Vietnamese Food Culture Interview

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You will discuss the immigrants’ food choices and preparation, behaviors, symbolism, and traditional cultural celebrations or ceremonies. You will also learn how the experiences of immigration have affected the food culture of the immigrants. Through the assignment, you will broaden your knowledge of food culture and how immigration and contemporary life in the U.S. can affect food cultures. You will then write a 2-page double-spaced report of the information obtained from the interviews, in a narrative format.

Data CollectionYou must interview 1 people, from a different culture with which you are unfamiliar, and not your own culture. The people you interview must be immigrants to the U.S. You may choose classmates, co-workers, neighbors, friends of a friend, or other acquaintances. It’s best to choose people who are fairly recent immigrants, interested in food culture, and eager to share information with you. When interviewing them, ask the 16questions on the next page, which are non-threatening, concrete, but in-depth questions about their cultural background. If your interviewers can’t answer all the questions, you are expected to find the answers yourself. the report you are to write a minimum 2-page double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 pt, typewritten report on the interview. In your report of the interview you are to summarize the results of the questions. Do not include the questions. The report should be in narrative format, written in the style of a magazine or newspaper interview, and should include the date, duration, and place of the interviews.

INTERVIEW QUESTIONNAIRE

You should ask the following questions directly or indirectly. If the people you are interviewing does not know some of the answers, you should do your own research on the subject.

1. What is your ethnic background? (if multicultural, explain, but pick one for report)

2. When did your family immigrate to the United States?

3. Do you have a religious affiliation? Does this affect your food habits?

4. What foods are indicative of your culture? (core foods, flavor principles, etc.)

5. How many meals do you eat every day?

6. When is food usually eaten?

7. What food items are needed to make a meal for you?

8. Who usually shares meals?

9. Where does your family normally consume food?

10. What are the major holidays you and your family celebrate each year? Choose and describe one major cultural ceremony or celebration with symbolic associations. What foods are associated? Why is this cultural tradition significant?

11. What are some other symbolic foods in your culture, and what do they symbolize?

12. How has the experience of immigration to the United States changed your food culture? How has your food culture changed?

13. What outside influences impact the consumption of your cultural foods?

14. How has the American culture influenced your cultural habits and traditions? How often do you eat food that you consider “American” food, as opposed to the food of your own culture?

15. Do you feel your cultural habits and traditions have influenced American culture?

16. Do you believe the changes in your food culture since coming to the U.S. have more to do with the experience of immigration, or are they reflective of modern life? Is the food culture changing in your native country?

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