Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Food Culture

It is so funny how every culture calls itself the food culture. In reality the one thing that this world has in common is food. The whole world has a food culture.
I'm supposed to be visiting Cairo for a week Inshalla. So I'm planning on seeing all my family and friends. Everytime I plan something its for a meal.
Let's have breakfast Wednesday morning. Let's have lunch on Thursday. Let's have Iftar (for those who are fasting) Thursday afternoon. Let's have dinner on Friday.
While planning your whole life around food has got to be detrimental to your physical strength, it actually helps your social life.
If you're going out with someone for example and run out of things to say that's ok because have the evening you'll have your mouth full of food and you can not talk. Or maybe you can talk about food itself.
The one topic in the whole world that should not steer itself into something so controversial that the outing becomes a disaster.
Then of course a very strong element of the food culture is the way holidays are all turned into food centered events.
For Muslims, what are meant to be the holiest of days end up being spent in the kitchen cooking up what will be eaten all night long. The month ends up being the month that poor people look forward to because people give them food they can only dream of all year long.
The Bayram, or Feast as most people would translate it is always centered around a lavish breakfast or lunch.
Fridays, families gather for lunch.
There could be chaos. People yelling at each other. Children running everywhere. But when breakfast, lunch or dinner is served, everyone unites on one table passing dishes and enjoying this blessing God sent down to us.
Food is the one pleasure we can enjoy without feeling guilty. However, we should not let it become our soul purpose of existence. It is one of the many gifts Allah sent down to us. Lets not abuse it!

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