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Stop Stealing Dreams # 42

April 14, 2012

Stop Stealing Dreams, # 42:

Can you teach Indian food?

It’s not easy to find young Anglo kids in Cleveland or Topeka who crave Tandoori chicken or Shrimp Vindaloo. And yet kids with almost the same DNA in Mumbai eat the stuff every day. It’s clearly not about genetics.

Perhaps households there approach the issue of food the way school teaches a new topic. First, kids are taught the history of Indian food, then they are instructed to memorize a number of recipes, and then there are tests. At some point, the pedagogy leads to a love of the food.

Of course not.

People around the world eat what they eat because of community standards and the way culture is inculcated into what they do.  Expectations matter a great deal.  When you have no real choice but to grow up doing something or eating something or singing something, then you do it.

If culture is sufficient to establish what we eat and how we speak and ten thousand other societal norms, why isn’t it able to teach us goal setting and passion and curiosity and the ability to persuade?

It can.

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