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[原创天地] A Personal Struggle?

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发表于 11-10-2018 10:49:14 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

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本帖最后由 yearshappy 于 27-10-2018 18:07 编辑

.
Preface

Australia in recent decades has undertaken some dramatic social changes; leading the field is the subject of multiculturalism; no doubt because one third of Australia’s population were born overseas.

The latest Australia Bureau of Statistics 2016 shows the Chinese born residents to be the most prolific among those with a non-English speaking background. Being a Chinese migrant myself one of, if not the greatest issue of mine, upon settling down and calling this new land my home was food, precisely the differences between the food of the land of my birth and that of my newly adopted home.

Recently I conducted a research project to discover if other fellow elderly Chinese immigrants found difficulty in accepting the food of our new land as opposed to that of culturally familiar food. Through this project, I have learned a great deal about food as well as myself and Chinese culture. It has also helped me to gain a better understanding of how immigrants from other ethnic backgrounds accept such differences.

This forum provides me with a quick and convenient way to share my experiences and research findings relative to food culture with the members of the Chinese immigrant community throughout Australia. I would also like to hear from you as well.


What are your experiences relative to culturally based food and culinary practices in this land of Australia?
I’ll share my story short afterwards.

To be continued

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发表于 11-10-2018 10:54:41 | 显示全部楼层
My brekkie. The dark spread on toast was vegemite. How adaptive am I!
wx_camera_1537658141017.jpg

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 楼主| 发表于 11-10-2018 11:28:31 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 yearshappy 于 11-10-2018 13:18 编辑

Have a look at two popular threads below:

https://freeoz.org/ibbs/thread-1299574-1-1.html 大家来说各地的小吃、中吃、大吃 by @kevin妈妈   ;

https://freeoz.org/ibbs/thread-1299422-1-1.html 散文 · 简餐 (浮生若梦)by @MICHELLE07  

And, @yping88  this's a big question for me https://freeoz.org/ibbs/thread-1300331-1-1.html Why have you fallen in love with Australia?



@yping88 @MICHELLE07 @牧马人  @mason00 @Serin @语之玫瑰 @mite @KYLIE2008 @指纹 @hedgehog @幸福妈妈 @OZCherry

Is there anyone else interested in food? Everyone is more than welcome to join this discussion.

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发表于 11-10-2018 11:47:54 | 显示全部楼层
yearshappy 发表于 11-10-2018 12:28
Have a look at below these two popular threads:

https://freeoz.org/ibbs/thread-1299574-1-1.html  ...

我英文很渣,无法参与英文讨论你们聊

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发表于 11-10-2018 11:58:00 | 显示全部楼层
yearshappy 发表于 11-10-2018 12:28
Have a look at below these two popular threads:

https://freeoz.org/ibbs/thread-1299574-1-1.html  ...


Thanks yearshappy for inviting me   
Pleasure
Firstly let me call a new friend to join in this discussion @带你湖  
he or his gorgeous wife may have something to share

My experience with food in a new country:
1. No difficulty at all
2. Cooking what we want at home, all ingredients are available with good qualities
3. Eating out often -- there're plenty of nice restaurants
4. Having lunch with colleagues - enjoy different types of food
5. Stick to healthy food and always try something new
6. What exactly is the land of my birth? .. ..not sure.  I naturally adapted to whatever was offered to me when I left my hometown for the the first time.

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 楼主| 发表于 11-10-2018 11:59:18 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 yearshappy 于 11-10-2018 13:19 编辑
牧马人 发表于 11-10-2018 11:54
My brekkie. The dark spread on toast was vegemite. How adaptive am I!




How often do you have a typical Chinese breakfast?
(The definition of a 'typical Chinese breakfast' is of your choice)
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 楼主| 发表于 11-10-2018 12:02:15 | 显示全部楼层
@@带你湖    It'd be fantastic if you can join the discussion.  
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发表于 11-10-2018 12:03:05 | 显示全部楼层
yearshappy 发表于 11-10-2018 12:59
How often do you have a typical Chinese breakfast?  
(The definition of a 'typica ...

As often as I travel back to China, having classic Chinese brekkie with tears in my eyes.

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 楼主| 发表于 11-10-2018 12:09:02 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 yearshappy 于 11-10-2018 21:21 编辑

A personal Struggle in the Kitchen


In the early years of my migration to Australia, I often stood in the kitchen, looking around helplessly in a struggle to determine what food to cook and how I could prepare my dinner to suit my taste. I was trying to find a sense of home, but it just wasn't there yet.

