Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Asian Food and Australia's Changing Palate (@ Peril Magazine)

Here's another post I have up at Peril (Asian-Australian arts and culture mag): Asian Food and Australia's Changing Palate. The title pretty much says it all.

It’s frequently been said that despite the way many Australians laud the benefits of multiculturalism, this embrace of other cultures often doesn’t go any further than our eating habits. While someone may love the way a diverse society gives them a ready supply of felafels, fried rice and pho, they don’t necessarily interface at any deeper level with the cultures those foods came from. And while I agree that this is largely true, it is nonetheless a good start. Surely the broadening of the Australian palate has had some kind of positive effect on the broadening of our national psyche. I’m not sure how you would measure such a thing, but surely the bogan douchebags who yell out “curry muncher” at passing Indians would be less likely to do so if they could only spend more time munching curry themselves. It’s harder to keep seeing Afghanistan simply as a barbarous wasteland once you’ve discovered the frankly amazing things Afghanis can do with rice and kebabs. So perhaps the dudes slaving away in their shops making shawarma, som tum and futomaki are the ones who are really at the vanguard of combating racism in this country.
Check the full post here.

3 comments:

  1. It’s frequently been said that despite the way many Australians laud the benefits of multiculturalism, this embrace of other cultures often doesn’t go any further than our eating habits.

    I'd say the same thing applies in the United States. This has been pointed out both by white nationalists and liberals such as Christian Lander (author of the hilarious, and in my opinion very insightful "Stuff White People Like")

    When white yuppie/SWPL types say they like "diversity", it usually boils down to one thing: Good "ethnic" food. That, and other things such as music.

    In all of my life, I have NEVER heard anyone successfully argue in favor of the notion that racial diversity is a strength (maybe you'll be the first =D).

    When they do, it usually revolves around specific items such as food and music. They'll enjoy the food and music, but would prefer to avoid large numbers of the people of that race.

    (I don't like using the term "culture" too much, because at least in my experience, PC types use it as a code word for race)

    ReplyDelete
  2. @ Bay Area Guy:
    I started writing a comment in response, but it got too lengthy and became a post. Stay tuned, it'll be up shortly.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks, looking forward to it!

    ReplyDelete