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Advantage of Online Booking Reservation in Hotel Establishment

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INTRODUCTION Food culture is multi-faceted, influenced by a number of factors, of which the main ones are presented and briefly explained in this chapter. Examples are given for better understanding and appreciation of how a factor could affect the foodways of a population group or area. One factor may have more impact on bringing about changes than other factors. Each has varying degrees and extent of influences that makes cultural foods around the world interesting and challenging to the readers and culinary afficionados.
Geographical Location The geographical location of a country determines the kind of climate it has throughout the year. Also, its neighboring countries and bodies of water (ocean or sea) influence the available food added to foods inherent in its culture. An example is the African continent: North African nations with coastal lines of the Mediterranean Sea have common foodways with Greeks, Italians and other nations that also get food sources from this sea. Another example is about countries in the tropical belt, having fruits that cannot grow in wintry areas of the world. Thus, what are exotic to the non-tropical countries are common and cheap in tropical countries. Conversely, grapes, berries, and different varieties of apples imported to the tropical countries are expensive. While climate is one of the factors in the study of geography, its impact on cultural foods is very significant and is further elaborated in the next section.
Different types of climates and vegetation divide the world into distinct natural regions: the polar regions are always cold and dry and few plants can survive. The temperate regions have mild winter days and some hot dry summers with some cooler, wetter climates in certain nations. Thus, such varying seasons of the year can grow a wide variety of produce suitable for each clime. Tropical regions or zones that are wet, humid and warm most of year, have abundant vegetation. Nations in the typhoon belt could experience the devastating effects of floods, winds, and heavy rains on their crops and other produce. Such disasters may also affect the bodies of water that provide fishes and other marine foods. To date, the lowest temperature ever recorded was at Antartica on July 21, 1983 at minus 129 degrees Farenheit. The highest temperature on record happened at Libya on September 13, 1999 at 136 degrees Farenheit! The lowest rainfall occurs in Chile almost every year averaging 0.3 inch, compared to the highest amount of rain every year in Hawaii (Mt. Waialeale) at 460 inches.
This term refers to the kind of terrain, such as mountain ranges, fertile valleys, thick forests, rivers and lakes surrounding the islands. An example is Europe, which is the smallest continent in the Northern Hemisphere. The Ural Mountains from the boundary with Asia to the east and on the other three sides are seas. With plenty of coastline, fishes provide cheap food sources that are also imported to other nations who lack them. India is the largest country in the southern hemisphere and is a flat plateau with some mountain ranges on its east and west coasts. A neighboring country, Bangladesh, is often affected by the annual monsoon. Indonesia is composed of hundreds of tropical islands, subject to severe earthquakes and volcano eruptions. Noteworthy is the tsunami disaster of December 2004 that claimed lives as well as significant catastrophic loss of food sources.
Current knowledge depends on existing documents or records about aborigines or natives before foreigners came. The latter are invaders, colonizers, and traders who brought with them food and cooking tools among other artifacts, language, clothing and fashion, arts, etc. Permanent settlers or immigrants added to the native population of a country. An example is the Philippines that had its aborigines and native people; but the Chinese, Indian, and other Southeast Asian neighbors came for trading. The Spanish colonization for almost four centuries, followed by the American regime in the early 1900s, and the Japanese occupation during World War II are the major influences that added to the native foodways of the Filipinos. Another example is West Africa with mixed influences from Portugal, Belgium, France, England and Germany who came as traders or colonizers.
Worship of a single God or many Gods provide a person with an orderly relationship with himself/herself and with other followers as they connect with the spiritual or supernatural realm. The ancient world had beliefs and dieties that included the ancestors and many Gods and Goddesses. Religious symbols include snakes and animals like bulls and lions. Food symbolism and observance of what to eat, when and how prepared, are important aspects of religious rites. Family celebrations like weddings, birthdays, baptisms, rituals for the dead or funerals, follow religious ceremonies. Place and time of worship is observed under a recognized leader. There are eight major religions around the world listed and discussed alphabetically: Buddhism, Christianity, Confusianism, Hinduism, Islam (Muslim), Judaism, Seventh Day Adventist, and Shintoism. Conversion from one religion to another accounts for a

