Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Yummy Bites/Gursha

Recently I have been exploring food culture and rituals with our children. Connecting ideas of unity, consideration, sharing, community and respect for the importance of the moment. Through personal experience and study, I am constantly reacquainted with the Ethiopian ritual of Gursha. Gursha which translates as "mouthful" is the act of hand feeding another. With a heightened sense of awareness this act of Gursha conveys much more than the seemingly simple act of sharing food. Within this ritual lies principles of trust, thoughtfulness and interconnectedness. What a perfect lesson and experience to teach young children. It is my understanding that the traditional practice of Gursha is a means of expressing openness. In our interactions we are essentially "ingesting", sharing and/or being exposed to one anther's presence, essence, aura, personality, words, etc. In each exchange there is potential for trust, indeed, vulnerability. On one hand, receiving Gursha is to be vulnerable and trusting of the hands and the person that is serving. In exchange, to be the giver expresses trustworthiness, tenderness, selflessness and consideration. The physical manifestation of Gursha is a bridge to connect the subtleties of spirit and senses. to explain that to 2-5 year olds.

Children are, (at least mine are) very aware of what they like. So we start there. Find the yummiest bite on your plate. Make it up, just the way you like it. How you want to see it. What you want it to taste and feel like. Make it the best bite ever. Now before you place it in your mouth, find someone at the table you enjoy sharing with. Now give them your yummy bite. Yeah..give it...its OK. Now, how did that make each of you feel?

These rituals we hold onto and carry forward with the hope that the experiences, the lessons can transcend beyond the dinner table and extend to and influence how we relate to one another in life. Cheers to yummy bites and the sharing thereof. Love

My Kitchen Sounds Like: "Perdido" by Duke Ellington

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