Connecting with Cultures Through Food – Pakistan

I Just Woke Up Like This

When we met in a cafe on campus, Shayan, a Pakistani international student, told me about his love of food. He revealed his secret dreams, which he called his ‘realistic goal and the unrealistic one’ – to become a food reviewer on YouTube, and to open an excellent steakhouse back in Pakistan. Good steak is rare in Pakistan, he tells me, despite meat being a big part of their food culture, particularly for the Muslim community of which he is part.

Shayan says, “Muslims and Hindus used to live together in India, and Hindus won’t generally eat meat, so historically speaking, Muslims will make sure we eat meat to… it’s all about bragging right.” Not only is meat important to their cultural identity, but to their religious traditions as well. The Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, meaning the Feast of Sacrifice, is one of the holiest on the calendar. Shayan…

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