The Role of Food in Multiculturalism

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Describe the acculturation level of at least 2 main film characters. What factors led you to make these determinations? Please elaborate using terminology and concepts from this course. Please be specific and elaborate with details/examples.  (100 original word minimum; 50 original words each)

Character #1

 (include the character's name)

Samir the main character in this movie appears to have abandoned his culture. As an Indian, it is appalling that he is not aware of his cultural background. Evidently, this is demonstrated through his inability to cook Indian meals. Further, when the mother tries to arrange for a marriage for him he rejects. Considerably, marriage among Indians is controlled by parents. Therefore, it was unusual for Samir to reject his mother’s marriage proposal.

Character #2  (include the character's name)

Akbar is one of the characters who demonstrate how a person can balance between two competing cultural expectations. From the movie, Akbar is able to prepare Indian meals at the restaurant despite him having stayed in America for a long time. Evidently, the American culture is distinct from that of India and as such it is surprising that Akbar is able to understand both this act of positive multiculturalism.


Did the film reveal any form of racism or stereotyping from any perspective? Please be specific and elaborate with details/examples. (100 original words minimum 50 original words each)

I believe that there is some degree of racial stereotyping. Samir’s mother emphasizes on the need of her son to get married to an Indian girl. Considerably, I find this to be selfish since that Samir lives in an American setting and he has the opportunity to choose the right woman to marry. What this means is that Samir’s mother appears to have some reservations about American women.

What purpose do you think it served in this film? Please elaborate using terminology and concepts from this course. Please be specific and elaborate with details/examples.

 In the movie, the stereotypes that the mother has towards American girls seem to demonstrate the conflict that arises between a person who is dynamic and the other who has conservative tendencies. Samir is modern and he appears to perceive matters from a tolerant perspective. However, the parents especially the father is pessimistic about Samir’s way of life.


To what extent did the main characters fit or not fit the descriptions of the ethnic/religious/national group that you have read about in our text and learned about in other ways. Describe, Compare and/or Contrast. (100 original words minimum)

Samir demonstrates the effects of growing up in a foreign culture. As a multiculturalist it is expected that he should depict behavior that is associated with Indian and American culture. However, the decision by the producers to make Samir look more American than Indian makes him fall short of being considered a multiculturalist. As a character from two cultural orientations, the production would have made Samir to exhibit some degree of Indian culture.


What role did food play in the lives of the characters?  Please be specific and elaborate with details/examples. (100 original words minimum)

The role of food in the movie is essential in understanding the perspectives of Samir, Hakkim and Akbar. Samir looks at cooking as a profession that requires several professional techniques. However, from the perspective of Akbar, cooking is a passion where a person uses his or her culture rather than the bureaucracies that are taught in college. On the part of Hakkim, he sees the business of cooking food as a source of livelihood. It is supposed to generate revenue.


What symbolism did food have? Please be specific and elaborate with details/examples.  (50 original words minimum)

Medicinal value? Please be specific and elaborate with details/examples. (50 original words minimum)

In the movie, there is little evidence regarding how the society considers food as a source of medicinal value.  However, the focus of the movie in relation to food is that end justifies the means. It is not about the preparation methods but how a person maneuvers to make a tasty meal. Hygienically, it is not right for hoteliers to bring live animals to the kitchen but since Akbar believes that live chicken are tasty he decides to do that.

Magicoreligous?  Please be specific and elaborate with details/examples. (50 original words minimum)

The events at the family’s restaurant are not mainly supposed to be interpreted in that case. When you look at the events in the film, it is evident that the role of the hotel was to clandestinely show the issues that multicultural families experience. The inability by Samir to prepare Indian Cuisine is a demonstration of the conflicts that arise in the life of a multiculturalist person.

Did this film have any similarity with any of your own cultural experiences (food, family, values, experiences, religion, symbols)? Please describe, compare and/or contrast with details/examples. (100 original words minimum)

The events in the movie show the differences that exist between different cultures. Food is an ideal way of evaluating the traditions of a community. For Indians, cuisine is about culture but Americans consider it a profession. Samir is brought up in an American lifestyle that is why he perceives cooking as a profession. However, Akbar is a talented person who succeeds in incorporating both Indian and American traditions towards cooking. With this astute strategy, Akbar is able to satisfy the demands of both Indians and Americans.  Among Americans, cooking is an arranged activity that should follow certain codes but for Indians it is a preservation of culture.


Would you recommend this film as a positive or realistic portrayal of this group? Please be specific and elaborate.  Please support your opinion with details/examples. (100 original word minimum)

Reasonably, this is a film that I would recommend for communities living in diaspora. In the diaspora, people face challenges in bringing up their families because in most cases there is a conflict between the original and foreign cultures. The case of Samir is evident because it is inappropriate for him to demonstrate strong affiliation towards the American culture when he could have given his ancestral culture prominence over that of America. When a person watches this movie, he or she will appreciate the need to embrace a positive type of multiculturalism as demonstrated by Akbar; he was able to satisfy both Indian and American tendencies.

September 25, 2023

Culture Food Sociology



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