Чакраборты Диптопал -
‘Multiple Temporalities” and History of Culinary Practices in Urban Bengal
Прикладная и междисциплинарная история
This paper aims to illuminate the relationship between the history of food and time. For a long time, social scientists treated 'time' as an important aspect for understanding and analyzing different social activities and through time this concept became more complex in nature. The chronological understanding of time negotiated with the concept of the multiplicity of time and social scientists tried to use this concept of ‘time’ as an important aspect of their projects. As in the same attempt, this project has tried to situate the concept of time as an important analytical tool while discovering the food ‘histories' of India, or more specifically of Bengal. In this attempt, this paper has strived to explore the complex social structure of Bengal related with the food histories and practices. Furthermore, the author has manoeuvred to explain the role of different actors in this process by locating their relations with different temporalities. Also, an effort has been devoted to tracing the relations between the social formation of contemporary Bengal society and food practices, specifically those linked with the restaurants of Bengal. Which has explained their unique relationships with time which will be important for understanding the concept of ‘multiple temporalities’. This paper also aimed to discuss different trajectories in relation to the food traditions of Bengal, where the narratives of the consumers have differed from the narratives of the restaurant's owners. These differences not only in the culinary practices but also in the differently structured temporalities have defined the complex process of ‘time' remembrance and to their formulation in relation to the food traditions of Bengal. Finally, this paper has attempted to fill the gap between time and food for understanding the complex social intricacies of Bengal and to place the concept of 'multiple temporalities' as a pivotal theory for understanding the culinary practices of India.