Gastrodiplomacy—Fostering cultural understanding among countries

Gastrodiplomacy—Fostering cultural understanding among countries

In this section we will set the table for a diplomacy to help to feed a tolerance to differences and simultaneously to boost friendship and peace worldwide. Food brings people together. It is a unique medium of cultural diplomacy to increase trade, economic investment, and tourism, as well as to enhance soft power.

Interpersonal relationships are fundamental for diplomacy. Eating and drinking together strengthen people’s ties. At a nicely set table with nice food you rarely make war. We share different views and respect differences. A good dish creates a comfortable atmosphere, in which people are open-minded. This is the philosophy of Heinz Beck, a chef, who actively promotes peace through cuisine. Abraham’s table is one of the most successful activities that he initiated.

In terms of cultural exchange Gastrodiplomacy helps to build bridges. Through food you can understand culture. And when you understand the culture, the understand the people. Different cultures have different eating habits, using different ingredients. While tasting the dishes, one has an opportunity to discover culture, history and geography. Gastrodiplomacy has proven to be a suitable door to Colombian culture, fostering the interest of the Japanese in the country.

A country’s culture can also be discovered through its variety of ingredients. Peru promotes mangos, avocados and quinoa as its famous products in Japan and other countries in the world. In 2015, Peru was the first world producer and exporter of asparagus, quinoa and maca (vegetable crop). Therefore Peruvian cuisine is considered one of the best in the world. In Japan, people have a chance to taste it in a number of restaurants, during the Embassy events and other cultural celebrations.


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