That was a typical Australian kitchen and the apparatus, the cutlery, electric appliances were foreign to me. There was neither a wok nor a soymilk maker; instead what I saw was an oven and a toast maker. Opening up the built-in cabinets I searched but could find no trace of the Chinese soy sauce. There was a bottle of Worcestershire Sauce which I found its taste weird. There was no garlic chives, no Chinese choy sum either; what was offered to me was oregano, brussel sprouts, vegemite and butter.


02 - Copy.jpg


For an elderly Chinese migrant, needless to say, the situation was almost overwhelming for it created a juxtaposition between the excitement of a new-found situation and the despair of a lost familiarity. I confess therewas a certain ‘longing for the green, green grass of home’ (apologies to JohnDenver) with Chinese food all around me and the smell and taste of home.

One day a friend of mine came in and brought me the well-known Sichuan dish, Bai Yun Feng Zhao (chicken feet). I was as hungry as a bear that has just found a pot of honey and just hoed in; I didn’t realise that I had consumed it all and had forgotten to leave any for her. A decade later myfriend and I still often laugh about my horse-like eating behaviour of that day.


0000 - Copy.png


I am not a gastronomist not even a foodie; however, I did miss tremendously the food and the kitchen that I was familiar with and grew up in. While endeavouring to embrace the new culture in this destiny land I struggled daily in dealing with what I could eat and how I should cook. Over these years, it begs questions such as, what role does culturally familiar food and culinary practice play in the lives of migrants and what impact does it have on individual migrants both now and in the future?


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发表于 11-10-2018 13:10:39 | 显示全部楼层
I have no problem with most of the edible stuff. I told my colleagues that I was a typical Chinese and that meant I ate everything with legs except chair. I found vegemite quite appetising with a thin layer on a buttered toast or a small dip on crushed cucumber. The devil is in the quantity.

What I am not quite clear is what Australian style of food is. I often see sausage sizzles, lamb cutlets, BBQ ribs associated with Australian style but most of them strike me as red meat or processed meat high in fat, sugar and sodium. As much as I love bacon et al, I always have to refrain from being greedy.

Being a people brought up in FST(Free-Shipping Territory, 江浙沪包邮区), one thing I especially missed here in Aus is fresh bamboo shoot.

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发表于 11-10-2018 13:34:41 | 显示全部楼层
Serin 发表于 11-10-2018 14:10
I have no problem with most of the edible stuff. I told my colleagues that I was a typical Chinese a ...
I ate everything with legs except chair


pwg11.png

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 楼主| 发表于 11-10-2018 13:37:49 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 yearshappy 于 11-10-2018 20:08 编辑

Personal Troubles, Public Matters


It seems I was not alone in this matter and that similar struggles are evident with the members of other migrant communities worldwide. In the United States, Emily Kim with the online name Maangchi (Korean in origin), has found herself by creating a Korean kitchen in New York City and becoming a popular blogger. She said to the New York Times that she had ‘a taste from growing up in Korea.’


03 - Copy.jpg


Additionally, in his 2014 research paper, Fabio Parasecoli, an Italian born Professor and journalist, illustrates his experience when encountering native familiar food in the United States; he describes it as a feeling of being home again, 'Somehow I was at home yet away from home!' In his speech on YouTube video (2013), he tells about his thoughts of food in relation to society and how he, while reflecting upon the power of food, started to think about what he eats in daily life. It was this association and connection with food that enabled the establishment of links to like-minded Italian-American cousins.




Back in Australia in 2016, scholars Schermuly and Forbes-Mewett from Monash University conducted research on South African-Australians and found that, culinary rituals and traditional food for these migrants is closely associated with their identity and belonging. In their transitional experience, it is by continuing to consume their traditional cuisine that they reconstruct a feeling of home and are able to build a bridge connecting their previous life to the present one, thereby easing the transitional experience.

Day-to-day food choices and culinary practices in the homes of migrants are the choices of individual persons and is a private matter. Seeing the perspective of sociologist Wright Mills there are connections linking many segments together so that a pattern becomes clear in which migrants in Australia, as well as the United States, are having similar experiences with food. Only then do we find that our issues at home are not as personal as it appears but retain significance in social institutions and histories.  


This is a clear scenario of how a struggle on a personal level in a private home has become a public matter and a social phenomenon.



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发表于 11-10-2018 13:40:10 | 显示全部楼层

Haven't tried that so can't comment.

