1. For many families, food is an instrumental part of culture for two primary reasons: first, the physical unification of individuals into one single space for the preparation and consumption of a meal, and second, the cultural artifacts (like recipes) and rituals passed down through generations…
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Ancient culture, as such, is something that tends to be valued more by older generations, which typically have more reverence for the history of the family’s culture. Food offers the chance for that kind of cross-generational interaction. As Indira Ganesan describes in “Food and the Immigrant”, modern teenagers and the sons of first-generation immigrants lack that awareness of the value of food in the cultural relationship between generations. She says, “I too resolved to eat plastic, avoid the eccentricities of ethnic cuisine” (172). These “eccentricities” are often a reason, however, for younger generations to avoid this cultural process of transference. With respect to the cultural artifacts and rituals passed down, there are often unwritten recipes in food preparation that have an unknown history. These recipes connect younger generations with generations long past, and they are tied to the cultural history of the family. For instance, some foods that we would traditionally describe as “Italian” or “Thai” are tied to the ethnic and cultural heritage of the family and to the extent that they are passed down verbally, so too does the culture continue through the ages. In my family, for instance, recipes call for ingredients that come directly from my family’s homeland. ...
meaningful because it challenges people to think about the reasons for their commitment to their ancient culture: is it because of the precepts that are represented by that culture, or the personal meaning one derives from one’s relationships to their elders and ancestors? I believe that in order for an ancient culture to be transmitted between generations, recipients of culture must both believe in the principles and values, and respect those who are transmitting the principles and values. Without both of those elements, there is no hope for younger generations to accept the meaningfulness of culture. 3. “Do you believe that black and white are two fundamentally different race categories, or that black and white is simply two ends of the same spectrum, with many things in common?” This question attempts to get at the heart of race perceptions and is particularly relevant when it comes to multiracial individuals. For instance, if the child of a white mother and a black father sees black and white as two different race categories, then he will likely see himself as a contradiction and perhaps his self-esteem will lessen. If that child were to see black and white as a spectrum of races, then perhaps that child will see himself as having access to both cultures. And, as such, this is a more productive perception of race. 4. I believe that it is beneficial to have broader access to traditional values and beliefs. In my experience, the child of an interracial couple will be prouder and more respectful of their minority cultural heritage just because, in the context of a white-majority culture like in the United States, a minority cultural heritage is more special. So, even though the child focuses on that special cultural heritage, there is still a level of access
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