From a young age, I have never been in touch with my “culture” and often wondered if I even had a distinct one. My family was never one to sit down at a dinner table and talk about our days in great detail. Instead, we ate while watching TV shows or movies. You will find me eating dinner in my room merely because I have so much homework. The primary reason for my family not eating together is because of our schedules and the lack of time in our schedules to be present with each other. My mother works nights, my dad works days, and I stay after school for rehearsals or activities. So I am still learning to this day that if I am hungry, then I need to make it for myself. I cannot always expect dinner to be made when I get home or a beautiful dining table to be made. Instead, I do not have expectations.
Growing up, my parents never wanted to decide how I live my life. Whatever religion, identity, or simply sitting at the dinner table - I was never forced into morals or traditions I was not comfortable with. Although my upbringing may seem very different than others, it has shaped how I am as a person. I do not need to eat at the dinner table to connect with my family. I find other ways to express my emotions and tell them about my day.
Having cultural traditions relating to food has always been interesting to me because I do not identify food with experiencing a piece of “home”. Some might think I’m missing a lack of “home”. It’s not that I lacked culture or tradition - just that food reminds me of a type of home I did not ever have.