How food related to one’s culture
Ancient people learned how to make tools and hunt in order to get food. At that time, food was to fill stomach and meet basic human needs. Nowadays, food definitely plays a new role in people’s life other than that. Food can related to one’s culture and arouse his or hers’ sense of belonging especially for immigrant.
In “Sea Urchin”, the author tells his own experience about how he went back to his hometown and his feeling of eating sea urchins. As a new immigrant in New York, Lee not only bent on trying everything, but also makes his first step to get to know the culture of his hometown. The author describe how he felt before eating sea urchins, he states, “l am too obviously desperate, utterly hopeless” (Paragraph 4). It shows that Lee felt disconnected with his hometown and he didn’t have a sense of belonging in this new country. But he was willing to try food which he has never tried before. When he eating the sea urchin, he didn’t feel good at all. He claims that “And l am half gagging, though still chewing” (Paragraph 5); Apparently, Lee didn’t enjoy eating it. When l read this part, l thought Lee may rue the day and never want to try this kind of raw seafood again. To my surprise, the author went back himself and even expect to eating sea urchins. At this time, l think Lee has already tied to his hometown’s culture through sea urchins. His experience of eating sea urchin is pretty funny and dramatic. Although this is the first time he went back to his home country, he was eager to find a sense of belonging in this new country and he believed that in his deepest heart, he had relationship with his hometown. So, l think this power of belief makes him go back to the eatery and try the sea urchin again even he may have risk to be sick again. Lee’s parents have totally different attitude towards to the local food which arouse my interests. Lee’s father was very excited and enjoyable, he even asked for more. However, his mother refused to try raw seafood and asked her son not to try it as well. I think Lee’s parents’ attitudes represent two typical attitudes of the new immigrants towards to their hometown. Lee’s father is the type that able to adapt to home country’s eating habit and has deep feeling for the local food, however, his mother is the type that refuse to fit in and unwilling to accept the lifestyle of their hometown. I think the author want to explore the attitude of new immigrants to their hometown through his parents’ performance.
To be honest, this essay reminds me of my own experience of eating sea urchins. Last year, l went to Japan with my friend. As we all known, Japan is surrounded by sea and is famous for its sea food. This was the first time that l tried to eat raw food. We went to a seafood market where all the seafood is placed on ice and left outside for people to choose and buy. Then l saw these spiny, black and little sea urchins which remained motionless at the bottom of the tank. “Do you want to have one? It’s fresh and delicious.” Perhaps the man noticed that l was staring at the tank and he came to ask me. “No, thanks. I don’t think l will like it.” I smiled and said. “Come on. How would you know you don’t like sea urchins without having a try?” my friends reply and said to the man, “We want some.” The men used a fishing net to get the sea urchins out of the water and cut them in half. I chop a little and dip it in mustard sauce. To my surprise, l didn’t hate it. It tasted a little bit sticky, a little bit sweet and melted immediately in my mouth. My friend who was in fond of seafood even wanted some more. “It tastes amazing,” He said.
In “What Food Tells Us About Culture” , Le mainly discuss about the relationship between food and culture. He states, “What stays the same though is the extent to which each country or community’s unique cuisine can reflect its unique history, lifestyle, values, and beliefs.” The author believes that food can represent one’s culture background and gain self-identity. Moreover, people can easily get good memory through food and preserve their traditional habit by eating traditional food. If one is proud of his or hers food which represent one’s culture, he or she can also gain inner satisfaction and a sense of belonging. When l was first in New York, l didn’t know anyone and l had no friends. Sometimes l really miss my home and family. However, when l ate food of my hometown, l felt happy and warm. I feel like l am not a stranger in this city and l am not alone.
One year later, when l talked to my friend about the trip in Japan, we found that the taste of sea urchin is so special that we might never forget. Sometimes, people can easily decide what they like or what they don’t like in a minute. Probably, they should at least have a try. It is hard to say whether Lee’s mother liked eating sea urchins if she decided to try a little bit. Maybe she would like them too. This is how sea urchins change my life. “Hey, do you want to have some sea urchins? How about going to Japan next month?” said my friend. “That’ s a good idea” l said. When Lee went back for sea urchins he states, “My mouth slick with anticipation and revulsion”(paragraph 7). And now, l feel it too.