7 Common Misconceptions About Chinese Food and Eating

When it comes to eating Chinese food, there are quite a few stereotypical myths and perceptions surrounding this dining experience.

Living in Singapore, Malaysia and Australia, I’ve had my fair share of Chinese cuisine. At least once a week I eat Chinese food, be it in a restaurant or having it as takeaway or cooking it at home. What I’ve noticed is that Chinese dishes aren’t the same everywhere.

Yang Chow fried rice. A popular dish all over the world.

Yang Chow fried rice. A popular dish all over the world | Weekly Photo Challenge: Sweet.

But this is no surprise. Food is tied to culture, and culture is different in every given space. Evidently how food is served around the world is different.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Australian Greetings: ‘How’s It Going’ And More

When it comes to saying hello, Australians have a few typical greeting phrases and choice slang words.

Usually greeting someone in Australia is a casual, informal affair regardless of whether or not we know that person, whether we are close to them or not.

There are so many ways to say hello. Weekly Photo Challenge: Variations on a Theme.

There are so many ways to say hello | Weekly Photo Challenge: Variations on a Theme.

When I moved back to Australia about a decade ago, the typical Aussie ‘hellos’ confused me. When someone greeted me in Australian-speak, it always took a moment for me to realise that they were actually saying hi to me.

Continue reading

Differences Between Work-Life Balance In Eastern And Western Cultures

When it comes to work-life balance, Asian and Western cultures usually have different ways of discovering it.

For many years here in Australia, I’ve juggled working a day job, chasing a writing career and making time for things on the personal and home front. Sometimes it feels like I’ve got too many things work and play-wise to do.

Work to play or play to work. Or both | Weekly Photo Challenge: Experimental.

Work to play or play to work. Or both | Weekly Photo Challenge: Experimental.

Finding a work-life balance is arguably about juggling needs and wants. According to Safework SA, work life balance is ‘the relationship between your work and the commitments in the rest of your life, and how they impact on one another’. Finding a work-life balance often means organising time for things you want to do, and have to do whether you like it or not because it may impact the former and vice-versa – and trying to discover that ever elusive feeling called satisfaction all round.

Continue reading

Asian, Quiet And Introverted? It’s Just The Way I Am

When we speak of introverts, we often think of those who are quiet. There’s the common stereotype that if we’re Asian, we’re quiet and passive, and perhaps introverted too.

I’ve been every bit the introvert my whole life. As a Chinese Australian who feels too Asian to be Australian and too Australian to be Asian, countless occasions I feel I don’t fit in – but ironically I love being on my own.

Introverts love quiet and their own space | Weekly Photo Challenge: Layered personalities of different colours.

Introverts love quiet and their own space | Weekly Photo Challenge: Layered personalities of different colours.

Being an introvert never bothered me, and it’s interesting seeing how others react to me and the way I am.

Continue reading

8 Classic Dim Sum Dishes That You Should Order At Yum Cha

When it comes to yum cha, there’s lots to choose from on the menu. From dumplings to steamed rice to buns to deep fried seafood, the choice of dim sum is endless – and there are some dishes we’ll always insist on ordering because they are our favourites.

Over the years across Asia and Australia, I’ve eaten yum cha countless of times with the folks and friends and we always order the same dishes. We love them, we order them, it feels right eating the same dishes over and over. Only occasionally we’d order something we don’t usually eat.

There's always much dim sum to eat at yum cha.

There’s always much dim sum to eat at yum cha.

Yum cha is traditionally a Cantonese brunch that involves Chinese tea and dim sum. Yum cha ( 飲茶) literally means ‘drink tea’. The meal originated in the Cantonese-speaking regions of China, and the meal can be traced back to the time when travellers on the ancient Silk Road stopped at teahouses for tea and snacks. On the other hand, dim sum (飲茶) are small serving dishes. These dishes are commonly carted around on trollies in restaurants and served in bamboo steamers or on small plates. Here are some typical, classic Cantonese-style dim sum dishes that are popular at yum cha:

Continue reading

What Is The Difference Between ‘Race’ And ‘Ethnicity’ In A Changing World?

Race. Ethnicity. These are two words that seem similar. But they are two words that mean different things.

When I studied cultural studies at university, the terms ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity’ often appeared within academic texts that I read. The more I read about these two words, the more I realised they are more complicated than they sound.

Endless faces of race and ethnicity | Weekly Photo Challenge: Elemental.

Endless faces of race and ethnicity | Weekly Photo Challenge: Elemental.

Commonly, ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity’ encompass grouping and categorisation. But each word is its own concept. As people and culture change, history and stories rewrite themselves; each word builds upon lessons of the past and revelations of the present.

Continue reading