The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Kamilla Kocsis '23 RGLP Reflection

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Adaptability, to me, means adjusting to new environments and situations while still keeping true to the essence of the self. For a cultural context, I thought of the My Thai Vegan Cafe we went to in Boston. In my culture, veganism and vegetarianism is looked at as a burden and as the person choosing to be difficult. Hungarian cuisine has meat in most dishes and preparing food in an altered way can be read as a burden or as non-traditional to the culture. However, seeing an entire restaurant that is not only vegan but also offers such a wide range of dishes and especially within a different cultural context, I thought it was a perfect example of adaptability. Every dish is vegan at the cafe, but they also all taste and look the same as the non-vegan versions. The existence of the restaurant proves that adapting to the culture of a city setting where there are likely to be vegan and vegetarian customers does not mean the food has to lose its cultural ties. This realization connects to the greater lesson I learned this term in RGLP: culture and traditions are important to a person’s heritage, but the way they are practiced and portrayed can be adaptable without having to change the core of the values. With that, I hope my own culture can adapt in similar ways to be more accepting of people with different palates and dietary preferences.

 

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