Let’s get together for lunch sometime!
“Oh my God! It is so nice to hear from you after so long! Let’s get together for lunch sometime!” You might have heard someone say this when you run into them after some time: an invitation to catch up. Meeting friends always includes food. Sometimes we even cook together in a cook-off. But it isn’t the only type of gathering that has a hunger-inducing food aroma welcoming the attendees; from birthdays to weddings to regular dinners, food is an integral part of almost all events.
Food does more than just feed your empty stomach; it feeds relationships with love. Every bite is a small token of affection and endearment. Even if you don’t find food as a love language on its own, you can’t disagree that sharing food with someone can help tap many love languages.
Say it is four PM: the perfect time for supper. You make a cup of tea for your mother; you have ‘acts of service’ in action. With one cup of tea, you can show how much you care for her. The time and energy you spend making food can translate directly into the wholesome emotion you aimed to express. ‘Giving and receiving gifts’ is a way to express love for many. When you make your foodie friend’s favorite dishes as a gift on their birthday, they’ll remember it on every possible occasion. Take my word on this because I get reminded of the pizza I baked three years ago, whenever it crosses my friend’s mind.
With sharing comes compliments and ‘words of affirmation’. It is how many people feel admired, loved, and acknowledged. Just a smile and “You cook so well!” will make your loved one smile for hours. On hearing the first “Mmmmm", tiredness washes off immediately. ‘Physical touch’ might not seem like a major affection display option here, but no other love language can replace it. The intimacy of accidentally brushing hands when reaching out for some food/ingredient can result in smiles and giggles. It’s a no-brainer that sharing food and eating together gives ‘quality time’ to bond over. With food being exchanged over the table, sharing of day highlights lightens the mood of the room. You can connect to others while you’re busy in acts of mindful eating.
Being Desi, we all must have experienced the start of a new companionship with a well-stuffed tray waiting for the door to be opened. Do you remember an old Television commercial in which a Chinese woman connects to her Pakistani neighbors and befriends them by making biryani? It perfectly enraptures how effective food socialization is. Cultural differences are often hard to overcome or make peace with, but a common interest in food can build bridges. Often, I receive texts from my friends across the globe when they try some food from my Punjabi culture. It excites me and creates a sense of belonging even with oceans in between, and this feeling is experienced by many with a diverse friend group.
The benefits of food socialization surpass social relations. Eating food with someone has proved to improve an individual’s emotional health and digestion. It helps structure daily routine in a better way, where planned lunches or dinners are happy milestones. Additionally, Oxford University research has revealed that people tend to feel happier and more satisfied if they frequently eat with others.
With so many benefits of food sharing in front of you, you definitely should consider planning a picnic with your friends or inviting someone over for dinner. Happy cooking, eating, and sharing!