To some extent all relationships are multicultural since we all come from different families to create a new unit. While most couples adjust naturally over time to the new paradigm, others find it difficult to comprehend their spouses’ ways of looking at the world as well as their way of life.
One of the hardest things to get used to in a multicultural relationship is the food. Here are ways to learn how to love food from a different culture:
Appreciate and discover
As humans, often are times we decide the things we like before experiencing them, and this clouds our judgment when we finally encounter them. Cross-cultural relationships grant the chance to gain a deeper appreciation of other traditions. It is important to celebrate the festivities distinctive to your partner’s native tradition. Relish the foods that originate from your partner’s motherland. You don’t essentially have to love all their food offerings start by building on something you like then adopt the rest slowly. Willingness to appreciate your partner’s culture shows devotion and respect.
Megan an American Married to Juan a Chilean had to learn how to cook their foods so as to make their relationship work better.
Genuine cultural differences are existence and should not be swept under the rug; neither should they be taken out of proportion. For instance, if you don’t know what food you are eating, you might be better off asking politely about it. Taste it, if you don’t like the taste, and your opinion is asked, say something in the lines of “It flavor is quite distinct” rather than you hate it. The psychology of taste is complicated by our natural repugnance to things that are new or different from what we are used to or expecting. Therefore it is important to be open-minded and respectful about it. For instance, Europeans expect salads to be served after the main dish, rather than before.
Look for Common Ground
Whereas it is imperative to be conscious of cultural differences, also be on the lookout for a middle ground. Identify similar tastes and foods that you share with your partner. You need not share everything; nonetheless, sharing certain things can help lessen pressure in your relationship. Whilst understanding your partner’s culture is significant, you should never feel obliged to discard cherished parts of your native traditions and foods. Inter-cultural relationships involve compromise but shouldn’t force one to abandon core parts of their identity. Therefore, in order to like his/her foods show ways the same food can be prepared in your culture and reach a compromise. It might turn out to be an incident. You can also take turns in eating each of your native foods which will help your palates get used to them and appreciate them more.
Don’t Make Assumptions
Dating someone from a traditionally reserved culture does not necessarily make them introverts. In fact, some are quite the opposite. It’s important to take the time to understand your partner’s food culture that will lead you to appreciate it. For instance, respect is essential when it comes to dietary rules of Muslims. Knowledge, in this case, is power as they do not eat the flesh of any animal that scavenges. Also, their foods are not prepared using oils products derived from these animals. Muslims are also alcohol resistant and do not eat food made using alcohol. Never make assumptions when it comes to food, in fact whenever you don’t understand simply ask for assistance or clarification.
Malcolm Gladwell in his book Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking argues that people make instant judgments based on prior experience. This means that we tend to dislike the things that extend beyond our perpetual comfort zones. The knowledge of this bias can assist in food aversions and help us love them. This calls for patience in that, when we decide there is value in enjoying the food, then you are more likely to make an effort. You should also try the food severally, prepared in different ways until you find the one you like.
In conclusion, culture forms part of our livelihood as well as our worldview; and our worldview determines how we see everything in life, including relationships. Cultural differences can establish certain challenges; however, these challenges are most definitely controllable within the context of considerate and compassionate relationships.
Even if a particular food doesn’t end up on your favorites foods’ list, learning to at least enjoy it in a relaxed way will enhance your life and help you widen your appreciation for fresh and inimitable experiences. The Chinese culture pays particular respect to textures in food, and this attitude allows them to enjoy an array of diverse and fascinating range of ingredients than any Western culture.