In “Me in Place, and the Place in Me,” Raman is an immigrant from India to Britain who conveys her reminiscent of home with food. As she walks down Tooting High Street, she recalls a time where she could not find tamarind, which is an Indian traditional cooking ingredient, in London. When Raman was very young, she was taken care by her grandmother who liked to cook very much. In this way, what full of Raman’s childhood was the Indian food cooked by her grandmother. As she began to live with her parents, her mother did not know how to cook. In the 1950s, London has not much developed internationally with restaurants and grocery stores. To Raman, Indian food was her roots, tradition, memories, and what sets her apart from others. She preserved her Indian culture through mastering cooking traditional food. Food was what brought her and her family closer. However, her family was separated because of the divorce of her parents and Raman came back to India with her mother. What’s more, Raman’s father died at that time. At that time, they were struggling in life and had a hard time. Both Raman and her mother missed food in London very much. To sum up, food becomes a symbol of history and it takes a quite important part in people’s lives, especially for those immigrants since food provides relationship between people and belongings of those immigrants.
This article really made me reminisce my family and my parents’ cooking. I could really relate to Raman as I am an international student studying in the U.S. I remember first coming to Bloomington looking for Chinese restaurants and international grocery stores to create the sense of belonging in this foreign town. Traditional Chinese food always comforted me and made me feel more secure. For me, I witnessed how Bloomington became more international as there are more varieties of Chinese restaurants opening during the past few years. Just like Raman, I also learned how to cook from scratch. Also, I was very impressed by how much Raman wanted to preserve her roots and culture through cooking Indian food. When she distanced herself from her mother after her father’s death, food was what reconnected her relationship with her mother. I can totally understand her since as an international student, I sometimes have the same feeling as her. When I feel upset, I will miss food cooked by my parents and miss the taste of food in my hometown. This memoir demonstrated the importance of food as a family tradition, and how food could shape and influence someone’s life essentially starting at a young age.