As I went on a Sunday walk yesterday, taking in the aroma of cooking as I passed by different houses, I found myself pondering. What were they cooking? Was it food that represents their culture or a meal that represented food that they had discovered along the way – here in Milton Keynes or further afield?
It aligns to a fascination that I have developed. Although in many ways Milton Keynes remains much the same as the town that it was close to 10 years ago when I wrote the first edition of “Touching the Heart of Milton Keynes” – it has grown. It has grown in population density, housing and a bit in terms of infrastructure and business presence. It has also developed rapidly in terms of diversity.
I remember speaking to someone a few years ago who was convinced that social engineering had taken place within Milton Keynes, which had led to a sudden burst of diversity. I’m not going to speculate on this, however, I do find it most intriguing. I spoke to a headteacher of an outstanding primary school in Milton Keynes, who spoke of the diversity within her school, with students speaking over 40 different languages from across the world. A friend also spoke of her six year old son’s excitement when he discovered that he had a new classmate who speaks Romanian.
Children don’t typically see the challenges of diversity that adults often do. But one thing that I believe that we all tend to embrace with cultural diversity is the food that comes from all across the world.
People have asked me whether I’m going to write a new version of Touching the Heart of Milton Keynes. After two editions, I don’t intend to do that. Although Milton Keynes has changed a bit, the essence remains fundamentally the same. What I do intend to do though, is use this anniversary year to explore food as a representation of culture in Milton Keynes. So do look out for me snooping around and for the outcomes of my discoveries. Also do let me know if you come across a restaurant, shop or anything else that is of interest as relates to food.
For now, I’ll just say Happy 50th Birthday Milton Keynes.
Susan Popoola is the Managing Director of Conning Towers Ltd, a boutique style Human Value Optimisation Firm. She is also the published author of Touching The Heart of Milton Keynes: A Social Perspective and Consequences: Diverse to Mosaic Britain.
Copyright 2017. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source.