All Voices Matter: appreciating culture through food


Maya Silberman

In her revival of the weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Sydney Bishop offers her take on various social and cultural issues.

Sydney Bishop, Staff Reporter

From a young age, my mother made sure to make an impression on me about the importance of worldliness. I was always encouraged to keep an open mind, but most importantly, an open mouth. I have tried food from various ethnic backgrounds and I encourage everyone to do the same.

Food is a million things, a necessity, a means of comfort, a livelihood, and even a love language. But most importantly, food is a vehicle of culture that succeeds us for generations to come.

I have many friends that come from different races and ethnic groups, and understanding them is very important to me. One of the best ways to do this, I’ve found, is through food. Nothing compared to how my friends’ faces light up when presented with the opportunity to show me new foods and invite me to cultural celebrations where those foods will be provided.  

Not only does partaking in different cultures make me a more well-rounded and worldly person, but it helps me to break down any implicit biases I could’ve carried had I not been exposed to cultures other than my own.

I’m sure any person of color can attest to the mistreatment they’ve experienced throughout their life due to their cultural practices, especially the food they eat. Bringing a homemade meal to school that smelled a little funny compared to your counterpart’s Lunchable was always a scary experience. A lot of kids would be too uncomfortable to do so and resort to bringing “normal” socially acceptable foods to eat. 

It’s important not to be the kids that make others feel uncomfortable about their background and be open-minded in regards to cultural differences. Sharing of cultures to a healthy degree brings us closer together and inspires a larger sense of acceptance in our society.