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Diaspora, Food and Identity

Nigerian Migrants in Belgium

by Maureen Duru (Author)
Monographs 314 Pages
Open Access

Summary

This book examines the connection between food and identity in the Nigerian diaspora community in Belgium. Encounters between people from different cultures do not lead to a simple adaptation of the diet, but usually give rise to some kind of fusion of new and indigenous food habits.
The author questions the relationship between what Nigerian migrants in the diaspora eat, their self-perception and how they engage with outsiders. Starting with a historical introduction about the country, this study examines what aspects of the Nigerian food culture is retained and what has changed. This is reflected by the dynamics in the Nigerian homes, especially the gender roles.
The new generation of Nigerians, who see Belgium as home, also hang on to a Nigerian diet that remains not only an important part of who they are, but is also used in the creation of cultural boundaries and group identities. However, the influence of the new environment is very present because each diaspora community, wherever and whenever, must adapt. Skills such as language and social norms are indeed necessary to survive in the new environment. Yet, food plays a prominent role: on the one hand, it contributes to the affirmation of Nigerian feelings, and on the other hand, food serves as a means of communication with the host country.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Content
  • Acknowledgement
  • Chapter One Introduction
  • 1. A journey of different routes
  • 2. Migrant Communities: Food, Identity and Belonging
  • 3. Ethnicity, Culture and Diversity in Nigeria
  • Chapter Two Unity in Diversity Unity in diversity
  • 1. A Reflection of the Nigerian Food Culture
  • 2. Food and Identity Construction in Nigeria
  • Chapter Three The routes to a Nigerian foodway in Belgium
  • 1. “O je mba enwe iwe”: perspectives on Nigerian migration trends
  • 2. International migration trends: relating theories and concepts to the Nigerian migration context
  • 3. The migration of Africans to Belgium
  • 4. Nigerian migrants in Belgium
  • 5. The demography of Nigerians in Belgium
  • Chapter Four The Nigerian foodways in Belgium
  • 1. Is it like home? Seeking familiar food in Belgium
  • 2. Nigerian restaurants and the making of a diaspora foodway in Belgium
  • 3. Whose food is it anyway: African shops and the making of a Nigerian foodway in Belgium
  • 4. So they eat that too? Food products: genuine and substitutes
  • Chapter Five Recreating home in a new place
  • 1. The use of food in Nigerian homes in Belgium
  • 2. Creating and negotiating identity in the Nigerian diaspora kitchen
  • 3. Nigerian meal times in Belgium
  • 4. Substitution and Fusion; some space for something new
  • 5. A meal on the interracial table
  • 6. Feeding the next generation
  • 7. Eating, identity and being a young Nigerian in Belgium
  • 8. Food-related gender roles in Nigerian householdsin Belgium
  • 9. Dinning out
  • 10. “Omenala ga adi” (traditions and customs will remain) but with something new too
  • Chapter Six Conclusion – Foodscapes and Migrant Identity Formation
  • 1. Migrants’ foodways in contemporary foodscapes
  • 2. “Their food is good but ours is still the best”. Food, eating and being Nigerian in Belgium
  • Appendix 1
  • Appendix 2
  • Appendix 3
  • Bibliography

Maureen Duru

Diaspora, Food and Identity

Nigerian Migrants in Belgium

About the author

Maureen Duru obtained her doctorate degree in History from the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB), with a higher distinction. Her research interest focuses on Diaspora, migrants, food and identity. She is the founder of the non-profi t organization The Food Bridge, which promotes food cultures as viable development tools and also supports indigenous food systems. She is a member of FOST, the Social and cultural food studies research group (VUB, Belgium) and is currently the Vice President of the Federation of Anglophone Africans Belgium. Born in Nigeria, Ms Duru now lives in Belgium with her family.

About the book

This book examines the connection between food and identity in the Nigerian diaspora community in Belgium. Encounters between people from different cultures do not lead to a simple adaptation of the diet, but usually give rise to some kind of fusion of new and indigenous food habits.
The author questions the relationship between what Nigerian migrants in the diaspora eat, their self-perception and how they engage with outsiders. Starting with a historical introduction about the country, this study examines what aspects of the Nigerian food culture is retained and what has changed. This is refl ected by the dynamics in the Nigerian homes, especially the gender roles.
The new generation of Nigerians, who see Belgium as home, also hang on to a Nigerian diet that remains not only an important part of who they are, but is also used in the creation of cultural boundaries and group identities. However, the infl uence of the new environment is very present because each diaspora community, wherever and whenever, must adapt. Skills such as language and social norms are indeed necessary to survive in the new environment. Yet, food plays a prominent role: on the one hand, it contributes to the affi rmation of Nigerian feelings, and on the other hand, food serves as a means of communication with the host country.

