The eighth life story in Finding home in Europe, a HOMInG book edited by L.E. Pérez Murcia and S. Bonfanti (Berghahn, 2023), is about “Sumant: The Home Recipe to Make a Move. Life Story of a Sikh Man in Britain“, by Sara Bonfanti. The author examines foodways that reveal the bifurcation in diaspora communities. Part of a disadvantaged minority in his native area, his parents’ lands were expropriated and Sumant and his brother were sent to study hotel management in Bangalore. He practised as a chef for a few years in Delhi, where he met his future wife Manjit. Desirous of a transnational move to the West, he went to Mumbai and passed a cooking trial to be recruited in London. There, he has climbed the restaurant ladder of prestige and achieved social mobility, shifting to superior restaurants and buying a property for his household. While his memories indicate profound homesickness for affective attachments and nostalgia for familiar landscapes, he is proud to partake in the British Indian diaspora by applying his cooking skills to overcome racial and class inequalities inherent in the colonial legacy of the cuisine he serves and consumes.
See the editors’ conceptual Introduction to the book here.
On the everyday life experience of Indian migrants and their descendants in the UK, see also S. Bonfanti, Welcome upon conditions: on visiting a multigenerational immigrant house(hold). In P. Boccagni, S. Bonfanti, Migration and domestic space, Springer OA, 2023. On the importance of food production and consumption for migrants to make home from away in space and time, see also Miranda-Nieto & Boccagni (2020), At home in the restaurant: Familiarity, belonging and material culture in Ecuadorian restaurants in Madrid, Sociology, 54(5), 1022–1040.
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