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It wasn’t just a pizza…

By OSMAN OZSOY - May 26 2024
It wasn’t just a pizza…

Some stories mean more than they seem. It contains both yesterday and tomorrow. It reflects emotion and logic. It mobilizes both the heart and the mind to take a heart-warming step. I heard such a story from a Lebanese friend.

The Lebanese friend’s wife and his wife’s friend go to the park together to collect grape leaves. Traditional dishes called Sarma are made from grape leaves. Since they have just arrived in the country, they cannot find it in the markets they go to. While preparing this meal, sometimes rice, sometimes bulgur, is added before the leaves are wrapped, and sometimes, it is made with meat to obtain a wonderful taste. While they were collecting leaves in the part of the park close to the road, a police vehicle approached them. The police officer, getting out of the vehicle, asked them what they were doing. Lebanese women are not good at English. They cannot say that they are collecting these leaves to cook food. They try to say something like “we are going to eat these” by putting their hands towards their mouths.

The police tell them, don’t leave, I will come back soon. When he comes back after a while, he has two pizza boxes in his hand. Here, you can eat these, he says. The police, who had never seen food made from grape leaves in his life, thought that these women were trying to satisfy their hunger by eating tree leaves. He wanted to try to feed them by offering two pizzas from his own pocket.

Look, there is so much meaning in this story…

It is impossible not to admire the heart-warming behaviour of the police. The police ordering pizza for people they do not know, thinking that they are hungry, is a very nice act that will please God. Maybe he spent money on someone else while skipping his own lunch to save some money. Let’s first note this beautiful behaviour that moisturizes our eyes.

Immigration is an issue that contains many difficulties and features. Another aspect of this issue is how food culture varies from country to country. When people migrate from one place to another, they don’t just carry their bodies. They also carry their culture, values, habits and diet.

The greater the cultural difference between the country they come from and the country they arrive at, the more difficulties they experience. While there are people who lose weight rapidly because they cannot find the diet they are used to in their new country, there are also others who gain weight rapidly due to nutritional differences. There are some people who cannot give up their eating habits wherever they go, while there are others who always want to try foods from different cultures.

I attended a program recently. One of the participants said that a friend of his who came to visit him from Mali loved the fast food here, and when he left after 2 weeks, he had to buy new clothes because they did not fit into the clothes he came with, including his shoes. I want to tell you this: Confronting differences is not always easy. It is a social duty for each of us to help those experiencing this difficulty. I think this country we live in is one of the countries that has achieved this best.

    by Osman OZSOY


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