Sunday 02nd of October 2022


Foodways and the food-mediated identity of Muslim migrants in Northern Italy

Roberta Giovine, CLA (Consulenti Linguistici Associati)pdf_icon_30x30


Abstract: For many Arab migrants from the Southern and Eastern shores of the Mediterranean, Italy has become a final destination (IOM Report 2013). These inflows have often caused material emergencies, while the cultural implications, particularly in the area of food-related identity or worship, have mostly been overlooked. The project focuses on Muslim migrants and the relevance of the food language in their self-expression in a country where Islam is not the mainstream religion, and the consequent change in their perception of food. After reviewing the key traits of the Arab food history, the author investigated their translation into contemporary life, through interviews with, primarily, intercultural mediators in their role as experts of verbal and non-verbal languages (De Pury 2005, Martin 2009). The overall research delves into the migrants’ views of the food of their homeland, their identity food and their everyday food in Italy, and compares their discourse with actual practices in terms of culinary choices, procedures, ingredients, celebrations, table manners, the restaurant system, the school or workplace canteens and the retail networks, with some unexpected findings.



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