This is a small observation I have made, one about food. I have spent a lot of time around Ali’s family house now, interacting with them and enjoying their company. I feel like food plays a different role between household.
My mother, and other Asian families I have met and eaten around cook a lot. They will cook so much food for so few people, that it sometimes staggers me. I have been around a few of my aunt’s house where a whole selection of different curries and food is available. All for myself and my immediate family, we could never eat all of it in one sitting and I do know most of it will be used for eating in the days afterwards.
The main reason I can think of why this seems to be ingrained in the Asian mindset is because everytime someone comes round, it is an occasion. Something to celebrate and we Asians do know how to celebrate with food. The guest would be plied with food until they are filled to bursting and then offered some more. I feel like it is in the mindset that a guest with a full belly has had a good time at the host house.
Which is something that I can appreciate, I love food and will eat as much of something good as I can.
On the inverse, going to Ali’s family house and eating is a different experience with food. Still very enjoyable, but it is easy to spot contrast between the two. While there would be a lot of food made, it wouldn’t be to the staggering amount I have seen from an Asian family.
Food also isn’t the focal point of conversation, or at least not to the extent that it is in Asian culture. While things can be discussed it is mostly left to the light heart side of things, games can be played. This is not the case all the time, serious discussions can happen and do. But they don’t feel the same as Bengali style.
From what I have experienced in an Asian family it is the opposite, at least for when men eat. Like in my previous post in Asian or Bengali culture if there are guests around then men and woman usually do not eat together.
The subject and tone of the meal more often then not on the serious side, things can be discussed that will be serious in nature, and the conversation will sometimes veer to the more lighthearted side before it returns to other subject matters. Again I do have to state this is not always, but just the vast majority of times when guests are around. This is an aspect I have not really liked, I tend to steer clear of it.
I enjoy talking, I am a happy sort of person. Food is something important to me and I do not want to spoil the mood with something tragic or serious happening in the family, I would rather keep it light hearted. Leaving those types of conversations to a more appropriate location, like in the living room or somewhere else. I think this aspect of it is the only negative I can find with the Bengali style.
Another thing I have noticed is that hardly anyone shouts, in my family and extended family the volume rises until people are all but shouting. However, I think this is slightly funny, as it doesn’t look like we have learnt the ability to let others have their say.
It is a very interesting time for myself, as I start to notice fully more differences and things that are the same between both cultures and peoples. I have interacted with my friends family quite a bit, but no it is different. I am no longer a friend of the family, but someone that is included in the family. That brings a totally different perspective, but a good one.
Anyway, enough rambling from me. I hope you enjoyed this post, a bit random but food was on my mind when I wrote this.