Traditional Dietary Culture Of S: Its Formation and Pedigree

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In more recent times, maintaining social support networks have become even more important for older people in depopulated rural villages because reliable support from younger family members can no longer be taken for granted. The Okinawan elderly have found ways to enhance interdependence among themselves through friendships and associations. Informal visiting, sharing of work tasks, reciprocal exchanges of gifts, information and other items help to create tight-knit communities that form strong social ties and supportive relationships between the elderly.

Some additional unique cultural practices are listed below:. One cultural tradition that has encouraged supportive relationships is forming a moai. A moai is an informal group of people who meet regularly, share common interests, and support each other. For some, this allows for a high level of social integration. A good example of this is the Basho-fu weaving of Ogimi village in northern Okinawa.

In this unique style of weaving, the time and labor-intensive process of cleaning the fibers and spooling the thread is performed mainly by groups of older women. In addition to providing social opportunities, it allows these women to be respected and active members of the local economy as well as supplement their income Willcox et al. The interconnected role of religion, spirituality, aging and health in the lives of older Okinawan women has yet to be adequately explored, but likely plays another important role in their remarkable health.

Okinawa remains the only contemporary society in which women actually lead the mainstream, publicly funded religion. When compared to other ethnic populations in human genetic databases, analysis showed that Okinawans cluster strongly with East Asians with little outside mixture Bendjilali et al. These data support the hypothesis that Okinawans, while related to Japanese and Chinese are also genetically distinct.

Genetics has long been a focus of the OCS. Longevity is a complex trait and to survive another 15 or more years beyond the average, people may need a relatively rare, or exceptional combination of environmental, behavioral and genetic factors, and that many of these factors run in families. Okinawans have traditionally married within their own villages and geographic isolation has limited gene inflow resulting in less genetic variability in Okinawans that in other Japanese Bendjilali et al. These factors can favor clustering of genetic variants, leading to extreme phenotypes, such as longevity Willcox et al.

Historically, genetic research in this area relied upon studies utilizing identical and fraternal twins. Other twin studies have also come up with estimates in the percent range McGue et al. The OCS performed the first study of candidate human longevity genes and found that Okinawan in their 90s and centenarians had higher prevalence of anti-inflammatory type-2 human leukocyte antigen HLA alleles and a lower prevalence of pro-inflammatory alleles Takata et al.

Regarding genetic factors and longevity, in , OCS investigators performed the first extensive study of centenarian pedigrees, finding more longevity among siblings in centenarian families than control families. Two decades later, with an enlarged data set, OCS investigators found that cumulative survival advantages for the centenarian sibling cohort increased over the life span such that female centenarian siblings had a 2. Today, the OCS continues its important research into longevity.


The importance of our work is underscored by the recent changes in Okinawa, which have adversely affected healthy human aging. The younger generations are straying from the traditional diet in favor of processed and fast foods high in sodium and saturated fats. Traffic jams have become a regular aspect of island life as locals increasingly rely on cars for transportation, undercutting their physical activity. Nonetheless, healthy aging is achievable and Okinawa provides ample evidence and lessons for exceptional longevity. Whether or not future generations of elderly continue the trend towards reduced disability and an extended health expectancy may well depend upon the lifestyle choices that individuals make in mid-life or earlier, particularly in diet and exercise.

These gains will be coupled with the investments in preventive medicine, public health infrastructure and long-term care that societies make in the coming decades. To this end, the OCS is committed to generating research aimed at promoting healthy human aging. While owners of these places are locals, the common names I observed as well as the outlook of their architecture had some resemblances distinguished mostly by locality and ownership. Both male and female locals have ownership of the spaces, and in some cases, this appeared to some extent to determine the naming patterns as shall be discussed below.

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The physical space location of the lodge or restaurant was noted to be the most distinguishing factor with ownership varying significantly. The following are some of the place names. Beyond offering restaurant facilities, hiring out of basic catering services are also offered for weddings and other gatherings, which may be staged far removed from their physical locality.

What Do they eat, Finnish food, naturally

Nonalcoholic beverages are also served with the said meals. The irony, however, lies in which the poultry-centered meals served are mostly based on foreign menus with Italian, French, and Greek as well as American being much popular. Physical location of the spaces was generally observed to be within the central business districts of the towns or cities. Meals are mixed, with African traditional meals making the bulk of the dishes served, however, at the backdrop of a bar. The central aspect, however, is the food, where traditional meals and menus are used.

Alcoholic beverages are also served, mostly beer. Revelers participate in self-entertainment especially in as far as music provision is concerned as much of it is played from their vehicles. There is no doubt that Africans believe extensively and express their totemic connections. One, therefore, reads a systematic as well as deliberate choice of designing, constructing, and naming of the places and spaces not only to reveal the village concept, but also to market the place using a great deal of the dictates of the African heritage.

