Food, relatedness and home between Portugal and Bangladesh

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It was id-ul-ad´ha, or the otherwise known feast of sacrifice, the second most important date in the Islamic calendar, and I had just met Mukitur. We went, together with other common acquaintances, to Zakirs' house and, as is frequent during such festive occasions, he welcomed us with several sweets (mishti) and tea (cha). Everybody sat around the table when our host surprised us with chotpoti, a very popular street food in several parts of Bangladesh, with chick peas, boiled egg, onions, chilies, spices and tamarind sauce. In spite of being in a hurry, everyone was so surprised that we stayed put and began appreciating the moment. At some point Mukitur said while eating chotpoti “it really looks like that I’m in Bangladesh!”.

This ethnographic vignette reveals how food is performative of home, both as a dwelling (a household, for instance) or a place of belonging (a city, a region or a country). On one hand, it activates the memory, nostalgia and an imaginary of places (Sutton 2001), on the other, it is performative of sociabilities and relatedness (Carsten 2000), sometimes creating ties between people that were unrelated. This article will argue that the foodscape (Janeja 2010) not only evokes memories but it is performative of relatedness; it makes sociabilities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-311
Number of pages24
JournalBangla Journal
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Space and Place
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Migration Studies
  • Domestic Space
  • Transnational migration
  • Diaspora and transnationalism
  • Bangladeshi diaspora
  • Kinship and Relatedness (Anthropology)
  • Home-Making
  • Urban governance of diversity
  • Bangladeshi Migration


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