Huge Difference? Huge Opportunity!

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Nangua Baozi. Photo produced by J B.

There is an old Chinese saying that “food is the paramount necessity of the people.” As a result, Chinese always focus on the aroma and surface of dishes. Compared with it, Western emphysize on the balanced collocation and essence. It is the food cultural difference. Indeed, in my mind, it is also a great opportunity for a cultural exchange and expansive market.

I remember when my Chinese friend lived in a family stay, she cooked a pretty simple Chinese dish called “scrambled egg with tomatoes” (Okay, I’m lying because the dish doesn’t have an English name) for the American family, and then the family said “we have eggs, and we have tomatoes, but we never thought put them together into a pan. It actually is – delicious.” See? The diversity crossing cultures and food sometimes is another way to communicate.

I’m always curious why McDonald’s is very popular in Asian countires and actually the food taste no much different from Western. However, the most popular Chinese restuarant in the American market, Panda Express, probably is not authentic Chinese food. Indeed, as a Chinese, I have neither heard nor eaten orange chicken before I came to the U.S. However, compared with Chinese food, Japanese food still remains its original and traditional taste (and higher price) in different countries around the world. The different situation on food and restaurants between those two Asian countries in the U.S. market is about their diverse history, ingredients, cultures and cooking techniques, but it is beyond them.

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Photo produced by Luke Norris

Food is a way to satisfy our hunger. We also call it as a kind of art. Most Americans do not care about the “authenticity” of what foreign dishes they’re eating, but I believe everyone loves delicacy. I have tried many “weird” dishes like an Italian dish called squid ink risotto which the rice is totally black, and I know I love them. If you do believe there are a lot delicious and amazing dishes being able to bring “happiness” to you, next time please try another type of menu in any Chinese food restaurant opened by native Chinese.

 

A Game Or A World?

    

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Minecraft Pirate Ship. Photo produced by Jimmy.

Minecraft, a sandbox game, definitely is one of the most successful games in recent years and there is only one rule in the 3-D space – build your world with pixel! Aces even play a lot further in their worlds such as rebuilding a high school, U-boat, or video-calling phone through the virtual world. In only 5 years, the game has broken more than 10 the Guinness World Records such as being the “country modelled at full scale in a videogame.” In other words, it’s not only a game anymore, but also a medium actualizing people’s imagination and creating an interactive community.

When my friend and I went to 2015 O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) , in Portland, we were both attracted by the Microsoft exhibition because of the most important aspect of the game – open source. Because everyone can access and edit the codes, it provides a broader platform to exchange information crossing different systems and geographical restriction, and effectively lower the cost. Through my eyes, a lot of programmers enjoyed to write programs in the convention and I believe there are thousands of programmers who are developing and perfecting the program of the game around the world. Thus, instead of playing the game, they are participating the game.

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My friend Fan Yang and I in OSCON in 2015. Photo produced by Julian Cash.

In 2015, Microsoft purchased Minecraft and its developer, Mojang for $2.5 billion. Recently, the corporation announced that it completed acquisition of MinecraftEdu,a game-mode learning tool as well, and it will publish a new-edition sandbox game for education and schools. The concept is that Minecraft provides an open space where students in different educational level around the world will connect each other and study together. Throughout the official Twitter account, they continually report the usage of the program for students.

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Minecraft has become a culture with a special influence to the world. It is possible to create a cross-cultural and cross-geographic community for students, because creative always plays an important role in education. The game is beyond physical like Lego, so it offers an infinite opportunities for kids and the future.

 

 

Food Connects The World

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There is an obvious difference between American and Chinese food culture. Because economic and political ties accelerate the integration of different nation’s culture, the people have gradually accepted other food culture and it definitely is a successful cross-cultural nonverbal communication and exchange.

However, since I have been the United State four years, as a Chinese, I realized that the authentic and original Chinese food is still hardly accepted by Americans.

RELATED: Chinese food is not authentic Chinese food.

Topic

As a result, I will focus on how to increase the popularity and acceptability for Asian food industry in the American market and how the food industry affects intercultural communication.

Purpose

First, my purpose to write those following blogs is to demonstrate and analyze some successful and failure cases about importing Chinese food culture into the American market.  Second, I would like to introduce the authentic Chinese food industry via multimedia and consider causes of differences between American and Chinese dining cultures. Hence, through dissemination of information, my final purpose is to spread Chinese culture and promote Americans to understand more about it.

Interests

Through my blogs, I will focus on Asian food, food companies, and cultures. At the same time, I would like to introduce some interesting Chinese food. As the meaning of Tiramisu is “pick me up,” many Chinese dishes possess special meaning with their history.

Experience

Because of my experiences of living in China and America, I would like to share them with my audiences in order to attract their attention. After reading my experiences, I hope I can arouse echo in readers’ hearts so that finally they could be willing to involve in the Chinese food industry and culture.

Let us create mutual undestanding and friendship, and enjoy the food!

(Image via)