Identity, Culture and Hospitality:The Lebanese Diaspora in England Ali Abdallah (University of Sunderland, UK)
Research aims• To examine the importance of identity to the Lebanese Diaspora in England and• How the Lebanese national identity (culture, tradition, and heritage) is used in the hospitality industry in England.• How the popular Lebanese cuisine and associated traditions are used by Lebanese migrants in England.
Lebanon• Resident population of 4 million• Diaspora population of 15 million• Since 1975 Lebanese out migration has gradually re-orientated towards Western Europe
Theorising Tourism and Human Mobilities• Colonial and post- colonial ties• The question of ‘home’• VFR tourism
Tourism and Diasporas• Barber’s (2001: 178) definition diasporas are: ‘communities that define themselves by reference to a distant homeland from which they once originated.’
Tourism and Diasporas• diaspora experiences of tourism;• the spaces occupied by diaspora tourists; and• the production of tourism for and by diasporic communities.• Diaspora identities are creolised or hybridised…
Tourism and Diasporas in a Mobile World • Williams and Hall (2002: 2) have• How do migrants re- noted that while the tourism- engage their host migration interface stretches back to at least the Grand Tour, ‘there countries? are new forms of mobility which were unimaginable a generation• The politics of earlier … the young Pole visiting affiliation for Germany on a tourist visa, but paying for his or her trip by taking Diasporas… casual work and petty trading…’
Sport, Tourism and Diaspora Populations• diasporic communities can lead to the production of new forms of tourism as they become visited themselves by residents of the original ‘homeland’
Events, Tourism and Diasporas• Or, they may take the form of engaging with specific events targeted specifically at them…• a diasporic population helps to support the serious development of outbound tourism
The Lebanese Diaspora• The contemporary use of the term Lebanese diaspora embraces different senses of exile.• Humphrey (2004) explains that the present self- consciousness of the Lebanese diaspora was brought into existence by the displacement of people by the Lebanese war.• Humphrey (2004) then argues that the Lebanese diasporic experience is the product of national disintegration and the destruction of social worlds and their experience of resettlement in migration.
The Lebanese Diaspora• Abdelhady (2007):• Lebanese migrants are mostly highly educated professionals who pursue goals of educational and economic improvements in their new settings.• They want to separate themselves from other migrant groups but desire participation within the host community.
The Lebanese Diaspora• Abdelhady (2007) further clarifies that notions of solidarity, democracy and rights are central to many members of the Lebanese diaspora and thus, an emphasis on cosmopolitan citizenship informs their participation in public activities.• Kemp (1992: 685) argues that many Lebanese migrants consider western countries such as Canada, America and Britain to be the ultimate land of settlement, a place where their children can have a decent future.
Lebanese Diaspora and “Exoticness”• Naff (1988, 175) describes how foreign language was sometimes a barrier for Lebanese immigrants. Here is an example of barriers that faced Lebanese migrants:• - “a woman peddler reported how an American lady once slammed the door in her face saying, “I’m sorry.” The peddler was puzzled; she was trying to sell the lady who instead wanted from her ‘msory’ meaning money in Arabic.• - A woman trying to convince a customer was heard mixing English and Arabic saying: “Buy sumthin’, ya [Oh] Laydee wil [and the] husban’ dead. Six chil’ren, ya Laydee, oo mafish [and there is no] bread. Buy sumthin’, ya Laydee, bleeze *please+”
Lebanese Diaspora and “Exoticness”• “Exoticness” in the cuisine: the “exoticness” of the Lebanese cuisine is demonstrated by Abdelrahman’s (2007) simple statement: “just when diners think they’ve had enough, the main dish is served”, “when you say you’re full, FOOL *Lebanese dish+ is served” and “when you say you’ve had enough they think your shy and simply re-top your plate”. The author provides the latter statement as a reason for why the Lebanese cuisine is constantly growing and further states “as for Lebanese restaurants; their place at the heart of the culinary establishment looks set only to strengthen”.
Food and the Lebanese Diaspora• Saad (2011) argues that Lebanon’s cuisine is deeply rooted in its history and enjoys a great reputation worldwide.• He further suggests that the Lebanese food industry is highly valued by European and American consumers.
Food and the Lebanese Diaspora• Khechen (2007) consequently suggesting that the Lebanese cuisine provides a real experience of the traditional Lebanon without individuals having to visit the country itself.• He further suggests that the Lebanese cuisine is simultaneously a means of unification and a symbol of separation.
Small Businesses and the Lebanese Diaspora• Adbulrahim (2009) explores how Lebanese immigrants come to be incorporated into small business enterprises, analysing the factors that encourage Lebanese migrants to establish small businesses.• He shows how social capital manifested among Lebanese immigrants in the form of having access to resource-rich social relationships.
Hospitality and the Lebanese Diaspora• Moallem (2000) in-turn argues that Lebanese Hospitality is evident through small and medium enterprises in the shape of cafes, restaurants and snack bars.• Rowe (2008) through field research in various Lebanese villages, describes how the memories of subtle differences abound and survive through recipes passed down in family lines.
Hospitality and the Lebanese Diaspora• Rowe (2008) argues that the diversity in village food ways has given way to acknowledging a more generic and flexible “Lebanese cuisine” in the diaspora.• Shryock (2000) argues that as Lebanese food is used in restaurants for profit reasons, the “real” ingredients are not being used for dishes in order to cut costs.
Hospitality and the Lebanese Diaspora• Belly-dancing and • http://www.youtube.co “dabki”: a cultural m/watch?v=Tjz_93zybk Identity for Lebanese Y migrants?
Conclusions• The body and desire: Smoking, eating and dancing as signifing national identity for the diaspora.