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I Decolonised My Kitchen To Reconnect To My Culture

Growing up in south London, my identity was never hyphenated. I was one of many people who identified as a Caribbean person born in the UK. After moving away, the change caused me to stop doing many things I love – this included cooking Caribbean food. 

I compartmentalised my Caribbean background in hopes of fitting in. Though not intentional, when I left the UK, I also left behind familiar practices from home. In a now predominantly white school, the ignorant comments towards my St Lucian and Jamaican background caused me to stop mentioning it. Already unsure of how to handle the discrimination in that space, I knew that not leading with being Caribbean would provide one less thing anyone could hold against me. At home, the fragrance of creamed coconut, thyme and other ingredients for dishes like rice and peas no longer wafted in the kitchen. Toast and generic cereal replaced the warm dumplings I once had for breakfast.