The Filipino Kamayan Culture
Have you ever tried eating with your bare hands? Or even better, have you tried eating with your whole family with the food laid out on a banana leaf with only your hand?
Using our hands instead of utensils is believed to allow us to better connect with our food in a deeply and uniquely Filipino way.
The Filipino Community
Kamayan embodies the sense of community. Eating together from the food laid out in a banana leaf creates a strong sense of togetherness with those who shares the feast and evoke feelings of pride for their Filipino heritage.
In a Kamayan way of eating in a celebration, it is best experienced with good food. The selection of food is mostly dependent on the season and the place of the celebration. Staples in a communal feast are rice, red eggs, and tomatoes.
In areas near beaches, seafoods are the main attraction—crabs, shrimps, lobsters, seashells and so much more. During summer season, a side of watermelons are the best.
At the inner parts of the country, barbecues and fried foods are served—pork or chicken barbecue, inihaw na tilapia, inihaw na hito, fried tilapia, fried chicken, and daing, are what you can usually see served at the feast.
You can also find soupy dishes like sinigang, nilaga, and kare-kare but this is rarely done because it is quite messy for eating in a kamayan set up. On special occasions, you can see pancit, lumpia, lechon, and kakanin.
The Filipino experience can be more fun by trying some of the native practices and norms. What other Filipino norms and culture do you think should be more appreciated? Share with us in the comments below!
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