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 As locals fled the region for greener pastures, Northern Italy’s cheese industry was under threat. But thanks to Sikh migrants, some traditional dairies have preserved a small slice of Italian culture.

There are nearly 16,000 Indian migrants employed on Italian farms, mainly in the country’s North. Many, like Jaspinder’s father, arrived in search of employment familiar to their roots. “My dad is from an agriculture tradition, so when he came here he didn’t find that big difference between Punjab and Italy.” As the Sikhs attempt to keep their culture and traditions strong in their new home, they are also helping to preserve a piece of Italy’s culture – the art of making parmesan cheese. This report explores these two cultures whose similarities and differences merge for the betterment of each other.

Like many excellent foodie movies, Sikh Formaggio is more about cultural heritage than it is  about food. This 22-minute film shows the changing dynamics of the international landscape, how people in developing countries make sacrifices for gainful employment and in turn help save traditions on other countries. With beautiful shots of Italian villages and the local Sikh Temple, Sikh Formaggio is a splendid, quiet little film.

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Vandana Kumar

Vandana Kumar is a publishing executive with a 35-year track record in the industry. She leads the India Currents Foundation as President and CEO. As a new immigrant, she co-founded India Currents magazine...