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发表于 11-10-2018 17:39:22 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 带你湖 于 11-10-2018 18:55 编辑

Thanks for the invitaiton. I love my Shanghai cuisine very much. Living abroad for the last 15 years, I have had the pleasure of eating good quality Chinese food. Although my wife is Persian Canadian and generally loves Canadian cuisine, she has developed strong appreciation for Chinese food since we married.
My wife is also a food blogger and has a massive followers. Please check the link below.

she has a food blog called https://www.aheadofthyme.com/


aheadoftyhme thumbnail.png


We have been travelling around the world for last 6 months and have had a great variety of food. One of my favorite cuisines is Sichuan food including hot pot.
Check out our food tour in Sichuan. I would really appreciate if you guys can come to my youtube channel and subscribe to our channel by clicking link in video and subcribing to our channel (www.youtube.com/huslost).


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发表于 11-10-2018 17:43:39 | 显示全部楼层
sorry if my comment has gone a little off topic.

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发表于 11-10-2018 19:16:55 | 显示全部楼层
I enjoy toast with avocado and a cup of tea for breakfast .

I love dumpling,rice and noodle

Chinese food is still my favourite.

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 楼主| 发表于 11-10-2018 19:41:44 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 yearshappy 于 11-10-2018 21:11 编辑



Show me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are


Samples from my photographic data collection

001 - Copy.jpg

cutl. mix - Copy.jpg
vg.mix - Copy.jpg


Food and cooking utensils which I saw in both homes: soysource, dumplings, cooked chicken feet, fried leafy vegetables, steam cloth,steam cooker, soymilk maker, chopsticks and Chinese cleavers. Soy source is oneof the items that appeared often throughout my research data, supporting theresearch findings of Kim and Chung in 2013 (which analysed nearly 6000 recipesfrom 22 countries) that declared soy source to be the most prevalent Chineseingredient.

The table below is copied fromKim & Chung’s (2013) research project.
table.png


On a visit to the home of one of the participants, a topicof particular interest that we discussed was the Chinese preference in usingthe cleaver, believing it most suitable for food preparation so dishes can beeaten with chopsticks. Naturally this compares with the western practice of usingkitchen knives and other utensils in similar preparation and consumption.


Foranyone interested, here is a video on the topic of Chinese cleavers by theAustralian celebrity chief Adam Liaw

1.png



What Chinese foods are you familiar with
and do you have a Chinese cleaver in yourkitchen?



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 楼主| 发表于 11-10-2018 20:06:58 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 yearshappy 于 11-10-2018 21:32 编辑

The Significance of Chinese Foods for elderly Chinese Immigrants


Although my research involved only a small number of mature aged Chinese migrants, two of them prepared similar foods in the same manner. Culturally familiar food and culinary practices is for these Chinese immigrants the keystone to their future happiness and well-being.

By creating familiar food in a familiar kitchen, then migrants of any persuasion can state, “If the food tastes like home, then it is my home.” These are the feelings that were articulated by two participants while showing me their kitchen and their gardens where the leafy Chinese vegetable plants were thriving. Both of them appeared bright and optimistic with one commenting that earlier Chinese migrants in the era of the gold rush and afterwards were not lucky enough to have such ready access to Chinese food.  

Food is not simply only an entity of nutrition it carries memory and tradition and reflects identity. Culturally familiar food for people who are far away from where they grew up, can instantly trigger a series of emotions which can have impact on their physical well-being, as the Ghanaian migrants in the United States expressed ‘I haven’t eaten if I don’t have my soup and fufu.’ The pleasure, satisfaction and the fulfilment obtained from familiar food at a new home certainly assists the positive transitional experiences of these participants of my project.  



Would you have weetbix or bacon and eggs or soymilk and porridge for brekky?


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发表于 11-10-2018 20:23:16 | 显示全部楼层
MICHELLE07 发表于 11-10-2018 12:58
Thanks yearshappy for inviting me   
Pleasure
Firstly let me call a new friend to join in t ...

No matter where you end up, you would make it your own!

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发表于 11-10-2018 20:28:54 | 显示全部楼层
牧马人 发表于 11-10-2018 11:54
My brekkie. The dark spread on toast was vegemite. How adaptive am I!

A friend of mine once told me: If you try the vegemite, you will either love it or hate it, there will be no feelings in between!

Obviously, you love it! Good start to settle in!

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 楼主| 发表于 11-10-2018 20:36:59 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 yearshappy 于 11-10-2018 21:55 编辑

..

What we are is shaped by Social Factors


Why do we want to eat what we eat?

Why is one man’s meat anotherman’s poison?


In an understanding as to why people eat what they eat andhow they become what they are, two theoretical frameworks may be helpful: thesociological imagination and the habitus theory.

The former was coined by Charles Wright Mills (1916-62) inhis publication The SociologicalImagination (1959) which teaches us that we cannot separate the individualfrom society; to understand one, we have to understand the other; we have tosee an individual within a social and historical context.

