Bento Boxes

Bento Box in the Heartland: My Japanese Girlhood in Whitebread America
with Linda Furiya
Thursday, April 10th, 6:30-8pm, Free,
Lawrence Memorial Library

Bristol, VT.... The One-World Library Project will host a free program centered around a delightful aspect of Japanese culture, the Bento Box, on Thursday, April 10 th from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Lawrence Memorial Library in Bristol.  

Bento Boxes are a special type of packed meal in Japan, usually for serving lunch.   They have many internal dividers and sometimes several stacked layers so that different kinds of food sit in their own little compartments.   The bento aesthetic of compact cuteness reflects many aspects of modern Japanese popular culture.   In some cases, there is serious social pressure for Japanese mothers to produce the most attractive bento box for their children.

A book reading from Vermont author Linda Furyiya will start the evening.   Furiya, originally from Indiana and now living in Charlotte, will discuss her food memoir Bento Box in the Heartland: My Japanese Girlhood in Whitebread America .   The author will also have copies of her book available for signing.  

Food is the thread running through this poignant, funny and fascinating memoir of a   girl's search for identity while feeling caught between two cultures .   In elementary school, Furiya was acutely aware of how the food she brought for lunch set her apart from her peers.   In this personal story, Japanese food serves not only as a backdrop, but also demonstrates how food can comfort an immigrant's homesickness by connecting them to a country left behind.

Later in the evening, Kyoko Davis and her daughter Yuki Davis of Bristol will give a short presentation explaining the cultural significance in Japan of bento boxes.   Participants in the evening will be able to taste samplings of typical bento box food including cold, cooked sticky rice along with side dishes such as meat, eggs, tofu, fruit and vegetables all arranged neatly and pleasing to the eyes. The first 20 participants will arrange their own bento boxes to take home.

The One-World Library Project has added several books about bento boxes, Japanese food, and Japanese culture to its collection in honor of this event.  

The One-World Library Project is a "world library within a library" with a collection of enlightening books, films, and other media about world cultures .   OWLP items are available for community members to check out at the Lawrence Memorial Library in Bristol. The goal is to "Bring the World to our Community." It is an expanding community resource that is continually enhanced as more people recommend or donate materials that express the richness of their personal experiences with other cultures whether through family, study, travel, language, food, history, art or music .

For more information about the One-World Library Project or the Bento Box event,   please call 453-4147 or go to www.oneworldlibraryproject.org .   To purchase books or other media to donate to the project please contact the Vermont Book Shop at 388-2061 or through their website, www.vermontbookshop.com . The Lawrence Memorial Library in Bristol has a full listing of items in the One-World Library in their online catalog, www.lawrencelibrary.net , (search for one world library).

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