Savouring the Essence: Exploring Cultural Codification of Food in Traditional Indian Folktales (78692)

Session Information: Food and Culture
Session Chair: Supathida Kulpavaropas

Sunday, 26 May 2024 14:50
Session: Session 4
Room: Room 701
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Food in folklore often transcends its role as mere sustenance, embodying complex cultural codes, spiritual significance, and historical narratives that are deeply embedded in the traditions and values of societies, particularly evident in the diverse and rich context of Indian folklore. This paper presents an in-depth analysis of the representation of food in traditional Indian folktales, exploring how culinary elements act as cultural codes to convey a spectrum of values, beliefs, and historical contexts. The research problem focuses on dissecting the multifaceted role of food in these narratives, beyond its physical sustenance, to reveal its integral part in cultural identity, spiritual practices, and social ethos. A selection of ten Indian folktales serves as the corpus for this study. Employing Cultural Theory, Narrative Analysis, Symbolic Interactionism, and Historical Contextualization, the paper interrogates the texts to understand how food functions as a symbol and narrative device within these stories. The primary research question seeks to unravel: “How does the representation of food in traditional Indian folktales serve as a cultural code to reflect the diverse tapestry of Indian cultural values, beliefs, and historical narratives?” This exploration is crucial in understanding the intricate connection between culinary symbolism and cultural narratives, offering a nuanced perspective on the cultural and historical richness of Indian folklore. By examining these tales through the lens of various theoretical frameworks, the paper aims to contribute significantly to the field of cultural studies, shedding light on the symbolic power of food in shaping and reflecting the cultural heritage of India.

Niranjana Marian George, Alphonsa College, India

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00