Manalansan: A Critical Analysis

1146 words, 5 pages

Intro Sample...

For many people, home is a place that brings comfort and fond memories. One of the ways people can connect with their memories of home is by eating the food that they ate as children. Many cultures have iconic dishes that are passed down through tradition, and many of these dishes are served in both their native countries as well as foreign lands. However, this creates a divide between cultures. Not everyone in a single culture can agree on what it means to have food that is true to their traditional dishes. The debate over what “authentic” food is has created many questions over how food “should” be served or made in a given culture. In Martin Manalansan’s piece, Beyond Authenticity, Manalansan discusses the meaning of what authentic... View More »

Body Sample...

” He recalls another situation in his life where he attends a Christmas celebration, and he describes how even native Filipinos cannot clearly decide what defines authentic Filipino food. At this celebration, many of the dishes served contained hot dogs, which according to Manalansan, was a heavily debated topic. Some of the guests were displeased with the use of hot dogs, claiming “the meal embodied a very masa, meaning plebeian taste, and that it was a disgrace to suggest to non-Filipinos that Philippine cuisine was not ‘classy’” (293). The distaste for hot dogs shows a clear disagreement within Filipino culture. While some people are unable to accept hot dogs as a Filipino dish, another Filipina guest, Elsa, claims that the use of hot dogs in the dish brought her fond memories of home. Manalansan uses this anecdote to demonstrate that everyone has a different interpretation of what food is authentic, even people from the same cultural background. This feeling directly contrasts the true joy that a man named Augosto feels in Manalansan’s next example. While the guests at the Christmas party feel no connection to their home after being fed hot dogs, on TV, Augosto is overwhelmed with joy when he gets a taste of lechon, and he finds comfort in the food, “as evidenced by his bright smile and decisive demeanor as he devours the roast pig, to be at ease with his newfound ‘Filipino-ness’” (296). Manalansan uses Augosto’s reaction to the food as a way to compare the happiness Augosto had with the discomfort the Christmas guests had. By comparing the two different reactions ...

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