Mon 28th May, 2012
Unique research on how the different food cultures at home and at school is affecting the identities of British Sikh children is being conducted by the University of Bedfordshire’s Marketing lecturer Dr Amandeep Takhar.
Dr Takhar’s research, thanks to a £9,900 award from the University’s Rising Stars Research Programme, will focus on the food consumption practices and rituals of the Sikh community in the UK.
“Sikh parents want their children to eat traditional food at home to retain their culture, but when they go to school they eat what is on offer – Western food,” Dr Takhar said. “That impacts on how they identify themselves and results in conflicts of integration.”
Dr Takhar added: “I’ve been interested in analysing inter-generational attitudes in the Sikh community for a number of years. For example I’m very interested in inter-generational attitudes towards food and health and differing attitudes regarding the influence of Bollywood films on lifestyles. I’m delighted the University has awarded me the Rising Star Award funding for my six month research project, which I’m due to complete this July.
“As part of my project, I have been collaborating with a research colleague at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, Pepukayi Chitakunye, who is conducting a similar study of the Sikh community in South Africa.
“So we are in contact to share findings and see if there are correlations in our studies in the UK and South Africa.”
Professor Carsten Maple, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at Bedfordshire said: “The University has a growing reputation for research and the Rising Stars Research Programme is a key component enabling and inspiring our academics to conduct ground-breaking research. I congratulate Dr Takhar on her award and wish her every success with her project.”