Is the American Culture missing something when it comes to hospitality? There are lessons in African hospitality that we need to dwell on for Americans are missing an essential ingredient.
Matt Woodley shares with us in his article An Essential Ingredient that not long ago, a friend from Togo said to me while eating dinner,
Another friend, a man from Kenya, chimed in: “In my country, the dinner table might be set for six, but the invitees are expected to bring others at the last minute. It is very rude to not welcome all with open arms. If the host grumbles, people would consider him a bad man.” His wife added, “And no matter how many guests eventually show up, we make the food stretch.”
I couldn’t hide my amazement. I’ve grown accustomed to sharing meals—and life in general—in such a rushed, regimented way that it’s hard to build deep friendships. But with my three African friends, I lingered at the table as we shared a juicy garlic-roasted chicken; a side dish of rice bursting with cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves; and slices of steaming fried plantains. The unusual combination of smells and tastes nearly overwhelmed my senses, which were accustomed to much blander fare.
After spending three hours leisurely talking and eating, I began to question every cultural assumption I had about food and wondered what I’d been missing out on…….. continue reading the rest of the article here