“Pakistan Museum of Food” Launched by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy & Google

"Pakistan Museum of Food" Launched by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy & Google

Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture and the British Council, has unveiled Pakistan’s inaugural “Museum of Food,” a digital platform showcasing the country’s rich culinary heritage.

The project is an online repository with the most extensive online exploration of Pakistani cuisine, boasting over 9,000 images, 90 videos, and 100 stories that provide a comprehensive glimpse into Pakistan’s diverse culinary tapestry.

The project’s objective is twofold: to safeguard and celebrate Pakistan’s food culture while documenting its ongoing evolution.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, the Project Director, highlighted the significance of Pakistan’s culinary legacy, acknowledging its integral role in the nation’s cultural identity. She expressed concern about the potential loss of traditional recipes and practices due to climate change and generational shifts.

In response to these challenges, the project seeks not only to remember the flavors of the past but also to actively preserve and rejuvenate disappearing culinary traditions.

The hope is that this initiative will inspire people to explore and appreciate Pakistan’s vibrant culinary culture, as well as contribute their own stories and recipes to this living narrative.

The project’s scope encompasses a wide range of topics, including the impact of climate change on eating habits and the promotion of sustainable agricultural practices.

It also sheds light on the essential role of women in preserving cultural and culinary traditions and their contributions to the agricultural sector.

Furthermore, it delves into the distinct ingredients that define Pakistani flavors, the multitude of communities within Pakistan with their cherished traditional dishes, the cultural significance of iconic dishes across the country, and the intricate cooking techniques intrinsic to Pakistani cuisine.

To capture the essence of Pakistan’s culinary and cultural diversity, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and her team, in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, embarked on a journey through various regions of Pakistan.

They explored how regional topography shapes the nation’s distinct eating patterns and how modernization impacts traditional dining practices.

About the Museum of Food

The digital “Museum of Food” is presented as an interactive website, inviting visitors to explore a virtual gallery filled with carefully curated films, captivating photographs, and cherished recipes.

The project is an immersive experience that encourages exploration, storytelling and a deeper connection to Pakistan’s rich food traditions. The project actively welcomes contributions from individuals worldwide as it continues to celebrate Pakistan’s culinary heritage and its dynamic evolution.

Amit Sood, the Director and founder of Google Arts & Culture praised the project as an “online feast for the senses” and celebrated the diverse landscapes and traditions reflected in Pakistan’s cuisine. He hoped that users would immerse themselves fully in Pakistan’s wonders through this extensive digital hub.

The British Council, a partner in this project, commended the efforts to showcase Pakistan’s diverse culinary practices. They highlighted the importance of food cultures in providing insights into customs, agricultural traditions, climatic conditions, and their impact on health, the environment, and self-understanding.

The British Council’s support for this initiative was made possible through their Gender Ecologies Grant Programme, which explores the intersection of women, climate change, and the arts.

Pakistan’s “Museum of Food” stands as a testament to the nation’s rich culinary heritage and its continued evolution. It is an immersive digital platform that not only preserves but also celebrates Pakistan’s diverse food culture, inviting contributions from all corners of the world.

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