Foreign culture, foods, traditions make us better

Abraham Villarreal
3 min readApr 26, 2021
Photo by Adli Wahid on Unsplash

There is a popular YouTube series called Tribal People Eat. In each episode, villagers from Punjab, located in the north of India bordering Pakistan, try American-based food items they consider interesting and sometimes just plain weird.

The Punjab villagers, mostly men, wear traditional dress, often kurtas which are long, loose, collarless shirts made out of silk or cotton, as well as turban headpieces. Their colorful attire is only second to the entertaining ways that they describe their food-eating experiences.

I love watching Tribal People Eat because the modest and humble Punjab people are honest in their interpretations of what Americans must be thinking when they come up with ideas such as fast-food hamburgers, mashed potatoes, Jello, and Little Debbie snacks.

To us, these everyday comfort foods are reminders of corporate America and the geniuses of yesteryear who created food for the working man and woman. To the villagers, they are something else.

In one episode, the villagers try whipped cream from a bottle. They marvel at how such a texture can come out of a long and narrow metal container. Once they learn how to spray out the whipped confection, they become just like we do when we were kids. They are all smiles and have fun enjoying their new experience.

The villagers try fried chicken, donuts with sprinkles, New York style cheesecake, and a traditional American breakfast of bacon and eggs. During each experience, they try to figure us out as people — our creativity, our eating habits, our reasons for choosing ingredients. No matter what they try, they show appreciation for how and why we decide what we eat. These people that look and sound so different than you and me, always give us the benefit of the doubt.

I would like to think that Americans would do the same in our approaches to trying new things. Often, we are content in believing that the American way is the superior way. Nothing beats an old-fashioned hamburger and strawberry malt because we made it, and that makes it better than whatever else is out…

Abraham Villarreal

People are interesting. I write about them and what makes them interesting.