Food Culture

Eating Alone?

Eating Alone

Everyday, on leaving work people spend a bit of time eating a lunch or a snack after a busy day of hard work while on their way home to be with their family and friends. Still, a person eating alone seems very strange to us in Cuzco.

Our country and, especially, our city are characterized by sharing. From ancient times down to the present we carry out ayni and mink’a, reciprocity and collective work respectively. In these activities people always share their food with everyone who is present. At the same time they share vivid anecdotes, among other things, making it a social gathering. In this way, little by little, with laughter and smiles, tears and sadness, they finish their food and return to work.

Many people here say that they do not feel at all hungry when mid-day arrives and they find themselves alone or when they must eat a fixed lunch (menú) alone they just cannot satisfy their hunger.

Food at home is much better than food in any restaurant. That is what people say because at home they just feel more comfortable together with their family which is the essence of being at home.

The reason for spending weekends at home is the same reason for eating with friends or work mates during the week. This is because of the distance they might live from work and their need for a job. On weekends people gather together to share and satisfy their hunger not just with food but with the love that fills their home.

In any case, a person should never feel alone since we are a culture where sharing is a virtue and one always has ones friends. Even if they are not around we share words and interact with the people who are around us in restaurants in order to enjoy our daily meal better.

 

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