Sharing is Caring

Sharing is Caring

The never ending plate of food…

Being married into an Indian family for over a decade has introduced me to some wonderful cultural traditions. These are no doubt rooted firmly from some of the many religion’s in India. In Islam the concept of sharing is at the heart of our faith. Qurbani is a ritual sacrifice and is divided between family, the local community and the less fortunate. There are also many etiquettes around sharing food such as not sleeping while your neighbours are hungry

My dear mother in law told me, if someone is kind enough to send you food never return the container or plate empty. Our neighbours are Indian Sikh & Polish Christian. Aunty from next door is such a lovely lady and a Sikh vegetarian so when I cook veg food I try to send some over. The plate or container I send to her always comes back full with something tantalising such as deep filled giant Punjabi samosas or crispy hot bhajis.

We seem to be losing the community spirit, due to our busy lives and often long and unsociable working hours we just dont get the time to see our family or friends, let alone drop in on our neighbours. A result of this is the rising issue of loneliness in our society today. I recently watched a video on Facebook, a lady burst into tears as she said she went days without speaking to anyone.

Here are some scary facts –

Two fifths of all older people (about 3.9 million) say the television is their main company (Age UK, 2014)

63% of adults aged 52 or over who have been widowed, and 51% of the same group who are separated or divorced report, feeling lonely some of the time or often (Beaumont, 2013)

17% of older people are in contact with family, friends and neighbours less than once a week and 11% are in contact less than once a month (Victor et al, 2003)

Source – https://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org/loneliness-research/

Wouldn’t it be nice to ‘pay it forward’ by sending and receiving plates of food? Sharing little plates of love to increase the love and solidarity in our local community. Maybe next time you can cook a little extra and share with family, friends or even strangers, hopefully insha’Allah community spirit would be increased ten fold.

So here is the challenge… prepare and send a plate of food to your neighbours at least once a month. The ideas are endless, a whole roast dinner, tray of lasagne or a batch of brownies. You could also add a nice note. Let me know what you cook and how you get on!

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10 Replies to “Sharing is Caring”

  1. You know it’s sad, I remember my dad telling me he hadn’t spoken to another human being for over 24 hours … I usually would call him daily on Skype, but my Wi-Fi was out & when I did get to speak to him, he was so sad! 😦 made me realise how just a little hello from a neighbour can brighten your whole day & this is such a good idea to give a gift of food! Sometimes we don’t realise how such a small gesture can really mean a lot! ❤ this idea!

  2. Scary yet true…in this fast moving life….we are forgetting many basic things….like the idea of pay it forward….this is a reminder post….thank you for sharing…

  3. We seem to be losing the community spirit….most definitely. But sometimes our neighbours are hard to please too…..take my elderly next door lady…… “oh I don’t eat sweet stuff due to diabetes’……’Oh I don’t like spicy food’…..she didn’t say anything to me but once said to dad when he came to visit ‘don’t be offended but I don’t like the smell of your cooking’…….back then I worked and would only cook like once a week as mum often gave us curry. I ended up giving up.

  4. It’s a good idea to expand your community and diversify your activities- irrespective of your age. I have quite a few friends in their late 70s who are very active in the community. They are all avid readers and are such an asset for the book lover community.

  5. There definitely is a dire need to rekindle community spirit and this is such a lovely idea to do it!

    I also feel we should encourage our elders (actually everyone) to step out and engage in other healthy activities; it could be gardening, visiting a relative, friend or a neighbour or even just a walk can do wonders for ones physical, mental and emotional health. TV often becomes a habit and then it’s forgotten that there is a real world out there ready to be explored. Thanks for sharing!

  6. This is such a good reminder. We have grown up with neighbours who have been so giving and my mum has always encouraged us to do so. my younger sis is really good at sharing her food with neighbours and she has built such good relationships just by looking out for them. Always inspired by that. I have tried doing it here in Saudi but not always consistent so I do like your once a month challenge. Everyone’s always giving in ramadan but it would be nice to look out for neighbors in different parts of the year too.

  7. Your post is so timely! I was just reading Little House on the Prairie books again. Those were a simpler time and “neighbors” lived far apart. However, they still visited and helped each other. I was swooning over that lifestyle. We should do the best we can to bring the community spirit back! 🙂

  8. It is very difficult these days to find time to connect…we are all so busy drowing in our own world, but food is such a brilliant way to get relationships started! My mom says the same thing about dabbas and not returning them empty. So i try 🙂

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