Buddhism Buddhism is a vast and complex religious and philosophical tradition which stretches back over 2,500 years. Siddhartha Gautama, later known as Buddha (the Enlightened One) founded this religion in India in the 6th century BCE. It spread throughout Central and Southeast Asian countries that include Bhutan, Burma (now Myanmar), Cambodia, China, Japan, Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Buddhism was a protestant revolt against orthodox Hinduism, although it accepted some of its concepts, such as the doctrine of karma, spiritual liberation from the flesh, and wisdom obtained from taming the appetite. The basic teaching of Buddism are found in the “Four Noble Truths”. The person who perfectly follows them is believed to be in a state of nirvana (state of wisdome, calmness, insight, and passionless). Buddhism encourages a monastic lifestyle. The code of conduct or Ten Percepts include: * Thou shall not take another’s life * Thou shall not use intoxicants. * Thou shall not eat after midday.

The eight-spoked wheel stands for the Noble Eightfold Path which illustrates the moral principles in which all Buddhists should practice: 1) Right Knowledge, 2) Right Thinking, 3) Right Speech, 4) Right Conduct, 5) Right Livelihood, 6) Right Effort, 7) Right Mindfulness and, 8) Right Concentration. Many sects of Buddhism are established and their dietary laws vary. However, most Buddhists are lacto-ovo-vegetarians. No meat allowed; the taking of life forbidden. Some Buddhist sects allow fish and others can consume meat provided they were not responsible for killing the animal. Religious days and other festives are based on their lunar months e.g., the festivities of light are observed in full moon and in significant agricultural events. Celebrations vary among the different regions and according to a particular sect.

Christianity To date, Christianity has the most number of followers around the globe. Records show that Christianity was founded according to the life of Christ recognized as the Son of God and the Messiah. Christian faith is embodied in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creed with the belief that people are saved through God’s Grace and Christ’s life, death and resurrection. The Bible is the source of documentation about the life of Christ . The Old Testament is accepted as a record of important events while Christ’s teachings are recorded in the New Testament. The Cross is a symbol of Christianity, representing sacrifice and redemption. The most well known cross is the Latin cross, which to Christians, represents the cross of Christ’s crucifixion. When shown with the image of Christ, it is called a crucifix. The fishing boat is a symbol of Jesus Christ’s followers, there is a cross on the top of the mast and the x/p are the first letters of Christ’s name in Greek. The Cross and Flame is the official symbol of The United Methodist Church; the cross symbolizes Christ and the flame, the Holy Spirit of Pentecost.

Branches of Christianity. There are several branches of Christianity: the three dominant ones are Eastern Orthodox, Orthodox, Roman Catholicism, and Protestantism. The sacraments are manners of worship and vary among Christian groups.

Eastern Orthodox Church envolved around 300 BCE. It differed from the Roman Catholic Church on the interpretation of the Bible and governing of Church. It use unleavened bread for communion and the clergy are allowed to marry before becoming priests. The Pope is not concidered as their leader.

Roman Catholicism was developed during the Roman times with the Vatican as its headquarters and the Pope as its spiritual leader who define faith and moral practices. It observes seven sacraments that are conferred on the faithful. Latin became its official language.
The Seven Sacraments

1. Baptism – The Catholic Church sees baptism as the first and basic sacrament of Christian initiation. In the Western or Latin Rite of the Church, baptism is usually conferred today by pouring water three times on the recipient's head, while reciting the baptismal formula: “ I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”

2. Confirmation – is the second sacrament of Christian initiation. It is called Chrismation
(in the Eastern Churches: anointing with holy myron or chrism) because it confirms and strengthens baptismal grace. It is conferred by "the anointing with Sacred Chrism (oil mixed with balsam and consecrated by the bishop), which is done by the laying on of the hand of the minister who pronounces the sacramental words proper to the rite."

