Tibetan Food(s) and Identity in a Global Context

10:00 to 11:30

Register here by Thursday, 3 June, 2021.

Speaker: Ute Wallenböck (Masaryk University & Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic)

Ute Wallenböck’s current research deals with the cultural aspects of Tibetan foods and beverages since she argues that everyday foods illustrate cultural identity: Food(s) are vehicles for expressing culture. In course of her past project on the construction of the collective identity of the Tibeto-Mongol population in the contemporary Henan Mongol Autonomous County in Qinghai province, she has gained a lot of experiences in nomadic food culture and “traditional” cooking. She learned that traditional foods are connected to Tibetans’ socio-cultural, ecological, spiritual life, and health. And moreover, some foods are culturally important in various festivals and ceremonies. Subsequently, she has lately been discussing the use of ingredients in the various cuisines with a Swiss Tibetan chef de cuisine and started enhancing transdisciplinary dialogues on food culture(s) as many scholars have so far been occupied by analysis of specific aspects of a given food culture, but they failed to acknowledge the phenomenon of the effects of cultural transmission on the emergence and diffusion of innovation of semi-nomadic food(s) into the “sedentary” European culinary world. By discussing the role food and food-making play in identity shaping among the diasporic Tibetans in Switzerland and Austria, in this lecture, she examines how intergenerational and cultural differences in the diaspora can influence the “traditional” food(s). Moreover, she is investigating the adaption of ingredients, seasonings, as well as cooking techniques in the Tibetan cuisine.

Read more about the speaker and view the event program here.

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