This eBook can be cited

This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.

Table of Content

Acknowledgement

Chapter One

Introduction

1. A journey of different routes

2. Migrant Communities: Food, Identity and Belonging

3. Ethnicity, Culture and Diversity in Nigeria

Chapter Two Unity in Diversity

Unity in diversity

1. A Reflection of the Nigerian Food Culture

2. Food and Identity Construction in Nigeria

Chapter Three

The routes to a Nigerian foodway in Belgium

1. O je mba enwe iwe”: perspectives on Nigerian migration trends

2. International migration trends: relating theories and concepts to the Nigerian migration context

3. The migration of Africans to Belgium

4. Nigerian migrants in Belgium

5. The demography of Nigerians in Belgium

Chapter Four

The Nigerian foodways in Belgium

1. Is it like home? Seeking familiar food in Belgium

2. Nigerian restaurants and the making of a diaspora foodway in Belgium

3. Whose food is it anyway: African shops and the making of a Nigerian foodway in Belgium

4. So they eat that too? Food products: genuine and substitutes←9 | 10→

Chapter Five

Recreating home in a new place

1. The use of food in Nigerian homes in Belgium

2. Creating and negotiating identity in the Nigerian diaspora kitchen

3. Nigerian meal times in Belgium

4. Substitution and Fusion; some space for something new

5. A meal on the interracial table

6. Feeding the next generation

7. Eating, identity and being a young Nigerian in Belgium

8. Food-related gender roles in Nigerian households in Belgium

9. Dinning out

10. Omenala ga adi” (traditions and customs will remain) but with something new too

Chapter Six

Conclusion – Foodscapes and Migrant Identity Formation

1. Migrants’ foodways in contemporary foodscapes

2. “Their food is good but ours is still the best”. Food, eating and being Nigerian in Belgium

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3

Bibliography←10 | 11→

Acknowledgement

The writing of this book would not have been achieved without the help of many people, who in different ways supported me and made themselves and their resources available to me during my doctorate research and the writing of the PhD thesis which form the basis for this book.

My profound gratitude goes to Professor Dr Peter Scholliers, my PhD academic supervisor, who despite my shortcomings and challenges never gave up on me. I sincerely thank him for taking out time to read the manuscript again, make comments, advice and support me throughout this process.

I thank the members of the Nigerian community who agreed to be interviewed, provided needed information and supported me during my PhD research. Although I cannot mention you all, I appreciate your support. I couldn’t have done this without your help especially Chief and Mrs Tajudeen Fasanya, Mr and Mrs John Ubah, Dr and Mrs Emmanuel Omanukwue, Aluba Kalu-Otis, Vena and Marylyn Ani. My heartfelt gratitude goes to Katrijn Asselberg, Charles and Chinyere Obi-Obasi for their help with the manuscript. I am also grateful to Mr Trevor Smith of Cadenza Consulting and Ms Eleonore Grave for proof reading my work.

I wish to acknowledge the support of Mr John Duru-Onweni and the Duru family (Emeka, Okey, Ogechi, and Tessy). The support of Pastor Ademola and Joan Farinu, Mrs Chinyere Heurion and Mrs Julie Anyikwa is very much appreciated. Ms Diana Dimbueni also has my profound gratitude for the cover images and her willingness to always use her creative skills to support my work and Chibuzor Anthony for helping with the cover graphics.

I also appreciate the assistance of the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, who sponsored the publication of this book and the editorial team of the Peter Lang publishing company.←11 | 12→ ←12 | 13→

Details

Pages
314
ISBN (PDF)
9782807602113
ISBN (ePUB)
9782807602120
ISBN (MOBI)
9782807602137
ISBN (Softcover)
9782807601307
Open Access
CC-BY-NC-ND
Language
English
Publication date
2017 (March)
Tags
Nigerian Migrants Migration in Belgium Food and identity Nigerian diaspora Nigerian foodway in Belgium
Published
Bruxelles, Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2017. 311 pp., 10 tables, 14 ill.

Biographical notes

Maureen Duru (Author)

Maureen Duru obtained her doctorate degree in History from the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, with a higher distinction. Her research interest focuses on Diaspora, migrants, food and identity. She is the founder of the non- profit organization, The Food Bridge vzw; which promotes food cultures as viable development tools and also supports indigenous food systems. She is a member of FOST – the social and cultural food studies research group VUB Belgium and is currently the Vice President of the Federation of Anglophone Africans Belgium. Born in Nigeria, Ms Duru now lives in Belgium with her family.

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Title: Diaspora, Food and Identity