Friday, February 18, 2011

Soul Food, Part II

A community organizer/academic friend of mine currently based in Iowa posted something on Facebook that caught my attention: a website dedicated to Asians/Asian Americans and our oftentimes complex relationship to food and body image called

I started to think about an Ilokana in Paris. Why am I writing? Who is my audience? What am I writing about?  Why Paris? What is an Ilokana? I have described it to friends as a food/memory/travel blog, with my first entry back in 2009 entitled "Embracing Multiplicity of Selves" 

That sounds a little "Three Faces of Eve" in retrospect, but it is also an Ethnic Studies terminology about the different spaces we occupy: whether that is because of our gender, ethnicity, age, country of origin and other socio-economic factors.  Or in spite of it and sometimes even transcending it for more universal truths.  We are all human after all, with bodies that need nourishing and care. Food is another universal truth, one that I feel passionate about and would like to continue to explore in a dreamy and what I hope in a literary sense.

But I think the specificity of lived experience is important as well, and it is powerful especially when shared with others who have a similar path or can relate on some other level, maybe not visceral but as a person who knows what it is like to be excluded or feel "othered". I celebrate the creation of because any forum where a multitude of voices can be engaged in a healing dialogue as well as for posting delicious pictures of steamed dumplings, soup dumplings, all kinds of  stuffed bundles of goodness and love, for what is food ultimately but an expression of love, this type of shared space is food for the soul.

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