Naureen Zaina Azizee*
Dhaka, May 19, 2014 (Alochonaa): There are lots of ideas which are reshaping the traditional perception of Bangladeshi dining culture. The emerging number of food hubs and joints being opened around the streets of Dhaka, has made very clear the reality of how diversified our taste buds are becoming. We are now more than ever before more conscious about what cuisines we are eating. This diversification of food has therefore broadened our perception about society in general.
We are being acquainted with new modes of food such as that of home delivery. We are ordering over the phone and even online. Even the idea to order and get our food at the doorstep wasn’t that easy to think about. There are more numbers of food kiosks other than the traditional small tea stalls. Whereas in the past we had less numbers of options to select from. Even a decade ago we did not have half of the options we have now.
Dhaka is long over the fried chicken fever. Now we are focusing on so many more selections of
food. Let us not forget the value and worth of the food is considered as well. But people are positively willing to indulge more of their resources than the previous generation. Dhaka has got juice bars, noodles bars, dessert places, and varieties of sub- sandwiches and lots of comparatively newer experiences in cuisine and food shops.
Among all the different types of selection the emergence of cafes in Dhaka city has been tremendous. The evolution of the “café culture” especially in some particular areas of Dhaka has made the socialization scenario a lot different than before. Generally, street culture dictates that a café is a place when people can chill, have a good time over coffee with “adda” (gossiping). The ambiance, the décor, coziness, levels of crowd all these are considered when people choose which on to visit.
Similarly, “Coffee culture describes a social atmosphere or series of associated social behaviors that depends heavily upon coffee, particularly as a social lubricant.”One can go and sit to enjoy solitude over a book or work on their laptops over coffee. You can be alone but not lonely. How splendid is that?
As the weather permits people drink more coffee during winter. People can enjoy their own cup of coffee over enjoying the scenery from the balcony or rooftop of a café in the chilly winter breeze- it could be lazy afternoons on weekends and an evening with friends after work.
Different theme based cafes are emerging as well. Some remarkable coffee places are based on different themes such as art, sports, movies, crafts, music, books etc. One can enjoy good music or a movie and even a match with your friends in these themed cafes. The aesthetic sense of a café surely plays a role in ones coffee experience along with the taste and people they spend time with. It is a blend of passion and exchange of ideas through a good time being spent over coffee.
The coffee culture is being carefully cultivated to reach a maximum number of people. Are people drinking more coffee? Do people have coffee just like that? No, it has significance to them. It provides a manner to the lifestyle. This means more than the warmth of coffee or the company when people are spending time. People do not only drink it, they know so much more about it, they bond over it, they make it part of themselves- what more can a coffee lover ask for?
*Naureen Zaina Azizee is a regular writer for Alochonaa.com. She writes from Dhaka, Bangladesh
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