Language of Culinary Discourse and Cultural Preservation: A case study of first- and second-generation Punjabi Speakers
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Food is an important aspect of any culture and so is language. The study hypothesizes that the language in which the culinary discourse takes place plays a role in preserving that language’s (culinary) culture. In order to test this hypothesis, dinner-time conversations of six families have been recorded: three Punjabi-speaking families and three Urdu-Punjabi families (in which the second generation speaks Urdu). Moreover, three Punjabi speakers and three Urdu-Punjabi speakers are interviewed. The data thus collected are analyzed using van Dijk’s (1993) framework of critical discourse analysis, which is presented as a conceptual triangle that connects society, discourse, and social cognition. The findings of the study reveal that the Urdu-speaking second generation of Punjabi speakers demonstrates either an unfamiliarity or a dislike for traditional Punjabi food. They are also found unaware of most of the culinary vocabulary, show a greater inclination towards fast food, and, therefore, exhibit a noticeable change in the culinary culture with the change in their language.
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