3. Eucharist – the third of Christian initiation also called the Blessed Sacrament. The one that the Catechism of the Catholic Church says "completes Christian initiation" by which Catholics partake of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and participate in his one sacrifice. The first of these two aspects of the sacrament is also called Holy Communion.
The bread (which must be wheaten, and which is unleavened in the Latin, Armenian and Ethiopic Rites, but is leavened in most Eastern Rites). The wine (which must be from grapes) used in the Eucharistic rite are, in Catholic faith, transformed in its inner reality, though not in appearance, into the Body and Blood of Christ, a change that is called transubstantiation.

4. Penance or Reconciliation – is the first of two sacraments of healing. The Catechism of the Catholic Church mentions in the following order and capitalization different names of the sacrament, calling it the sacrament of conversion, Penance, confession, forgiveness and Reconciliation. It is the sacrament of spiritual healing of a baptized person from the distancing from God resulting from sins committed.
5. Anointing of the Sick – is the second sacrament of healing. In this sacrament a priest anoints the sick with oil blessed specifically for that purpose. "The anointing of the sick can be administered to any member of the faithful who, having reached the use of reason, begins to be in danger by reason of illness or old age”.
6. Holy Order – is the sacrament by which a man is made a bishop, a priest, or a deacon, and thus dedicated to be an image of Christ. A bishop is the minister of this sacrament. Ordination as a bishop confers the fullness of the sacrament, making the bishop a member of the body of successors the Apostles, and giving him the mission to teach, sanctify, and govern, along with the care of all the Churches. Ordination as a priest configures the priest to Christ the Head of the Church and the one essential High Priest, and conferring on him the power, as the bishops' assistant, to celebrate the sacraments and other liturgical acts, especially the Eucharist. Ordination as a deacon configures the deacon to Christ the Servant of All, placing him at the service of the bishop, especially in the Church's exercising of Christian charity towards the poor and preaching of the word of God.
7. Matrimony or Marriage – is another sacrament that consecrates for a particular mission in building up the Church, and that provides grace for accomplishing that mission. This sacrament, seen as a sign of the love uniting Christ and the Church, establishes between the spouses a permanent and exclusive bond, sealed by God. The sacrament confers on them the grace they need for attaining holiness in their married life and for responsible acceptance and upbringing of their children. For a valid marriage, a man and a woman must express their conscious and free consent to a definitive self-giving to the other, excluding none of the essential properties and aims of marriage. If one of the two is a non-Catholic Christian, their marriage is licit only if the permission of the competent authority of the Catholic Church is obtained (i.e. has not been baptized), the competent authority's dispensation is necessary for validity. Protestantism was established in the 16th century when a religious movement known as Reformation questioned the practices of the Roman Catholic Church. Martin Luther who was a German Augustinian monk and taught theology initiated and led the ovement, listing 95 protests.
Many believers of Martin Luther’s teachings were organized: The first one was the Protestant Lutheran Church. The following decades saw the formation of more denominations of Protestantism. Basically, they put more emphasis on direct responsibility of worshipers of God and not by intercessions through a priest, saints or indirect means. The individual is encouraged to read the Bible and interpret the Scriptures.

Christian religious holidays. These occasions are similarly observed throughout the world: the birth of Christ (Christmas Day), Easter (the resurrection of Christ after the crucifixion), fasting and abstinence days follow church rites and traditonal serving of foods that vary among nations.
The dates and days are specified by the Christian sect. Days of saints and the celebration of the sacraments are scheduled according to the calendar of the Christian sect. An example is the Eastern Orthodox Feast days that may change according to weather the Julian or the Gregorian calendar is followed. Also, ethnic practices and family traditions may be more important than religion, per se in relation to culinary practices and foodways.

