Taking Our Traditions and Selling ‘em Back To Us: Food and Cultural Appropriation
A sharp, on-point and often hilarious conversationbetween two Asian-American foodies questioning each other about US cuisine and cultural appropriation. What does integrity look like for chefs who borrow from culinary traditions outside their ethnic group — in a context of (im)migration, commodification, racism (/white supremacy) , and American nationalism? Is integrity even possible?
I think I’m so disenfranchised that I don’t want to be American anymore. It’s a club I’m tired of trying to get into. I’d rather drink at a Karaoke bar. But, I know deep down, I am American. I go to China or Taiwan and people fight me on basketball courts because I play like an American. That’s what makes this so shitty for us. We have no home.
Super interesting and hella relevant, it seems to me, to conversations about “bringing Buddhism to the West,” or finding ways of integrating Buddhism with Western culture. What’s at stake? Who has power? Isn’t it weird when so many USian Buddhist teachers/experts/celebrities are white, even though most Buddhists in the US are of Asian descent? (For more on this, go visit Arun at Angry Asian Buddhist.)
Anyway, go read the article! You won’t regret it.
Hat tip to Endria Richardson. :)
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[Top Photo: Left: Eddie Huang, Right: Francis Lam. Photo of Lam by Melissa Hom / Grub Street]