Do you still hold onto those childhood memories of you eating your favorite food? Do you still remember how eager you were to visit your grandmother because of that sensational bowl of soup or meat? You will associate your favorite childhood foods with your close family ties and memories if you look back in time. Today, we meet Suleman Raza, the CEO of Spice Village Group, president of Grand Sapphire Hotels, and owner of Team Mirpur Royals in the Kashmir Premier League. Suleman shares how the food of every region tells a thousand tales about its people.
Suleman Raza grew up like any other Pakistan child, with ambitions of making it in life one day. He arrived in Britain and looked for an opportunity that would help him flourish both personally and professionally. He later discovered his true passion lay in restaurants. “I felt that it was time to create an identity of Pakistan cuisine and spice in the UK,” says the 2019 Curry King of the Year award winner. “I felt the urge to share, to the entire world, stories of Pakistani culture using cuisine.”
“Culturally speaking, food is very important and provides that nostalgic connection to our family and nation,” Suleman adds. Suleman believes food can bridge a vital gap that helps immigrants find their place in a new society.
Suleman Raza further opines that food is a critical part of cultural heritage. “Imagine a Pakistani mother who migrated to Britain and ends up teaching her children and grandchildren who have never been to Pakistan how to make authentic Pakistani food,” he says. Food is capable of maintaining connections with our distant connections and heritage.
“There exist various types of habits in relation with how you associate with food depending on your culture,” Suleman adds. He explains that, for instance, in some cultures, it is common to use your hands, yet it is considered rude in other places. In some cultures, finishing food is always regarded as polite and respectful, while others see this as a sign that you haven’t had enough to eat.
It is more liberal-minded to consider and respect other people’s cultures. Not all of us view our various cultures from the same angle. Always be proud of your culture.