Q. 19 A
Illustrate with e
Food offers many examples of long-distance cultural exchange.
1. Traders and travellers often introduced new crops to the different lands they travelled.
2. ‘Ready’ foodstuffs in distant parts of the world are also known to have shared common origins. For example – It is believed that noodles travelled west from China to become spaghetti or the Arab traders took pasta to fifth-century Sicily, an island now in Italy.
3. Similar types of foods were also known in India and Japan, so the truth about their origins may never be known. Yet guessworks suggest high possibilities of long-distance cultural contact even in the pre-modern era.
4. Many of our common foods such as potatoes, soya, groundnuts, maize, tomatoes, chillies, sweet potatoes, and so on were not known to our ancestors until about five centuries ago because these foods were only introduced in Europe and Asia with the discovery of the Americas.
5. New crops also made a difference between life and death. For example – Europe’s poor began to eat better and live longer with the introduction of the humble potato. Ireland’s poorest peasants became so dependent on potatoes that when disease destroyed the potato crop in mid 1840s, many people died of starvation.
NOTE – History shows that human societies have had links from the very beginning. From ancient times, travellers, traders, priests and pilgrims travelled vast distances for different purposes. They carried with them – ideas, knowledge, values, skills, etc.
Trade and cultural exchange always went hand in hand. Silk routes, for example, are vibrant examples of such exchange between different parts of the world.
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