Somewhere in the cobbled town of Saumur with a view of the Château and a band of faceless strangers, I wailed for rice. It was my first day as a Filipina immigrant in France. My French partner, who was just as tired from our long flight and jam-packed train ride, asked me what was wrong. Between sobs, I could only say I needed rice. I was bent down, crying and hugging my knees, because the black hole in my stomach felt twice as big with each breath. I cried because I was in an unfamiliar land that smelled only of baguette and pain au chocolat. I cried because seven thousand miles now separated me from my homeland. I cried because inside my luggage was a one-liter rice cooker that my dad had carefully packed for me, because we both knew from then on that I would have to cook and...
Kitchenlessness, or The Migrant’s Affair with Food
Gema Charmaine Gonzales is a second-year doctoral student in General and Comparative Literature at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle—Paris 3. Before moving to France, she was a full-time French lecturer in the University of the Philippines Diliman. Her dissertation focuses on gastropoetics as an expression of resistance in postcolonial literatures by Southeast Asian women. She applies a multidisciplinary approach that encompasses the fields of postcolonial feminism, food studies, literary anthropology, and Southeast Asian studies.
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Gema Charmaine Gonzales; Kitchenlessness, or The Migrant’s Affair with Food. Gastronomica 1 May 2021; 21 (2): 71–72. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2021.21.2.71
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