Why ‘ese ne tekrema’?

Making simple delicious Burmese food with Myo Myo

This is me just after my recent cooking course with Myo Myo in the small town of Nyaungshwe on the banks of Inle Lake in Myanmar (Burma). If I look rather pleased with myself it’s because I was. Within three hours of jumping on the back of Myo Myo’s motor bike we had been to the local market, chosen fresh ingredients for our lunch and created five simple but delicious dishes. Most importantly I’d learnt more about the local culture, food production methods and cooking techniques and preferences than I had in the previous three weeks – and I’d made a new friend!

And so the idea for ‘ese ne tekrema’ was born. The name comes directly from my recent work with colleagues who have introduced me to the language of the Adrinka – a series of symbols that represent concepts or aphorisms used extensively in fabrics and pottery among the Ashanti peoples in the beautiful West African country of Ghana – and my long standing love of cookery and the belief that good food, ethically produced and made with soul, has the potential to connect people and places in ways that academic research and writing (my ‘day job’) often struggles to do. The Adrinka symbols have a decorative function but they also represent objects that encapualate evocative messages. Ese ne tekrema – the teeth and the tongue – is the Adrinka symbol of friendship and interdependence. The teeth and the tongue play independent roles in the mouth. They may come into conflict but they also need to work together for the benefit of both and of the whole.

Ese ne tekrema – the Adrinka symbol for friendship and interdependence

This website and blog represent my attempt to find new ways of connecting ideas about migration, mobility and our common humanity through sharing food-related ideas, recipes and experiences, exploring how the activities associated with good food – growing, harvesting, selling, cooking, eating and sharing – connect us to people, places and moments in time outside the constraints of borders and boundaries. Indeed good food and friendship often challenges border and boundaries, refusing to comply with them.

Food brings people together on so many different levels. It’s nourishment of the soul and body. It’s truly love.

Giada De Laurentiis

I’m not sure how these ideas might develop and grow so if you want to connect with thoughts and suggestions of own just drop me a line. I’m always on the look out for ‘fellow travellers’ to work with!

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