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to be held in two hands

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It takes two,

hands to

clear off a table

wash a tower of dishes

cut a mango

serve a meal

feed others

nourish ourselves

We are reaching,

for a plate of food

for connections to the lands and waters we currently call home

to the places our ancestors cared for and flourished with

We call back

through food

patiently waiting for our voices to intertwine

over long distances

Staring at bright marigold stains

that are probably older than we are

our minds wander to meals shared with family members

While eating alone

Something we have had to learn

growing up in so-called Canada

Getting lost in the messiness

in the markings and spaces between

are our (hi)stories and relations


Snack Witch Joni Cheung and Sonali Menezes grew up eating food. Often with two hands: to pull apart a steamed bun, to rip off a piece of bhatura to dip into channa; to offer a serving, to cut a mango. Sometimes the messiness was cleaned up with a good morning towel, marks revealing the history of what food was shared.

Other times, haldi stains remain on skin, wooden spoons, and under nails. Both artists are part of Asian diasporas born here in so-called Canada, originating in Hong Kong, and Goa, India respectively.

As they navigate the in-betweenness of being settlers and second-generation immigrants, they reach back to their homelands through food. They connect to the land through taste, by eating, in gratitude, by sharing around a table.