After work Sunday night I managed to make it to a great party hosted by my friends Elizabeth, Marco (of the blog "Politics of the Cerebral", linked on the right), and Christina. The party was in celebration of Black History month, and featured a clothing drive to send to Haiti. As always happens when these particular friends are involved, the night was full of fantastic intellectual discussion, and I met a lot of great, intelligent people.
It was during one of these great intellectual discussions that the topic of similarities in foods between "former" colonies of different colonial powers. For instance, Senegalese food includes spring rolls similar in style to those in Vietnamese cuisine. Both were conquered at one time by the French, who apparently used Senegalese soldiers to enforce their rule in Vietnam. Likewise, the Filipino food that I cook includes foods with names identical to many Mexican dishes; both are former Spanish colonies.
The discussion moved on to the blending of cultures subjected to colonialism in this way, even when the colonial powers officially back off (and then only enforce economic control through neo-colonial techniques, which I'm sure I'll write about another time). Despite the horrors of colonialism and even continued economic exploitation, oppressed people live on and create/maintain cultures different from their past ones, but still entirely distinct.
This is how I see those of us who rewild forming our new cultures. In our efforts to create sustainable, sane ways of living, we're coming together and blending bits of our own histories and cultures with that of other peoples', all of us subjected to the colonialism of civilization. In a very real sense, we're building cultures that will (hopefully) survive after civilization is dead and gone, and in the mean time be a remedy to its disease. And maybe, just maybe, this will mean delicious delicious lumpia and adobo.
"All major decisions should be decided over a meal." - Marco Antonio McWilliams