a child, I always picture my grandmother in the kitchen; her apron on, at the stove stirring food in a deg, a huge metal pot. “Bubby’s House” – my siblings and I immediately associate with food. Whether we were hungry or not Bubby would prepare us a huge meal to eat. Food to Bubby had a greater purpose than to nourish us. Standing over the pot, cooking in the kitchen most of the day, continuously refilling our plates, was her way of saying “I care for you.”
      My mother’s family immigrated to America from Samerkand, Uzbekistan. With them they brought a live, vibrant culture, including their personal language, distinctive style of dress, traditional family values and their unique culinary menu. Food is an essential part of the Bukharian culture. A mother’s chief responsibility, as a Bukharian mother, is to feed and nourish her family. Yet, food is not viewed solely as something that provides nourishment. Rather, it is seen as a tool, used to express ones feelings for another. A mother works tirelessly to prepare food for her family, thereby expressing her immeasurable care and concern for them.
      Growing up in New York, I realized that for some people food’s only purpose is to nourish (for nourishment). The goal – that a child is fed. The way that’s accomplished, by whom, and how much effort is invested, seemed irrelevant to some. I clearly remember my reaction after sleeping at a friend’s house. I came home and exclaimed, “Ma, Shelly cooked her own supper!” Watching my friend making herself her own bowl of Wacky Mac, in a way horrified me. Where was her mother? Why wasn’t she making supper for her? Did she not care about her? I had automatically correlated/paralleled feeding with love. I soon picked up that for others, there was barely a connection between ones concern for another and the food they provided....

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