He shares his food story while cooking sinigang
There's this scene in the movie Caregiver where Sharon Cuneta's character, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in London, brought a jar of buro to the workplace for her fellow Filipino colleague. Though they were happy to have a taste of home, it is not the same for others, especially the natives of that country.
Being in a foreign land brings another level of consciousness to people, which extends not just on their clothing but also on the way they do things and their food. This then leads to the concealment of their culture.
This story rings close not just with OFWs but also immigrant kids like young Tiktok content creator @iankewks. In one of his posts, he detailed his experience growing up in North America and how it changed the way he eats.
"I think something that us kids with immigrant parents could relate to is, growing up in North America, we'd be too self-conscious of the food that our parents packed for us during lunch," he said. "I remember telling my mom to pack sandwiches, chicken nuggets, or McDonald's, rather than having the other kids make fun of how my traditional food smelled or looked different from theirs."
"And for a while, it really did affect my cooking. I'd always turn to different cuisines and learn how to cook those dishes, instead of exploring my own culture. It is not so much to say that I was super ashamed of it. But more because of the fact that I ate it almost every day and I started getting tired of it," he continued.
Adapting to change is inevitable, especially being new to a place. Unfortunately, this change induced by the pressure to fit often causes a void between a person and his culture. And soon enough, Ian felt the need to reconnect again with his culture through food.
"As I began learning more on how to cook my own traditional food, I started to see the richness in my own culture, and that disconnect I felt as a kid began to heal," he said. "Of course, I still love trying to learn other dishes from different countries. But there really is something special when you create that one dish from your culture that you enjoyed as a kid. It's that ultimate comfort food that really brings you back to your roots."
How about you, what is that one food that always reminds you of home?
See more of his food exploration @iankewks on Tiktok.