Confucianism and Taoism

The religion among the majority of Chinese is a blend of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. The Yin-Yang symbol is popular in Chinese culture and associated with Taoism and Confucianism. It stands for harmony, balance, and interdependence. Buddhism has been discussed previously. Confucianism was founded in the sixth century by Confucius, whose teachings embrace the moral behavior of people. His philosophy of ethical conduct will lead to harmony with the way to heaven. Moral behaviors include respect, family, love, loyalty to the state, and benovelence to strangers. This symbol in Confucianism means total harmony, righteousnes, in your own life and in your relations with your neighbor. Taoism was founded later based on the teachings of Chaun-tzu and Lao-tzu of passionless oneness with the Devine Absolute. The basic principles of Taoism are: simplicity, harmony, patience and thrift.

Religious rituals and family festivities. Food festivals are celebrated with traditional foods. The Lunar New Year is a festivity of spring and a family banquet is served. The third day of the third lunar month is a family picnic as graves of love ones are cleaned and visited. The 5th day of the 7th month is All Soul’s Day celebrated with another family banquet. Weddings are particularly a big family affair. It begins with a three-day period when the represent the date, year, month and hour when the prespective groom and bride were born, are displayed on the altar. Many more rituals are observed until at the reception for the when a small rice wine toast is done by the newly weds followed by toasts with guests. The next day, the bride serves breakfast to her new in-laws that include dates and seeds to signify the expectation of many children.


Considered the oldest of the religions, it is the basis of other religions like Buddhism. Originating in India, it spread to many other areas of the world. The goal is to make humans one with the Supreme Being or the Universal Spirit. Brahmin is the only Supreme Being and all other gods are partial manifestations of him. The Vedas are scriptures considered as the supreme authority in Hinduism. This Sanskrit letter is pronounced Om. Hinduism uses the word OM in contemplation to represent ultimate being or divinity. Its intonation suggests the great harmonic sounding of the sacred source of flowing and flowering within all. Dietary Rules.The principles of Hinduism are purity, self control, truth, nonviolence and detachment. All rules about food and drink consumption should lead to the purity of mind and spirit. In general, foods avoided are those that prevent or delay physical and mental development of person. Bad food habbits hamper communication with the Supreme Being. The four castes (ranks in society) in India have varying dietary restrictions. Many Hindus are vegetarians because of the belief not to inflict pain on an animal. The cow is considered sacred and is neither slughtered nor eaten. Pork is also avoided and eating fish with ugly forms are forbidden.
The heads of fowl, ducks, camels, boars, and snails, crabs and snake are not eaten. Certain foods concidered pure and are allowed include: milk, water from sources of special sancity, tumeric, and beans but not red lentils and red-colored foods. Alcohol drinks are also avoid, except lower Hindus castes.

Fast and Feast Days. Fasting varies among the caste, age, sex, and degree of orthodoxy. It may mean abstinence from all food, or certain kinds of food only. Usually, fasting for a meal or day is observed; rarely long periods, because there are many fast days in the Hindu calendar. The first day of the new and full moon, the 10th and 11th days of each month, the 9th day of lunar month, and days of eclipses, equinoxes. Fasting is also observed on the death anniversary of a parent and on Sundays. There are 18 days of major religious festivals in the Hindu calendar: Holi in spring, the 10-day celebration of Dusshera in late September or early October, Divali in November which is the darkest night of the year when souls are believed to return to earth, and many family celebrations on weddings, births and deaths. Food is shared and the wealthy help the poor to celebrate by serving festive foods.

