This thesis explores the meanings of food, and dietary practices in Hindu Indian culture. A major goal of this study entailed finding out the everyday meanings of Indian food in the lives of Hindu Indian students at the College of Wooster. Data collected from interviews indicated that one's socioeconomic status, and religious practices influenced informants' view of food, eating practices, and dietary customs. Additional forces such as westernization and the decline of traditional eating practices in informants' lives have also shaped meanings of food. A second goal of this study entailed finding out whether foods eaten at an Indian festival, such as the Diwali festival at the College of Wooster, had more of a significance to Indian students than foods consumed on an everyday basis. Data collected for this part of the thesis involved engaging in participant observation at the Babcock Dorm's Diwali festival at the College of Wooster, and interviewing the same ten Indian informants as mentioned above. Findings revealed that food had many meanings to Hindu students. Further research on this topic might involve studying the meaning of foods used specifically in religious ceremonies.


Kardulias, P. Nicholas


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 2150

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© Copyright 1997 Allison M. Wu