Build Cultural Awareness. Importance of Religion and Food

The strong commitment people have to their faith is demonstrated in many ways, including how and what food they consume.

For example, food is an important aspect of Passover, which begins this year in the evening of Friday, April 22 and ends in the evening of Saturday, April 30. Throughout the eight days of Passover, observant Jews refrain from eating leavened bread, and instead consume matzos.  The seder is the centerpiece of the Passover experience.

Food abstinence and fasting are evident in many religions.  For centuries, Roman Catholics were restricted from eating meat on Fridays; now that restriction is limited to specific holy days.  Consider this chart of Food Practices and Restrictions of World Religions prepared by Ruth A. Waibel (download pdf).  Also, many foods are religious symbols.

Download the Building Cultural Awareness Reading List (pdf) and Discussion Guide (pdf).