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Ethnographic Study Of Mumtaz Restaurant Cultural Studies Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Cultural Studies
Wordcount: 2458 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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To achieve a purpose of this assignment, I have conducted an ethnographic study on ‘Mumtaz’ Indian restaurant situated in Bradford, Great Horton Road. In this essay, the globalisation theory has explained with significance on globalisation of product and services and globalisation of culture.

An observation of ‘Mumtaz’ restaurant have described in this essay, which will explicate the culture, production and services globally. I also aim to develop better understanding of the term globalisation in the literature with the help of some definitions on globalisation of culture. This study therefore give support to the theory in a globalise world cultures.

Mumtaz is an Arabic word (then it has been adopted by Persian and Urdu) meaning “the distinguished” or “the best.” It is commonly use as a male or female name in Hindi speaking Muslim community in India as well as in Malaysia and Brunei. As I move towards the restaurant, on the entrance, the man standing in the white uniform who welcomed me with full of respect. That is the first thing impressed me of this restaurant and forces me to realise that I am in India. As I went inside, it is all modern and sleek. I enter first into the food emporium where its own products are on sale. Before heading into the restaurant I am seeing a very beautiful sitting area that can be called as waiting room for the customers. The comfortable wooden sofas and table are representing the Indian culture of hospitality. The wood-framed tables are topped with thick bottle-end patterned glass and surrounded by slim steel-legged, high-backed black leather chairs. It is looking beautiful. There are cream color walls with leather panels, paintings and spotlights in the white ceiling and greenery shoots out of stainless-steel conical plant pots.

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Black and metal decoration with combination of lights

Waiting room for the customers

Restaurant is on the main road, on one side of the restaurant huge transparent glasses are fitted thereby allowing the customers to enjoy the weather of outside with their meal. The restaurant is very big and famous for the Indian food and culture but it serves seven nationalities of food. The staffs have a unique dress, black trouser and black shirt with a logo of ‘Mumtaz’. Most of the waiters are students, working as a part time. The restaurant is very busy as I am here at 1:30 pm on Saturday and I can observe 25 people around me. Dining here is very informal and the place is full with friends, couples and families with kids – and mostly are the Asian’s. The overall age group is 20 -45. There are two Africans and three British sitting behind me and discussing about the taste of the food. They have drinks on the table. An Arabic group of five people, two of them are girls sitting on the next table. There’s contemporary, up-tempo but unobtrusive Indian music in the background which reflects the emotions and Indian culture.

I was looking behind and suddenly I heard a voice ‘what would you like to order sir’? I spoke to him for two minutes. He was a student from Malaysia doing a part time work. I ordered Pakistani food’; there are four types of curry, two Nan and ‘rasmalayi’ in desserts. The taste is awesome. In the end I observe, when the water bowl served on the table to wash hands, many of the Indians and Pakistani used it because they were using hands instead of folk and knife. In India, people rarely use folk and knife. Moreover, rest of them use tissues. While giving the feed back, I appreciate the taste of the food. I asked a question from the supervisor manager. How could he manage to develop the taste without the items that are not available in the U.K? He told me that many of the items import from different countries mostly from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, UAE, Africa and china. He said ”Mumtaz has 15 branches worldwide and we select seven best cook from each country on a contract basis.” The last word he said many of the celebrities come here for a small taste of why the Mumtaz Empire has spread quite so wide.


Culture and politics are facilitators of globalization. They enable firms and consumers to buy, sell and even produce on a global basis. But there has to be motive for firms and consumers to act globally. Globalization stands for the whole public across the world. There are thousands of definitions of globalization, which occur confusion because the more specific concepts are highly diverse. There are five definitions of globalization that can be distinguished. A common idea of globalization can be understand in terms of internationalization, liberalization, universalization, westernization and territorialization.

Internationalization: From this point of view ‘global’ is a word which describes cross-border relations between countries, globalization designates a growth of international exchange and interdependence. According to H, Paul and T, Grahame, globalization word is identified in the terms of ‘large and growing flows of trade and capital investment between countries’ (1996a:48).

Liberalization: Globalization has viewed as liberalization. It is a process of removing all the government restrictions on movement between one country to another country. Globalization has become an important word for describing the process of international economic integration (Sander1996:27).

Universalization: A third concept has equated globalization with universalization. In this global means ‘worldwide’ and globalization is the process of supplying goods to people in any part of the world.

Westernization: Globalization is again equal with westernization. Globalization is dynamic where by the social structure of modernity like industrialism, capitalism, rationalism, bureaucratism etc are spread all over the world and spoiling existent culture and local self determination in process.

Territorialization: H, David and M, Tony have defined globalization as a process which embodies a transformation in the spatial organization of social relations and transactions (Held et al., 1999:16)

Different authors have different views on globalization. According to Malcolm Waters, globalization theory examines the emergence of global culture. It suggests that global culture is brought about a variety of the social and cultural developments. It is more important to see that globalization involves a new consciousness of the world as a single place. It suggests that a globalization is a social process in which the constraint of geography on social and cultural arrangements recede and in which people are aware that they are receding. Robertson definition of globalization: Globalization concept refers both to the compression of the world and the intensification of consciousness of the world as a whole. On the other hand, globalization has covered almost every person in today’s world, the trend has spread unevenly.

