They say, you are what you eat!
Therefore i am a seal, walrus, polar bear, caribou and add little bits of chicken, cows, grains and coffee. I guess i am of that.
I have been thinking about how people pass on knowledge and i was wondering if they pass on the taste or food. Can people actually keep talking about food you've never tasted and have a craving for it?
Have you smelled igunaq before? (igunaq is fermented anything, seal, walrus, etc...) cheese and yogurt are qalunaat igunaqs. Some taste pretty good. My parents love igunaq, they eat it like they're going to put a quota on it. As for me and some of my generation, we don't really like the smell of fermented meat. It's too strong for some of us.
I think my generation is too quick to complaining (and that goes with me). We have been spoiled by modern conveniences and smells and taste. We can press buttons and food will be ready in two minutes. We can pre-heat an oven and shove in a pizza and wait twenty minutes - tadaa - a whole meal. We can just add water to some flour paste and we have pancakes. No longer do we patiently wait for the seal to cook, no longer have the taste for that igunaq. No longer craving meat that has been traditionally prepared.
This morning, i had some uujuq. Uujuq is a word for cooked meat of any kind. The uujuq i had this morning was seal. I was reminded of the time when breakfast must have been what i ate, leftovers from the night before, made for anyone who was going to have a full day. I admit, when i burp all i taste is seal. This was the breakfast of champions.
Food is one part of culture that goes along with language and tradition. You cannot separate food from culture, it defines who and what we are. In this case, Inuit is who we are and human is what we are. I have to admit that i never eat everything that is offered to me. i am at fault too.
I am not saying that food will make you an Inuk. Food will not turn you into anything. But the way it is consumed will decide what preference you have and that preference can tell us how much you respect and how much you enjoy being who you are.