Food Culture, Identity and Globalization: The Dogra Weddings of Jammu in Northwest India

Monday, 11 July 2016: 16:24
Location: Hörsaal 48 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Abha CHAUHAN, University of Jammu, India
Food shapes our identity as people and gives meaning to our culture. The surrounding society and ecology influence the development of individual taste, explaining why and how food cultures are identified and associated with groups and nations such as Italy with pizza and pasta, kimchi with Korea or potatoes with Ireland and wazwan with Kashmir. Among the Dogras of Jammu in the northwest state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in India food at weddings reflects the identity of its people as well as the social transformation to which the Dogra food culture is adapting. No wedding can be complete without food being served in an appropriate manner and style, and with required taste and flavour with typical essential Dogra dishes like Rajmash, Ambal, Kalaari or Mitha Madra. However, in the recent years it is seen that other cuisines like Punjabi, Kashmiri, South Indian or even international ones like Chinese or Italian have been added to the food served at Dogra weddings. This shows on the one hand, the impact of globalizing consumer world, and on the other, the urgency on the part of the people to maintain their identity through food culture. The paper explores the dimensions of food culture of the Dogras of Jammu region, best expressed in their weddings, in the context of their transforming identity as a result of the process of globalization facilitated by new developments in the field of information and communicative technology.