Compare And Contrast Your Own Food And Eating Ideas And Behaviours With Those Of One Other Culture.

2651 words - 11 pages

Humans have an appetite for food, and anthropology as the study of human culture can discover a lot through the eating ideas and behaviours of various cultures. Throughout the world many different countries and different cultures have different dining etiquette and rules. This is something often taken for granted. From personal experience working on cruise ships, where many different cultures mix in a small environment, what seemed to stand out to me were the differences in dining etiquette. Unfortunately, to the point where some colleges preferred to eat in a separate dining area with members of similar cultures, as what was taken for granted by those with European dining etiquette was completely foreign to others, notably those with an Indian background, this was on occasion to the point of ridicule and scorn. The importance of food in understanding human culture rests in its vast changeability, a changeability that is not central for species survival. For survival needs, people everywhere could eat the same food, yet people of different cultural backgrounds eat differently.
An anthropological approach to the analysis of food in culture would be to isolate and identify the food variables, arrange these variables systematically, and explain why some of these variables go together or do not go together. Generally people who have the same culture share the same food habits, that is, they share the same assemblage of food variables. Most of the major cities in the world contain varied societies, encompassing of a wide range of individuals from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Ethnicity refers to a social group, which shares particular distinctive features, for instance; language, culture, physical appearance, religion, values and customs. Culture in contrast denotes to how people do and view things within their group, for instance a shared set of values, expectations, opinions and agreements based on a shared history and language can make a particular group. The individuals of different cultures must learn to integrate and cohabitate together in order for a society to function efficiently and smoothly. Among other things this includes the accepting and sampling various types of foods, even adjusting their individual diets based on this. Mainly this is due to the significant impact that culture and ethnicity has on diet and within that the effect of socioeconomic and religious influences. Consequently the choices and varieties of food that people make, in the sorts of foods that they consume, will vary widely.
Table etiquette evolves differently within different cultures and can vary widely between different countries and cultures. To some extent, culture permeates all cultural customs including table etiquette. Table etiquette encompasses the customs and rules that direct socially acceptable eating practices. It incorporates the use and display of eating utensils and equipment, the way people eat food, to when they sit down to a meal....

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