Travel & Delectable Afterthoughts

The Connection Between Food Traditions and Culture

August 18, 2015
Rosy Cheeks Project

Food traditions are an integral and distinctive part of every culture. It reveals so much of a country’s history, cultural traditions, values, and way of life.

One apparent difference I’ve noticed from my experience travelling in Southern Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland) is everyone’s willingness to help one other. Passerbys greet each other on the street. Strangers look after one another like brothers and sisters. There is a strong sense of community, interdependence and human bonding.

It is of no surprise then that one of Southern Africa’s most beloved social occasions and food traditions is ‘braai’.

Similar to a barbecue, braais are casual and relaxed social events where families and friends converge on a picnic spot or someone’s home (normally the garden or veranda) with their own meat, salad, or side dish in hand.Braai is such an essential part of South African traditions. It is a national past time that has become a vehicle to promote human bonding shared by all demographic groups, religious denominations and body types. There’s no better way to promote a sense of unity and community than by the gathering of  a good feast.

Braai = Good food, good vibes. Quintessentially South African. 

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