Food Culture as a Modern World Ritual from a Different Aspect: Implicit Functions of Being Tested/Initiation and Revenge

Eker G. O.

MILLI FOLKLOR, no.120, pp.170-183, 2018 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: Issue: 120
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Journal Name: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index, Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.170-183


Eating is a coding system that is directly related to the religious, cultural, social, economical, political, and geographical characteristics of the society one lives in, along with being a biological imperative stemming from the basic needs of the human body such as surviving, healthy living, reproduction. The eating choices of the communities in the World which appear to be any regular food and drink on the surface structure are an indication of the worldviews, living conditions, religious beliefs, professional and sexual preferences encoded in the memories of the people forming the social group at the deep structure. Food culture should be handled in a multifaceted way from producing foodstuffs to picking them up, from kitchens as production and transformation places to cooking methods, from the adaptation of the foodstuffs to the tableware, from the measurement of the portions to the storage methods of the foodstuffs, from the hot or cold presentation of the meals to the meal hours. For people with self-perceptions, food, which is the symbol of 'subjectivity', is a means of determining sexual identity from the perspective of disembodation, self-discovery, emancipation, and gender. In this research, moving from these codes that the food culture is attached to, with the Functional Folklore Method, the implicit function of 'test' which was used when Adam and his wife were sent down to the earth, in fasting practices, in diets, and the implicit function of taking 'revenge' from the opponent by the act of eating by contaminating food physically or giving the sense of it being psychologically polluted with the feelings of anger/hate will be seen in a different aspect. It will be regarded as a symbol of satisfaction received from overcoming the personal security area of the opponent and being able to defeat the source of pain/damage and being marginalized It will be emphasized that the cultural textual writing around the food culture is a universal pattern of behavior in the study, along with the analysis of the examples about food culture which are identified in the written sources of Turkish culture Orkhon Inscriptions, Kutadgu Bilig, Compendium of the Turkic Dialects and Book of Dede Korkut. In addition to the implicit functions of food culture: being tested and revenge, drawing attention to its explicit and implicit functions such as determining the female or male identity as sexual identity, attributing sacredness, initiation, showing the degree of social relations, providing social integrity, forming ethnic and religious identity, combining, sharing, enjoying, relaxing, socializing, obeying, industrialization, linguistic coding and terminating life is the other purpose of this article.