Meals an opportunity to share cultures

International conference on halal food titled, “Halal food: a border that does not divide."

Recently, I was sent an invitation to an international conference on halal food titled, “Halal food: a border that does not divide.”

Halal food is a designation meaning that a food or drink is permissible for Muslims. It is similar to the “kosher” designation in Judaism.

The intention of the conference was to find common ground between potentially clashing sects of Islam. While the conference is taking place in Italy and not accessible to me, the idea was inspiring.

What better s way than delicious food to get different people to sit down around a table together and talk?

The mutual appreciation of food can be a point of connection between cultures. In fact, appreciating food might be our easiest first step in accepting and understanding different people from around the world.

I may not be able to relate to the hardships experienced by the Secwepemc people over the past 200 years, but I can share their love of sockeye salmon cooked over an open fire; or the joy of eating fresh huckleberries on a hot summer day. This sharing could provide an entry point into a conversation about protecting our waterways or concerns about the Keystone pipeline.

In today’s “global village,” it is more important than ever to understand different perspectives and balance our views on what is going on in the world.

Food provides a common language. Trying new ethnic foods is an easy and fun way to expose ourselves and our families to different cultures and ways of doing things.

I have eaten pumpkin and squash my whole life and it wasn’t until I went to Malawi that I learnt how to prepare the leaves for eating too. I have never been to India, but Vij’s cookbook has provided me with enough information to know that I need more Indian friends!

While Salmon Arm does not have the ethnic diversity of some larger metropolitan areas, it does offer opportunities to try restaurants from countries such as India, Thailand, Japan, Italy, China and Mexico. In tasting these foods, we can appreciate some of the best of what other cultures have to offer.



-Serena Caner is a registered dietician at Shuswap Lake General Hospital.


Just Posted

Update: Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps from 60 to 800 hectares

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 800 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Shuswap Lake still on the rise, but rate slows

Regional district recommends residents make an evacuation plan.

B.C. Interior flood risk diminishing

Snowmelt receding but rainfall impact remains a concern

Trustee won’t delay Downtown Activity Centre sale

Salmon Arm city council had asked for an extension, bid process will run until July 6

Application proceeds for ALR exclusion

City council opted not to take the advice of its Agricultural Advisory… Continue reading

Vancouver Island girl scores with winning song for BC Summer Games

‘Colours’ is a perfect theme for 2018 BC Summer Games

B.C. pipeline goes ahead despite scrapped Pacific Northwest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4-billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

High water forces closure of a boat launch on Shuswap Lake

Boat launch on Eagle Bay Road shut down, two others in Sorrento remain open

Fuel truck crash closes B.C. highway, sends two to hospital

The Trans-Canada Highway on Vancouver Island is expected to be closed until Thursday evening

Column: A tender portrait of school life

By Joanne Sargent, Observer contributor I would venture to say that most… Continue reading

Most Read