Wednesday, February 19, 2014

searching for authentic ethnic food

I saw this comic and shouted "yes yes yes!" at the screen.

Shing Yin Khor does a beautiful job of walking the reader through her character's experience of her foodways and how other people view them. She gently and then strongly forces the other character searching for the ability to label something authentic (and the reader), to acknowledge what that means and what it erases.

Her work toes the line of showing and telling. Khor does this with grace, weaving in stories of what people perceive her to eat, want her to eat, and what she does it, and then hits you with strong declarations:

"We're a people, not a cuisine.

Do not deny us our own diversity".

I could gush on how this should be mandatory reading in every food studies, anthropology, and sociology class, and how it every "food blogger" should have to meaningfully engage with the piece and never use the words "ethnic cuisine" again... but just go read it. I promise we can have as hearty a discussion as you like in the comments section.

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