FORUM FOR ANTHROPOLOGY AND CULTURE

ANTROPOLOGICHESKIJ FORUM
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Antropologicheskij forum, 2020, no. 45

 

PRODUCING ETHNICITY: NARRATIVES ABOUT NATIONAL CUISINE AMONG THE AZERBAIJANIS, ARMENIANS AND GEORGIANS

Evgenia Guliaeva

The RussianMuseum of Ethnography
4/1 Inzhenernaya Str., St Petersburg, Russia
guliaevaevgenia()list.ru

Abstract: This paper is devoted to the analysis of one of the practices of reproducing ethnicity: conversations about national cuisine. Descriptions of national cuisines help articulate a person’s belonging to a certain ethnic group and serve to attribute various cultural characteristics to their “own” group and those of the “other” peoples. This article explores the ways Azerbaijanis, Armenians and Georgians living in St Petersburg think about their national cuisine. The focus of the study is on а comparison of these views as presented in semi-structured thematic interviews conducted by the author.

Respondents who identify themselves with the same ethnic group from the South Caucasus generally think about their national cuisine in a way shared by the whole group, while the selection of main dishes differs significantly among the groups of different ethnic origin. It was observed that the general principles for organizing narratives about national cuisine were the same among the different ethnic groups. This includes the basic motifs, rhetorical turns, arguments and presuppositions (among them, ideas that there is a correspondence between ethnicity and eating practices, that national cuisine should be exclusive, family meals are national, etc.). At the same time, while ethnic food is a subject of national pride for Georgians and Azerbaijanis, Armenians do not seem to appreciate their cuisine in the same way.

Keywords: national cuisine, ethnicity, Azerbaijanis, Armenians, Georgians.

To cite: Guliaeva E., ‘Proizvodstvo etnichnosti: narrativy o svoey natsionalnoy kukhne u azerbaydzhantsev, armyan i gruzin’ [Producing Ethnicity: Narratives about National Cuisine among the Azerbaijanis, Armenians and Georgians], Antropologicheskij forum, 2020, no. 45, pp. 159–186.

doi: 10.31250/1815-8870-2020-16-45-159-186

URL: http://anthropologie.kunstkamera.ru/files/pdf/045/guliaeva.pdf