Hence, not only has the village been reconstructed and economized, but its values also such as totems, modes of relations, and communications are molded deliberately to bring economic value to owners of the spaces as well as the urban community at large. Hence, owners of these spaces deliberately name them ridding heavily on traditional relationships as bound up within and by the village concept.

To reveal aspects of traditional African architecture characterizing the new spaces and how these have been enriched, an appeal to the structures is worthwhile. Hence, the physical structures marking the spaces are important. In terms of the roof, again wooden poles are used and they are grass thatched.

In modern spaces, the same concept as shown in Figure 1 is also being used where grass thatched buildings but now in brick and cement walls are now the common feature see Figure 2a and b.

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The shape or designs of the buildings are conical, and the roofs are grass thatched as exemplified in Figure 2a and b. One sees dotted huts within the physical spaces where the lodges have been built.

Alternative Name

The rooms are also named rather than numbered after either game or totems. This represents much of the traditional African village and its surroundings. Second, the food served involves traditional meats, insects, grasses, and vegetables. Utensils used are wooden symbolizing much of the African village practices on food consumption. One has a sense of the natural ambience and for Africans such set-ups trigger nostalgia. Furthermore, entertainment provided in the same spaces as well as the general ambient reflects African traditions as well.

Traditional music, dances, and performances are organized for revelers especially in lodges and those restaurants located at the outskirts of towns and cities. These three characteristics enrich the buildings and their names chosen as the spaces named should have characteristics that support the totality of that which is found in a traditional village.

The reconstruction of the African village is, thus, observed from a number of fronts. First, there is a deliberate designing and construction of the new spaces. While traditionally poles were used, due to advances in technology, modern bricks, and cement are now being used for walling. However, the roofing is made up of treated poles and is grass thatched. The processes involved in upholding the architecture under discussion reveal costs implications at the same time bringing about some economic activities involved in the construction and maintenance of such spaces.

To exemplify this, we note that suppliers of food stuffs to be prepared such as insects, traditional grasses and vegetables , meats, and so on have taken an economic drive.

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During the construction phases themselves, the grass is bought, and treated tree poles are supplied and used with modern building materials such as cement and bricks to create an African ambient. Traditional dance groups as well as musicians of traditional music such as mbira all participate for a fee. While we read culture and heritage being displayed and consumed, the same culture and heritage has been economized through a reconstruction of the African village in such a manner that locals have found economic opportunities from selling their culture, this time not only to foreigners as tourists but also to their own kin.

Visiting such spaces for local revelers is like a journey back to the village from which the pressures of the urban landscape are quenched. Colonialism witnessed a huge influx of Africans migrating to the cities for economic reasons [ 6 ]. Such migrations with time resulted in Africans having to move between the city and rural home quiet frequently. As it were,. But even those who spent their entire working life in the city intended eventually to return to their hometowns.

This is reflected in the visits that many of the more permanent migrants made to the village, usually around Christmas.

traditional dietary culture of Southeast Asia

In some cases, there is a total disconnection of some Zimbabweans from their rural homes especially under circumstances where none of their parents are surviving who in most cases are the elderly who may have retired to their rural homes. Hence, visiting newly created villages in the cities is thus in some cases symbolic journeys to their villages as well as their past. Further engaging the above, Saidi [ 30 ] observed that,.

Given that Africans have for long battled with cultural erosion and identity crisis, African people exhibit and continue to reflect effects of spiritual tension with their culture and environment. This reflects a great deal of aspects of heritage conservation, which is being done architecturally.

Repackaging “Traditional” Architecture of the African Village in Zimbabwe

Heritage can be both tangible and intangible, and there is a thin line that divides the two. Tangible heritage refers to the material objects that are seen or those that can be touched. From the above submission, the architecture of the new spaces discussed above has become the pivot for the tangible and intangible heritage more so that the traditional village concept has come to be conserved in a unique way and continues to be used in contemporary times.

They say that,. The past offers growth recourses for the future through the knowledge gained. In this case, the future should recognize the past value offering identity of those who use and transmit knowledge. To ignore the past, the vernacular knowledge of a place means to waste resources knowledge of a place.

For Zimbabwe, therefore, the vernacular architecture has come to play this conservation role of culture as the landscape heavily came under construction within terrains far removed from natural sites where international legislature may force the country to protect the landscape. Shetabi [ 32 ] points out that built heritage has an important role to play in them expressing tangible and intangible values.

In other words, buildings, based on their architecture, names and objects therein, are visual links to the past, revealing how communities evolve socially, technologically, and culturally. The above discussed buildings and spaces are proof to this line of thinking in Zimbabwe. Feedback Please let us know what you think of our products and services. Give Feedback.

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