Luchi

In all my years (12) of being in a Bengali family, I never knew Bengalis referred to themselves as Bong. Suddenly those early years with Kris make a lot more sense.

My in-laws recently visited and being the outstanding cook she is, my MIL made luchi:

So good. “Like eating a balloon!” I told Arlo. He ate one but enjoyed more repeating the name, “LOOCHEEEE! LOOCHEEEEEEEE!” much to Mimmi’s delight.

Mimmi has always provided food for her family, that is her domain, her job. One night, a couple of years ago, she made a huge feast for the entire family and every single person started eating before she was even in the room. Reading this list, 100 Rules of Dinner (#3), made me think of that night and the outrage I felt on her behalf. I expressed my outrage by using the words “like a bunch of animals”. It was not well received and I am not proud of my word choice but I couldn’t let what I viewed as disrespect pass silently.

Here’s what I learned from that episode: I can demand respect only for myself.

I don’t think or know really, that my MIL cares if everyone eats without her. She probably doesn’t. I can only do what I feel is right and that means waiting for the cook to sit beside me, work complete, meal shared.

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One thought on “Luchi

  1. The Indian culture and specifically Bengali traditions, dictate that the others in the family eat while the mom (the cook) served them. These days we won’t stand for things like that–but the moms felt this appreciation of their efforts by feeding the family and making sure they got enough and then some, before she touched anything. A lot of times I would see my grandmother eat the meager left overs because we had eaten all the good stuff. When I was older I protested but she always said “I get a lot more pleasure from seeing you eat what I make than from eating it myself.”

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