For Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) alum Ms. Jasmin Choi, food is a “great unifier,” allowing people from different cultures to pay homage to their home countries, share stories, and connect as a community. This celebration of cultural diversity is at the core of Ms. Choi’s recent project, To Eat, To Travel, To Share, a multicultural cookbook created in partnership with the Welcome Project, a local organization serving immigrant communities around Boston.
As an immigrant, food has always been a way for Ms. Choi to connect with her culture. “When I came to the United States at 10 years old, food was a great comfort for me because it reminded me of home,” she says. “Helping to prepare meals was the only thing I felt I could participate in that was a tribute to my culture in a more profound way than simply speaking the language.”
With funding from Activist Bucks, a micro-grant program sponsored by the Activist Lab at BUSPH, Ms. Choi worked with 20 high school students who volunteer with the Welcome Project to compile the multicultural cookbook. All of the students grew up in immigrant households speaking a language other than English. The students were excited to be part of the project, Ms. Choi says, because it was an opportunity to give back to their communities while also learning more about their own cultures and the foods they had been preparing and eating their entire lives.
“With this project, I wanted to show that people can relate to one another on different levels of culture and that everyone has their own cultural significance,” Ms. Choi says. “I want this cookbook to be seen as a sign of respect for other cultures, as well as a symbol for the power of sharing our stories with others.”Friday Letter Submission, Publish on December 13