The other is the habitus theory which was developed byPierre Bourdieu (1930-2002), a leading French sociologist who observed that ourpreferences, such as in food are the interactions within social and materialworlds and are determined by social factors including class, education andculture. His work, ‘Distinction: a socialcritique of the judgement of taste’, although based on the middle-classesin French society has significance that extends into today’s world.



04 - Copy.jpg


In the light of these two theories, the preference of Chinese food for the participantsin my project is not only a personal determination but also due to one’s living experience and the culture they grew up in.


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发表于 11-10-2018 20:38:46 | 显示全部楼层
yearshappy 发表于 11-10-2018 12:28
Have a look at two popular threads below:

https://freeoz.org/ibbs/thread-1299574-1-1.html 大家来 ...

Thank you for bringing this up, @yearshappy

This should be the topic on which @牧马人 and I would find each other have so much in common with!

Of course, we all love the land that we have made our permanent or long-term base in, please, join me and share your fondness for this land!

https://freeoz.org/ibbs/thread-1300331-1-1.html

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发表于 11-10-2018 20:40:59 | 显示全部楼层
牧马人 发表于 11-10-2018 13:03
As often as I travel back to China, having classic Chinese brekkie with tears in my eyes.

What is your classic Chinese brekkie? I would like to understand your tears!
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 楼主| 发表于 11-10-2018 20:52:48 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 yearshappy 于 11-10-2018 22:00 编辑

.
Integration & Culture Reproduction:

Finally call it Home

Acculturation in contemporary societies has shifted its objectives from the situation whereby a single dominant culture has broad control of indigenous peoples into the formation of a culturally pluralistic society where ethno-cultural groups have combined in order to live harmoniously together.

Professor John Berry from Queen’s University of Canada, inhis 2005 paper, claims that these mutually agreed adaptations of combiningethno-cultural groups may be a long-term process taking place over years or possiblyeven generations. At a social level, matters such as political, economic,historical and cultural factors may impact upon the adaptation process and atthe individual level some may find it easy while others challenging. However,by progressive contact with other cultures and engagement in differing socialactivities, even the individuals who find integration difficult will discoverthat they will slowly adapt and accept the changes.

In my project, while two of the participants have lived in Australia for 8 and 11 years, the third informant has been absent from herbirth country for 38 years. My data shows that the first two participants clearly practise the Chinese way of cooking, however, one of them also shows a strong interest in learning how to cook local food. For example, as well as her Chinese cooking appliances she also had a toaster and a full set of cutleries. During the interview, the third informant expressed that she had no issue with western food, particularly for the breakfast, as she and her husband often had weetbixor toast; however, it could be optimistic to think that mature age Chinese immigrants will, over time, readily adapt and even adopt this new culture and warm to the new cuisine available to them.

I, the participants in my project and many others are merely part of the process of culture reproduction. In time, we will finally call this land home.



Epilogue

This small project is only an attempt to disclose how the personal issues of mature aged Chinese immigrants have a public face.

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发表于 11-10-2018 20:54:16 | 显示全部楼层
Serin 发表于 11-10-2018 14:10
I have no problem with most of the edible stuff. I told my colleagues that I was a typical Chinese a ...

I don't think I can ever have enough of the deep-fried sticky rice cakes, which I desperately longed for as a child and abused on as a revenge in my adult life!
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发表于 11-10-2018 22:18:37 | 显示全部楼层
yping88 发表于 11-10-2018 21:38
Thank you for bringing this up, @yearshappy

This should be the topic on which @牧马人 and I wo ...

Oh dear. I reckon only contentious topics can get me intrigued. So what now then?
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 楼主| 发表于 11-10-2018 22:26:45 | 显示全部楼层
牧马人 发表于 11-10-2018 23:18
Oh dear. I reckon only contentious topics can get me intrigued. So what now then?

so you're a fighter
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发表于 11-10-2018 22:27:12 | 显示全部楼层
yping88 发表于 11-10-2018 21:40
What is your classic Chinese brekkie? I would like to understand your tears!

Chinese deep fried breadstick and 豆腐脑(who knows the English for it?)

As a Northerner I have to make it loud and clear, the 豆腐脑 has to be salty. Any sweet 豆花 is not only waste of food but also anti-human. Everyone must stand up to it.
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发表于 11-10-2018 22:30:40 | 显示全部楼层

A proud fighter for the sacred name of 豆腐脑
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 楼主| 发表于 11-10-2018 22:39:33 | 显示全部楼层
牧马人 发表于 11-10-2018 23:27
Chinese deep fried breadstick and 豆腐脑(who knows the English for it?)

As a Northerner I have  ...

savory tofu pudding would do

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