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Going to Ondo Town ONDO, WORLD HEADQUARTERS OF LOKILI Nobody enjoys dog meat like the Ondo man

My Scholarship entry - Understanding a Culture through Food

NIGERIA | Sunday, 18 March 2012 | Views [537] | Scholarship Entry

Nigeria consists of diverse culture and that means uncountable cuisines. Food is necessary for survival and is also the source of pride, looking at what people consider edible around the world may influence opinions about their outlook to life. A tribe’s cuisine may be the perfect lens to view what her people think is important and, as a result, how its leaders will act.

Some countries for which the project of becoming more established in nationhood is paramount it can be read through food slogans, for example, you see shirts, postcards, dedicated to promoting certain food as the national food. While a close-by community, of course, may consider the particular cuisine utter nonsense. The food that is designated the community treat says a lot about how that community interacts internally and how it wants to be seen from the outside.

An interesting indicator of historical relationships is what countries consider to be cheap food. Usually that reflects some antique history with the communities that produce cheap food. So when you go to these countries and see what the fast food of popular choice is. It usually represents a deeper political history.

In my country food demarcates more than the assumed geographic lines on the map. Ondo town to my place was barely few hundred kilometers; the thrill I saw in the youth running after stray dogs which emerged afterwards skinned and placed on the old worn dripping grills set on low fires in the market square. Excited mouths all smeared with greasy doggy meat: soon I learn it was community treat, a national pride: to kill your dog for meat displays your large heart, I later traced it to antique Ogun idol worship. Throughout my stay I was watchful of eating meat I don’t want to eat a dog meat, but I know we are what we eat we can track cultures through food, a short cut to understanding a culture is to sample its cuisine. You can know more about a people when you know more about their food. Beware though!

Tags: africa, cultures, food, nigeria, ondo state, travel, travel writing scholarship 2012


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