GASD71 Winter 2015

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Fish shopping and Chinese- Canadian Foodways in the GTA

In this course, we showcase food, migration, work, and urban experiences of Global Asia households living in the Greater Toronto Area. My part of the class project focuses on ‘Fish and Chinese-Canadian Foodways in the GTA’. For my research, I interviewed two friends about their shopping habits as regards fish in their original homeland -China and their present homeland - Canada. I also collected data from supermarkets frequented by such immigrants about fish that are available there. For this digital project, I created fusion tables based on these different types of data that I collected. 

Saapadu in Toronto: A Tamil Family's Foodway Journey from Sri Lanka to Canada

This project explores the Ratnalingam family's life and food journeys from Sri Lanka to Canada.
The family migrated from Sri Lanka to Canada in 1986 when the civil war was at its brink and left them and many other Sri Lankan Tamils with no choice but to flee the country. Fleeing with their first child, Mathini, they didn't realize how their lives would be transformed. Arriving in Canada they brought with them different traditions, gender roles and cultural practices from their home country. Gohulavany Manikkam would continue to be the primary cook in the household while Ratnalingam Manikkam would help with food work that was seen as less feminine such as carrying groceries, or cutting meat. Canada also left its mark on family foodways a shift towards convenience which could mean whipping up a salad or buying boxes of idiappam at the store instead of making them at home. Through such practices that emerge out of the interviews conducted with the  parents by their daughter Nelani, we see how the family has molded into new food cultures in Canada but still holds on to food pathways from their homeland and culture. 

Food & Migration

Comparative Oral Interviews of Two Tamil Speaking Immigrant Women 

As fast as life chooses to flash before our eyes taking a moment to look at the past always seems to bring back happy memories of time spent with family and friends, either sharing a meal or cooking a meal together. Within a few moments of speaking with Kamala Kirushna it was clear that food has played an important role in different aspects of her life, whether it was religion or family. Speaking about her life and moments she had had in the kitchen brought a smile to her face and resurfaced old memories that have been suppressed over time and through several lifestyle changes. As I spoke to my mother, Rajeswary Premakumar, I could hear the excitement in her voice as she recollected memories of her childhood and her first home, Sri Lanka. Migration is more than just movement of our physical bodies, with migration comes movement and change of identity, traditionality, modernity, beliefs, food ways, and several other key aspects of our lives.