Multicultural aspect at meal time
Find a Conversation
|Mon, 09-03-2012 - 2:54am|
In the near decade of being an expat and in an intercultural relationship, it stroke me that that biggest cultural difference is with food. On never truely realise how deep rooted and part of one's cultural heritage food is and meal time is.
The Swiss meals timing alone is totally different from the Idnian one. In Switzerland people will eat breakfast at the jump of bed, have a long lunch, and a light quick dinner the earliest in the evening possible (generally 6-7pm no later. In India people will have breakfast relatively late in the morning, and only after things like taking a shower and doing prayers is done
Lunch is super fast and come only at 1pm rather than noon, and what we call dinner at 6 is called a snack in India with dinenr being served past 10pm.
DH can't get used to my swiss way, I struggled with the Indian pattern, so while we pretty much eat breakfast together, dinner is never eaten as a family. Lunch is eaten together on weekends, weekdays he has it in office.
As far as what is on the plate, DH is North Indian so things need to swimm in gravy at all time, he doesn't like dry rice as a side dish, and even pasta is not wet enough for him to like it, he will eat continental style meat only if it comes with a heavy sauce or in the case of something grilled dipped into ketchup. My digestive system doesn't handle the oily gravy part, and I gained weight over the years doing the Indian carb heavy oil heavy fare, so I switched back to continental cuisine on most days.
In the past DH and I would actually bicker about the meal time, because we both only could compromise that far, years of experience and wisdom setting in we decided quarrelling about the content of one's plate was silly, so he eats Indian, I eat continental, and because we are in a position of being able to afford it, we have a maid that cooks Indian for him (labour is very cheap in India), that way it's prepared by a person that ruely understands the spice palette and cultural taste, and we don't have to feel tensed about the bickering about food.
I realise our model is not for everybody, but the more I go in married life, the more I see where my parent's generation went wrong, they were told that married people think alike, do everything together at all time, meaning there were compromises on everything including the things that were not to compromise upon. DH and I simply learned to choose our battle wisely, we of course compromise on things, but not everything, and it is not the end of the world if there is pasta on my plate at 6pm and rice and vegetable gravy on his at 10pm, we end up both with a tummy full, well nourished and satiated and happy meaning we can focus about other things :-)
My daughter eats a little of both culture too , because I eat lentil dishes and meat dishes the India way too when I feel like it. Since DH works out of the house and it's me and my daughter all day long it only is natural that she eats the same meals I do anyway.