ha.sec45.wp1.d3.2

ha.sec45.wp1.d3.2 - The Role of Food in Family Unity: An...

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The Role of Food in Family Unity: An Analysis of tamalada navideña and Like Water for Chocolate Young Ha February 12, 2006 Writing 20 -- “Food and History as Pleasure in Latin America” Section 45 Writing Project #1 Final Draft
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Ha 2 Filled with many celebrations, December is a special month in Mexico. Food is an essential part of the December celebrations, and one dish that is served at almost every celebration in December is tamales. Although many Mexicans eat tamales on a daily basis, tamales play an important role in Christmas rituals. Tamales have a rich history, and the special ritual of preparing tamales makes them a unique part of the Mexican culture. Mexicans spend time with their families cooking in the kitchen by using the same recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation. This enables them to build or reinforce strong bonds, which is an important part of their culture. In Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments, with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies by Laura Esquivel, the importance of food and cooking in family unity is depicted through the conflicts and harmony of the De la Garza family. Despite their clashing personalities and constant quarrels and threats, the De la Garza family is able to find the common ground by sharing the love of food as pleasure. The novel thus portrays food as an essential means of maintaining family unity and harmony. Food helps Mexican families develop strong relationships with each other and hold families together through conflicts and tensions by allowing them to share one thing they can always have in common: the great appreciation for food as pleasure, traditional rituals, and love for their families that are associated with eating. Because it has been a perpetual part of their culture and history, food is an important aspect to many Mexicans. Tamales date back to pre-Columbian history, as early as 5000 B.C. The Aztecs, who considered tamales as a part of their ceremonies and rituals, called them tamalli. During ceremonies Aztec priests made tamales with their hands as an offering to the gods. Furthermore, during festivals, the men climbed a pole
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Ha 3 and placed tamales shaped as idols, on top of the pole (Anaya par. 4). For festivals, women made tamales with amaranth leaves to worship the fire god Xiuhtecuhtli, tamales with chilies and beans for the jaguar god Tezcatlipoca, and tamales with shrimp and chili sauce for Huehueteotl. Also, around 1500 to 1200 B.C., women had to accompany men as the Aztec, Mayan, and Incan tribes battled. Because men needed to eat substantial food that could readily be prepared, the women creatively made tamales by wrapping meat and corn masa with corn husks (Pancrazio). Similar to having different types of tamales for each god, the varieties of tamales still exists. Researchers have shown that there are more than forty-two versions of tamales in Mexico. Although different regions have tamales with different flavors, colors, and sizes, normally tamales are wrapped in corn husks and
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ha.sec45.wp1.d3.2 - The Role of Food in Family Unity: An...

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