Food practices of a people is the product of multiple factors. Endogenous as well as exogenous factors influence people’s opinion and preferences about food. In India and its neighbouring countries, food practices are often delimited by economic standing, religion, caste and analogous systems of social ranking of the consumers. State and market forces also influence food behaviour by exercising control over production and trade. Food and Power: Expressions of Food-Politics in South Asia studies power relations between those who eat and those who decide (or at least try to decide) what people should eat. It raises questions pertaining to the politicization of ethnographic tradition in South Asia in relation to the intersection of religion, economy and food. This book explores how traditional food practices have undergone change owing to the influences of migration globalization and popular media to understand how ethos of the powerful affects the foodways of relatively weaker ethnic, religious, occupational and gender groups
Chapter 18: The Idea of Food: A Discourse Encompassing Two Religious Faiths
One winter, sometime back in the beginning of the present millennium, I landed up in a desert village Barna, in Jaisalmer,1 for conducting fieldwork among the Manganiyars, a musician community of the region.2 By the time I reached the village from Jaisalmer with my team member, it was dinner time for the family of my host Gazi Khan. They had arranged our meal in a separate room of his house with two of his guests from the community. The dinner was sumptuous, and the food was placed on a thali (plate) on a bajotha3 with a curry made from the ...