Willamette Valley Community Langar

Americans are generally enthusiastic about new and "foreign sounding" foods. In 1950, “America” generally knew nothing of tacos, pizza, “stir fry,” sushi, tempeh, quinoa, guacamole, lasagna, “bean curd,” enchiladas, burritos, curry, chapattis, yogurt, tamales, or notions of “vegetarian-vegan diet.” The list could go on and on. This speaks volumes about the culture of its people, because now in 2010, all these words and concepts have generally become household familiar terms, more or less. This bears eloquent testimony to the actual eagerness of Americans to explore, experience, enjoy, and wholeheartedly adopt culinary traditions of other lands and people.

This video explores an expansion of this notion – that Americans reveal interests not only in “WHAT” foods there are that can be enjoyed from other world cultures. But also, in the way in which diet and lifestyles have evolved in recent decades, Americans also have obvious and deep interests for exploring and enjoying “HOW” other cultures SHARE food among themselves. There are notions of potlatch, luau, fiesta, Passover Seder - most ancient cultures cherished these ideals. And now we are discovering Punjabi and Indian customs of Langar and "Prashad." Personal exchange, and the notion of "food as a sacred blessing or gift" -- these ideals become paramount.

Commercialism is dominant in American culture, especially with food -- and many are weary of that. The adage "There's no such thing as a free lunch," is a tired stereotype.

However, when food is shared with all, as a gift (rather than being merely an industrial product for commercial profit and livelihood), a community spirit can be released. A sense of mutuality and inclusion can unfold and prevail. That is what this video seeks to portray and to document, in actual experience.

j vimeo.com/14559490

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