Sazza Dahal/ Conexión San Ángelo 

Dahal is an Angelo State University, majoring in international business 

SAN ANGELO – I was at IHOP several years ago with my boyfriend Andreas, whom I had just started dating. I wasn’t particularly hungry but he was starving, so he ordered a set of pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausages and coffee. I was still getting accustomed to the large portion of food sizes in America (what sort of rationality is it to believe that all food was the right amount of food to serve one person, let alone for one serving)? 

What I had not gotten used to was Americans don’t like to share their food. In Nepal, where I come from, every meal is a family style meal; no matter who you’re sitting down to eat with. Sharing is an intricate part of the culture. So, I casually took half of one of his pancakes and placed it on my plate and started eating. I wasn’t even hungry, but I wanted to try all variety of heavenly syrups that IHOP had to offer. As I reached out for his pancake and started to cut it in half, he froze for a second with his fork halfway to his mouth and looked at me like I was taking one of his kidneys from him!

He continued to stare at me as I tried various pancake syrups. He snorted out a laugh, shook his head, then asked, “What was that?” I realized at that point the absurdity of how Americans would rather throw away their food in the trash than share it. We googled how much food is wasted in America and according to the U.S Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection, as much as 40 percent of food produced in America is thrown away, which is about 31 million tons of food each year. Coming from a third world country, I recognize how the amount of food wasted each day in America could feed the entire population of Nepal for a day and more. 

It was a pleasant exchange of cultural perspectives Andreas and I had that day. Since then, let’s just say that we share food, box our leftovers (even the free breadsticks from Olive Garden) and make it a point to adapt the value of sharing in our lives with our friends and family. 

My name is Sazza Dahal, and currently I am an international student at Angelo State University. While San Angelo and ASU have been my home for the past three years, I was born and raised in Nepal.

In conclusion, while sharing is an important part of our culture, I have finally started to get over the cultural shock of how Americans have a different mindset when it comes to sharing their food.

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