By Karen Wells | CNA Media Team
Does making a sandwich give a nod to cross-cultural sensitivity? What’s the link between bread, meat and cultural awareness?
At EQC Home Care Agency, meal preparation and cultural awareness can connect 14 languages. Sandwich making can be a gateway to supporting a client’s needs.
EQC “Essential Quality Care” Home Care opened its doors in 2016. Owners strive to provide in-home care services tailored to meet the cultural and care needs of clients. The 85 employees represent communities from Eastern nations, West Africa, Europe and North America.
Cultural diversity is a driving principle behind the home care service. The emphasis on culturally-relevant and appropriate home care sets EQC apart from other in-home care services.
If language is a barrier, offering a sandwich may open a connection. You may know what a sandwich is, but a sandwich might mean something different to people from different cultures.
The concept of “sandwich” – a vehicle to gather or scoop food, sauce, veggies, cheese or cooked meat to guide to your mouth – dates back several centuries. This method of eating was found throughout the ancient world, Asia, Africa and North America.
It’s known by a variety of names, i.e., torta, korech, shawarma or panini. Eastern and African communities refer to it as simply bread and meat. For example, “khabaz lahm” in Arabic, “paanoo mogyanam” in the Ghana language of Akan or “banh mi thit” in Vietnamese.
Sandwich was the “fast food” of 18th century European taverns. By the 19th century it had spread across the Atlantic, landing in the Eastern Seaboard. Iconic sandwiches such as the lobster roll, beef pastrami and the hoagie all originated there.
Fast forward to the 20th century’s Great Depression era with New Orleans’ “po’boy,” school lunch staple “sloppy joe” and the Nebraska “Reuben” all hit the American gastronomical palate.
EQC Home care professionals are paired one-on-one with clients to foster a meaningful and holistic approach to caregiving. More than 40% of the client/caregiver pairings are long-term contracts, lasting more than 24 months and counting.
This kind of track record confirms the success of the diversity-driven business model. The tenets of relationship, trust and cultural awareness are sandwiched between professionalism and crosscultural sensitivity creating a rewarding experience for the clients and caregiving professionals.
EQC Home Care Agency has mastered the art of the “sandwich” on many levels. Find it at 5128 N.E. 42nd Ave. or call 503.7538551.
Sandwich, anyone? Thanks for asking.
Editor’s note: Karen consulted several sources for this piece and shares them with you on Facebook.com/groups/ConcordiaPDX. Do you have a crosscultural question for her? Send it to CNewsEditor@ConcordiaPDX.org.
Karen Wells is a semi-retired adult and early childhood educator. She serves on the planning committee of Womxn’s March and Rally for Action in Portland, WomxnsMarchPDX.com