Why Food and Culture?
What we call culture is everything that makes up the way a group of people live. Including how they eat, celebrate, and worship. Food is a core element of cultural identity — bringing families together for daily meals as well as communities together for rituals and celebrations. By investigating food’s place in their lives, students can enrich their understanding of their own culture. In exploring their family’s food history, students can experience the dynamic nature of culture over time. Finally, by studying global food traditions, students can broaden their knowledge of other cultures.
Celebrations in different cultures
Are there stereotypes that influence your thinking about a particular group or student? It’s hard to deal with this, but I do not know if any of us are immune to it. Different backgrounds, cultures and religions are intertwined in an average European family. However, not all students coming from different backgrounds are included or accepted.
As teachers, we have a greater responsibility than ever. We have the responsibility to celebrate diversity in our classroom and make every student feel accepted by their community in the classroom.
The end result should be that students develop mutual respect for others with differences, while teachers take care to teach with cultural sensitivity.
- Students will explore how family’s food tradition has changed over time by interviewing an elderly relative. Using materials from these activities and home recipes, students will then prepare their own recipe book. Click here to see the activity sheet.
- Using material from these activities and recipes from home, students will then prepare their own recipe book. Click here to see the activity sheet.
- Focusing on drawings of traditional meals, dishes and celebrations using a resource from Europeana
- Using an educational game through which players affect the country of origin of various types of food, beverages, utensils and various traditional recipes
Food traditions vary across the world. Even with people who have similar cultural backgrounds and same eating habits. Eating patterns are not identical. However, in most parts of the world, food is associated with hospitality and expression of friendship.
Therefore, the sensitivity of the rules of food and customs are important in building and strengthening intercultural relations.
Lastly, encouraging a culture of eating experience is a way of rediscovering the central importance of people and their emotions. Ultimately, food is as existential and cultural fuel, a ritual, and enjoyment for all.
Would you like to know more about this learning scenario? You can download it below:
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The featured image used to illustrate this article belongs to the public domain. Click here to find it.