Islam (Muslim)

Islam is the world’s second most followed religion. The crescent, star, and the color green are symbols often associated with Islam. The star represents knowledge and light, and the crescent represents progress. You will find these symbols on the flags of many Muslim nations. Islam means “submission” to the will of God. A follower is called a Muslim. The religion was founded by Mohammed who is not a savior or messiah but a prophet through whom God (Allah) delivered his messages. Born in Saudi Arabia in 570 BCE, he declared Mecca as the holly place to Allah. The Koran is Islam’s sacred writings. It is not only a religion, but is a way of life. The foodways are based on Koran teachings. The five pillars of the Koran include fasting to experience hunger of the poor and needy and to wipe out previous sins. The Islam dietary laws believe that food is for survival and good health and self- indulgence is not permitted. Muslims are advised not to eat more than 2/3 full of their capacity and to share food with others. Food is never thrown away or wasted. Eating with clean hands is customary and the right hand is used for picking up food. The left hand is for personal hygiene and is concidered unclean.

Dietary laws. Food allowed called halal, forbidden foods are called baram. Unless specified to be probihited, all foods are allowed. Baram foods according to their Koran include: swine, four-footed animals that catch their prey with their mouths, birds of prey and improperly slaughtered animals. Proper method is like the Jewish laws (see under Judaism). The person who does the slaughtering must repeat “In the name of God, God is great ”. Exeptions are fish and seafood. Some Muslims will not eat meat slaughtered by people other than Muslims, Jews or Christians. Combination of dairy products and allowed meats and fish are permitted. All fruits and vegetables are allowed, except fermented and poisonous ones. Alcohol is strictly probihited.
Koran dietary laws must be followed at all times even during pregnancy, travel and sickness.

Fast and Feast days. Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking from dawn to sunset during fast days like during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. At sunset, the fast is broken by drinking water and eating an odd number of dates. All Muslims past 15 years old are required to fast, except the sick, when travelling, during pregnancy, lactation or menstruation, those engaged in hard labor and the physically and mentally disabled. At the end of Ramadan, it is customary to invite and dine with others or share food with the needy. Special foods are traditionally served.


The Jewish religion is about 4,000 years old. It began when Abraham received God’s earliest covenant with the Jews. The cornerstone of Judaism is the Hebrew Bible. The book of Moses or the Torah contained the Ten Commandments and the right way to prepare food. The interpretation of the Torah is found in the Talmud. The Star of David is the primary modern emblem of the Jewish religion. The six-pointed star originally known as Solomon’s seal combines the alchemical signs for fire and water. Many Jews attend a synagogue led by a rabbi who is the teacher and spiritual leader.
Congregations are usually classified as Orthodox Jews, Concervative, or Reform. All Orthodox Jews follow the dietary laws (kashrut) in the Torah, concerned with the fitness of food. The term kosher means “fit” and specifies food allowed. The main ones describe the use of animals. Kind of animal fit to eat. Clean animals that have completely cloven feet and chew the cud to be eaten are allowed, like all cattle, deer, goat, oxen, and sheep. Their milk can also be consumed. Unclean animals are carnivorous animals, rabbits and swine. Pork products like animal shortening and gelatin are not allowed. Clean birds are those with a crop, gizzard and an extra talon, such as chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys. Their eggs are also permitted. Birds of pray and their eggs are not allowed.

Kind of fish fit to eat. All fishes with fins and scales are allowed, but not catfish, eels, rays, sharks, and all shellfish. Amphibians, invertibrates, and reptiles are unclean and not fit to eat.

Method of slaughtering animals. A special process called shehitah is performed by a trained and licensed person. Slaughtering is done by slitting the neck with a sharp knife that cuts the jugular vein and trachea. It is a quick, painless process that drains most often blood from the carcass.
Any other method or if the animal dies a natural death is not acceptable, or the meat is not fit to eat. Method of examining the slaughtered animal. The sochet (person licensed to slaughter the animal) examines the carcass for any blemish in the organs or muscle meat. Any disease renders the meat unfit for consumption.

Parts of the animal that are forbidden. Blood from the carcass or even in the egg yolk is discarded. Fatty tissue not intermingled with the flesh and forms a separate layer with a membrane or skin is discarded.

