Globalization and the Evolution of Indigenous Food Culture: A Case Study of the Khasi Community in Northeast India

Globalization, the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide, has had a profound impact on various aspects of society, including food culture. This is particularly evident in indigenous communities, where traditional food practices are being influenced by global trends. One such community is the Khasi community in Northeast India, where globalization has brought about significant changes in their food culture. This article explores the evolution of the indigenous food culture of the Khasi community in the context of globalization.

The Khasi Community and Their Traditional Food Culture

The Khasi community, one of the major ethnic groups in Northeast India, is known for its rich and diverse food culture. Their traditional diet is primarily based on locally sourced ingredients, including rice, meat, and a variety of vegetables and fruits. Some of the unique dishes of the Khasi community include Jadoh (a rice and meat dish), Dohkhlieh (a pork salad), and Pumaloi (a steamed rice cake).

Impact of Globalization on the Khasi Food Culture

With the advent of globalization, the food culture of the Khasi community has undergone significant changes. The increased availability of processed foods and the influence of Western dietary habits have led to a shift in their traditional eating patterns. This has resulted in a decrease in the consumption of traditional foods and an increase in the intake of processed and fast foods.

  • Increased Access to Processed Foods: Globalization has led to the proliferation of supermarkets and convenience stores in Northeast India, making processed foods readily available. This has resulted in a shift from traditional foods to processed foods among the Khasi community.

  • Influence of Western Dietary Habits: The exposure to Western culture through media and tourism has influenced the dietary habits of the Khasi community. There is an increasing preference for Western-style fast foods, such as burgers and pizzas, over traditional dishes.

Preserving the Traditional Khasi Food Culture

Despite the impact of globalization, efforts are being made to preserve the traditional food culture of the Khasi community. These include initiatives to promote local foods and traditional cooking methods, as well as education programs to raise awareness about the nutritional value of traditional foods.

  • Promotion of Local Foods: Local markets and food festivals are being organized to promote traditional Khasi foods. These events provide a platform for local farmers and food producers to showcase their products, thereby encouraging the consumption of local foods.

  • Educational Programs: Educational programs are being conducted to raise awareness about the nutritional value of traditional foods and the importance of maintaining a balanced diet. These programs aim to counter the influence of Western dietary habits and promote healthy eating practices.

In conclusion, while globalization has brought about changes in the food culture of the Khasi community, efforts are being made to preserve their traditional food practices. It is crucial to strike a balance between embracing global influences and preserving indigenous food cultures to ensure the health and well-being of these communities.