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The process of globalization must to some extent be facilitated by a convergence of cultures. For example, St Patrick’s Day is a celebration of the patron saint of Ireland. Yet the day itself is now celebrated by many other nationalities all over the world. Admittedly, many of the Irish have at some point emigrated to other part of the world, but this does not explain the extent to which other cultures are willing to assume the St Patrick’s Day celebrations. According to Anthony Giddens, a leading sociological writer on globalization said that globalization is the cultural suspension of space and time. If space is a cultural reference point for geography and national identity, the willingness of many other cultures to celebrate St Patrick’s Day surely reflects a suspension of cultural space. Individuals from the UK, Australia and the US in celebrating the Irish patron saint’s day are suspending, in part, their cultural attachment to their own national culture.

Hollywood and Indian entertainment industry (bollywood) are the two successful industries. They produce films, T.V. shows and a variety of music that are enjoyed not only by Indians, British or Americans, but also by many people around the world. The portrayal of Indian and western lifestyles, shops, the consumption of food, soft drinks and the belief that opportunity exist for everyone, can all be viewed and adopt while watching such movies and T.V. shows. So, if viewers around the world enjoy watching or listening to Indian or western culture, then perhaps they will also enjoy partaking in, or consuming any culture? If this is true, then the media of the country are an important facilitator of country’s companies selling their brands around the globe.

According to Giddins, technology and communication is also a very good example of globalization. The ability to communicate with anyone, at anytime, anywhere in the world increases the perception of a global village, as opposed to a large fragmented global system. Globalization is a very broad aspect. The discussion on globalization can never come to an end. The more you talk, the more it takes you in deep.


The name Mumtaz itself is a combination and use in different countries like Arabic, Indian, Brunei and Malaysia and from the religion perspective it is mostly used in the Muslim community. The restaurant is a typical Indian restaurant. It is famous for Indian food but it also serves different nationalities food. That means different nationalities of food invite all the people in the restaurant from different countries. However, the environment, the way they serve food in an Indian style, can reflect the culture of India. After an observation of the restaurant, it set a good example of globalization. There are different customers can be found in the restaurant of different countries such as British, Arabic, Indians, Chinese, Pakistan. The staffs are also from different places, most of them are the students from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The cooks are from seven different nationalities to maintain the taste of each country. People are sitting and enjoying various types of food of different countries. It looks like a western and Indian culture meeting under one roof. The language that is use in the restaurant is English because it is a universal language. Nevertheless, the Indians and Pakistani convey the message or make an order in their own native language to staffs. Music, taste, interior decorations, paintings on the wall, style of serving the food etc are giving a feel of the culture of India. That is how the globalization helps in shaping and reshaping of social relations within all countries. Different nationalities of people are working in the restaurant on different posts and everyone has to adopt the culture of the restaurant in a globalise manner. The raw material for the restaurant that is not available in the country is been imported from different part of the world. According to Begg, D and Ward, D, global product markets will concentrate on trading internationally, as opposed to operating internationally. Trading internationally is the export and import of goods and services from domestic locations to international markets. To achieve the each country’s taste and maintain the quality of food, the restaurant is importing many of the ingredients from different part of the world.

According to some definitions of globalization, it is understood that globalization plays an important role in doing any type of the business. It is not possible for a country to produce all the goods. For example, some vegetables and fruits require cold or hot weather to grow. Different countries have different weather conditions. Globalization occurs at many levels. Firms can export overseas or even operate overseas. They can exploit cheaper labour, capital or finance overseas. An examination of globalization requires an analysis of numerous issues.

For the globalisation, businesses are classic example of this. As Castells (2001) noted, they are organised around networks of production, management and distribution. Those that are successful have to be able to respond quickly to change – both in the market and in production. Sophisticated information systems are essential in such globalization. Media plays an important role to make the restaurant globalize, through advertisements on the T.V. pop ups on internet. It influences people to visit the restaurant to see the culture and taste the variety of dishes at a single place. For example, Queen Elizabeth had visited the restaurant to experience the Indian culture and the taste of different varieties. It shows that, how globalization make the restaurant so popular in the world.

Queen Elizabeth in the Mumtaz restaurant

The definition of Robertson on globalization best fit here, Globalization concept refers both to the compression of the world and the intensification of consciousness of the world as a whole. Globalization has covered almost every person in today’s world, the trend has spread unevenly. Language is a very good example of globalization. Every country has own language but English is universal. But the thing is, multicultural people speak English differently, each one has distinct way of speaking, accent, using short forms etc. We take an example of spellings, UK spell out colour, realise, and American spell color, realize. The meaning is same but the way of writing is bit different between both the countries.


The overall study of this essay comes with a conclusion by the help of observation done in a Mumtaz an Indian veg and non-vegetarian restaurant. The observation highlights the globalization of culture. The restaurant has perfectly maintained the dignity of the Indian culture. They have also attracted many of the celebrities to come and see the culture of India in the U.K. Food, religion, paintings, interior decoration, and people of different nationalities, Indian music and import of the products from different countries. These are the main aspects, which have shown the globalization of culture, and globalization of product and services. This is explained with an example of raw materials import from different countries and the international students those who are working in the restaurant and offering their best services globally. The ethnography study on the restaurant has tried to relate with the literature is used in this essay.


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