Preparation of the meat. The fat layer described above, blood and blood vessels, and the sciatic nerve must be removed. The butcher or a Jewish housewife can prepare koshered meat by soaking in water within 72 hours after slaughter and then covering it with kosher salt. Then the meat is rinsed several times before cooking or storing. Liver is koshered differently (because it has much blood and blood vessels) by cutting several times across or by piercing, then rising several times. It must be grilled or boiled in an open flame and cooked until it turns grayish-white. Products of forbidden animals. Honey is allowed, even if bees are considered unclean. It is believed that honey is kosher since it has no part of the insect. The laws of eating milk and meat. These foods are not eaten together. However, it is acceptable to drink milk or consume any dairy product six hours after eating meat. If dairy products are eaten first, only one hour is needed after which meat can be consumed. A kosher kitchen has separate set of dishes, pots and pans for meats and for dairy products.
Approved kosher foods in USA have on its label a symbol “K” or other identifying insignia. If K is encircled, it refers to Organized Kashrut laboratories of New York. If it is enclosed in a triangle, it is prepared by Rabbi J. Ralbag of New York. A letter U inside a circle stands for the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations.

Observance of religious holidays. Sabbath is a day of rest and is observed before sun down on Friday untill nightfall on Saturday. No work is allowed, but devoted to prayers and rest. All foods are prepared before sundown; no fires or cooking are allowed during Sabbath. The traditional foods prepared ahead of time are braided bread (challah) and a bean potato soup stew (cholent) that is cooked before sun down and left simmiring until the eavning meal for Saturday. Another typical recipe is a noodle pudding (kugel). During Passover, matzo (unleavened bread made from white flour crackers) is eaten.
Wheat, barley, oats, and rye are not allowed. No leavening agents, malt liquors nor beer are used. Hanukkah or the festivities of lights, is celebrated for eight days in December, usually before Christmas Day. Potato pancakes called latkes, are eaten during Hanukkah; doughnuts and other foods cooked in oil are also permitted.

There are other religious holidays that cannot be completely listed in this book, but are readily available for further readings.

Seventh Day Adventists

This religion has its root in Protestantism but one of its founders, Ellen Haromn White, reported to having visions for 70 years of a second coming of Christ. The Seventh Day … ….Adventists, which originated in the USA in the mid-1000s, established the 7th day of the week, Saturday, as its Holy Day. Meal preparation and kitchen chores are done on the day following after Saturday, to spend all of Sunday to religious rites and prayers. “Sabadistas” is a Spanish/Filipino term for the followers of Seventh Day Adventists.
The Ten Commandments are observed for daily behavior. The dietary code is unique because of its adherence to a totally healthy vegetarian diet. A lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet is simply prepared.
Some followers are strictly vegan, e.g., no eggs and milk are allowed. Olive oil and whole grains are preferred. A mixture of different nuts, legumes and grains improve the protein quality of the diet. Meats substitutes is the form of gluten and soybean curd are readily available in the groceries. All fruits and vegetables are allowed. Alcohol, tea and coffee are prohibited.


Shintoism was started in early Japan and still practiced now, along with Buddhism and other religions. Its main characteristics is the ancestry worship. An ancestor is believed to become a kami or supernatural being after death, thus remains as a life within the family. Rituals include offering rice wine or new rice in the family altar. Most Shintos maintain two altars at home: one for the living and their religious activities and the other for the dead ancestors. Fresh food and drink at the beginning of each day are set on both altars. Feast days. Three day celebrations starts the New Year when the house is thoroughly cleaned and guests are invited to visit and eat. Or these are days of visiting teachers, relatives, and friends and paying all debts. However, if there is death in the family the family does send cards asking them not to come or send New Year’s greetings. Spring- time, graves are cleaned and family picnics are held there. Religious rites for the dead follow those of Buddhism.…...

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