Is There Something to Be Learned Through Sharing Bowls?

The fading Indian tradition is worth practicing beyond its origin

Ruchi Kumar
Heated
Published in
5 min readSep 23, 2019

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Photo from The Sharing Bowl

Despite the sweltering Sunday afternoon heat, 33-year-old Ammo Angom was hard at work in his small apartment kitchen in the western suburbs of Mumbai, putting the final touches on a seven-course meal. On this summer day, Angom opened his house to a party of about two dozen Mumbai residents to introduce them to traditional cooking from his home state of Manipur in Northeast India.

Angom founded The Sharing Bowl late last year, based on the Indian tradition of sharing meals with the community and neighbors. “The Sharing Bowl is derived from a Manipuri practice called Tengkot Laanaba, which translates to ‘passing the bowl.’ The idea is that when you cook something nice in your house, you should pass a bowl of it to your neighbors. And similarly, they will send you a bowl sharing their meals. This way, everyone has enough and something nice to eat,” said Angom.

Similar concepts of sharing food with the community have been observed across the world. A neighborhood supper club in the UK encourages families to share the food they cook every night to ensure every family only has to cook once every few days, helping working people save time on cooking. Many other food sharing applications allow…

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Ruchi Kumar
Heated
Writer for

Writer. Journalist. Humanist. Based in #Afghanistan. Words @ForeignPolicy @Guardian @AJEnglish @WashingtonPost @Vice Earlier: Web producer @dna @TimesofIndia