Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Lost in food translation: Khmer food culture from Cambodia to Long Beach, California
by Prajapati, Nikita, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2016, 82; 10147311
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis research examines changes in food culture as a means of adaptation for Cambodians, who migrated to Long Beach, California after the Cambodian genocide (1975- 1979). This research examines how “place,” defined as experience and neighborhood, influences the ability or desire to maintain certain cultural food practices of the homeland such as passing down the knowledge to the Cambodian younger generation in order to sustain their cultural heritage. An array of qualitative methods was employed for this thesis research which included participant observation, structured interviews, and semi-structured interviews in both Cambodia and Long Beach. For the older Cambodian generation, adaptation of their food culture has occurred through home gardens, shopping at Asian markets in the Long Beach area, and importing certain dried ingredients from Cambodia. The translation of the Khmer food culture transpires when the Cambodian youth takes an interest and they watch their parent(s) prepare the meals. Overall, their place of residence and the willingness to travel a certain distance to shop were influencing factors for Cambodians in the Long Beach area in terms of what types of meals they prepared which included dishes from Asian influences in the surrounding area.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Dallman, Suzanne
Commitee: Carter, Norman, Thien, Deborah
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Geography
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 56/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Asian American Studies, Geography, South Asian Studies
Keywords: Cambodian, Cultural sustainability, Food culture, Genocide, Khmer, Long beach, Place
Publication Number: 10147311
ISBN: 9781369025361
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