Undergo thousands of years of history, Vietnamese culture already exists and distill the essence of many different cultures, to create a unique culture imbued with national identity. In particular, food culture also becomes a very specific trait of Vietnam. When it comes to food culture in Vietnam, we can't fail to mention "Cai Mam". "Cai Mam" is not only a special trait in traditional culture but also contains great spiritual significance.
In Vietnam, from north to south, from urban to rural areas, "Cai Mam" is extremely familiar objects. "Cai Mam" appears two times in lunch, dinner for each family. "Cai Mam" is a round tray used to contain objects, especially food. In the past, "Cai Mam" is made from wood. Today, the majority of "Cai Mam" is made from aluminum or stainless steel. So, it is cheap and convenient.
During the meal, everyone in the family gathered around "cai mam" with simple but equally delectable food. It is also the time that the family members concerned, care for each other. Vietnamese people eat under "Cai Mam"to show solidarity, always loving, sharing sweet. In each meal, "meal invitation" is an indispensable cultural feature of Vietnamese people. Before eating the first morsel of food, younger people have to invite older ones to show deep gratitude with parents or elders. Meanwhile, elders will nod affectionately, and the whole family will begin a meal in a fun atmosphere. What could be more touching than a New Year dinner, people reunite with loved ones around the familiar "Cai Mam", and enjoy tasty dishes homeland.
Nowadays, the gathering in family meals seem no more because everyone is busy with their own work. The dish is also changing; tableware also has its own metamorphosis. However, a simple and familiar "Cai Mam" will forever present in the material life and spirit of Vietnamese people. "Cai Mam" is always one of the most distinctive traits of the culinary culture of Vietnam, contains deep meanings, and reminds us to remember the sacred family shelters.
Author: Pham Thu Hang from Sydney, Australia