Bridge cultural and generational gaps in your kitchen
I really would like to encourage you to treat your kitchen like a secret place for you to escape to. The kitchen can be somewhere where you have the opportunity to create, to express your thoughts and emotions through food, and at the same time be a place to build relationships and share your culture with your family.
In short, I really would like you to LOVE your kitchen.
Allow me to share with you why.
It is a place to connect with yourself.
When you are cooking in the kitchen, you are creating a space for you to reflect on your favourite dishes that you used to like as a child. It means reconnecting to your feelings when you were helping your family in the kitchen, remembering your relationships with your family and your relatives, savouring your favourite dishes… remembering what makes you happy, what you liked and disliked as a child, and understanding more about your relationships with your family… and about you!
It is a place to share your love.
It is said that food is cooked through love. When you cook something you love and enjoy, you are sharing your love with your family through the dishes that you serve.
When food is prepared through love and care, it tends to taste better. Because when you have put your love, your time, your loving thoughts and commitment into getting it just right, your family will feel the love and pleasure in the food!
When you share your lovingly home-cooked dishes with your friends and family, you are sharing your love, while fostering friendships and relationships with your family.
Sharing your culture with your family
By introducing the cultural dishes to our children, it is also introducing your culture to them. These traditional dishes mean remembering who you are, while allowing your children to understand your culture and where their parents and relatives are from. This allows them to establish deeper and more meaningful relationships with their grandparents or relatives back in your family.
If you are living far away from your own family, it is even a greater opportunity for your children to understand your culture. Share with them your favourite dishes, and how they are made etc.
While you are on your childhood topic, take this opportunity to share stories about your childhood. Talk about your challenges when growing up, the family rituals, family histories, your aspirations, your disappointments, your thoughts about certain issues, your favourite dishes and who used to cook them for you. Also share with them your family’s heritage, and talk about their relatives that they may not have had the opportunity to meet.
Building Family Relationships
Take this opportunity to invite your children to the kitchen to help with meal preparations, such as washing and chopping vegetables, peeling the potatoes etc.. Here you are creating opportunities to bond and to connect with them.
While you are in the “communication” mode, ask them about their thoughts, aspirations and challenges, their favourite dishes, their favourite movie etc. Through these interactions, you are building trust and connecting on a deeper level with them. This is when your children will start to share their inner thoughts, fears and challenges with you.
Learning starts at home
I am a firm believer that learning starts at home. If you are worrying about whether your child is able to understand what is being taught at school, involve your children in the kitchen. There are so many things they can learn, such as math skills, language skills, motor skills etc. Read more…
Make your kitchen your special secret place – one step at a time!