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Global Asia Studies
Arvind Sharma

THEME: Food, Culture, Belief Reading: “Children’s Food and Islamic Dietary Restrictions in X’ian” (M.B. Gillette) Article  Different methodology – relies on cultural anthropologist  Defining “edible” according to Xian Dietary Rules  Islam ~ Halal  Hinduism ~ different sects can be entirely vegetarian, fast days  Jainism ~ Vegetarianism, abstain from eating anything that has lived, may even include plants that grow from the ground  Judaism ~ Kosher, during religious holidays abstain from  Shintoism & Buddhism ~ meat taboo in Japan article  Christianity ~ Medieval Christians did not eat meat on Fridays, instead ate fish  Interpretation vs. written in scripture  Dietary restrictions and interpretations of belief evolve  Changes in how individuals define their beliefs Restrictions in Xian  Methodology: Ethnographic fieldwork by author o Lives among the group of people and studies them  Participant observation ~ Gillette speaks to normal, ordinary people about their every day transactions  Synchronic vs. diachronic approaches Nation-States we have studied  Hui nationality – by virtue of religion/specific cultural identity see themselves as distinct from other Chinese (Han) Qingzhen ~ Halal  Chinese translation of Halal New Snacks & “Foreign Foods”  1 Child Policy o Child treated as “Little Emperors” o Family revolves around these children  Generational gap between adults and children o Social
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