Reported by Michael Allen of Opposing Views:
Some students at Oberlin College in Ohio are outraged that some of the Asian dishes served at the school are not authentic enough, which they say amounts to cultural appropriation.
“It was ridiculous,” Diep Nguyen, a freshman from Vietnam, told The Oberlin Review in November. “How could they just throw out something completely different and label it as another country’s traditional food?”
Nguyen was upset that a Banh Mi Vietnamese sandwich, which should have been made of grilled pork, pate, pickled vegetables and fresh herbs, was composed of ciabatta bread, pulled pork and coleslaw.
Prudence Hiu-Ying, a Chinese sophomore from China, said that the school’s offering of General Tso’s chicken was not deep-fried chicken with ginger-garlic soy sauce, but rather steamed chicken with another type of sauce.
The school’s campus dining services says that the food service company that provides the dishes, Bon Appetite, is trying to offer nutritional diversity.
However, that explanation doesn’t work for some students.
Tomoyo Joshi, a Japanese junior, said that the undercooked rice and absence of fresh fish in the school’s sushi is a sign of disrespect.
“When you’re cooking a country’s dish for other people, including ones who have never tried the original dish before, you’re also representing the meaning of the dish as well as its culture,” Joshi stated. “So if people not from that heritage take food, modify it and serve it as ‘authentic,’ it is appropriative.”
Read the whole story at Opposing Views