GASD71 Fall 2015

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Goan Diasporic Kitchen

Goan Diasporic Kitchen followed the life of a Goan Catholic female migrant; her journey from Zanzibar to Toronto through her experience of food. This project was to stimulate a discussion on the relationship between food, gender and migration with respect to the Goan diaspora.

The key to understanding the Goan Diasporic Kitchen was its uniqueness. Goa was a multicultural space in which different cultures, races, religions, and trade had a significant influence on the local cooking style.

Foodways and Transnational Identities across Hong Kong & Toronto

Food choices and eating practices are ways in which a community constructs a shared cultural identity and in which one constructs their self-identity. Therefore, food choices are strong indicators of cultural and social changes. This project takes a look the characteristics of restaurant selection of Emily P., an immigrant from Hong Kong to Toronto, who later returned to Hong Kong 15 years after moving to Canada. Through the analysis of her restaurant picks across Hong Kong and Toronto, the way Emily P. navigates through her cultural and self identity is unveiled. Also, this project gives insight into the construction and perpetuation of diasporic identity through food and foodways.

A Hakka-Chinese Family in Scarborough

​From my personal experience and research, Hakka-Chinese and Cantonese foodways are very similar to each other. For example, rice is a staple in both the Hakka-Chinese and Cantonese foodways. Furthermore, the Hakka and Cantonese have very similar cooking styles such as stir-frying and steaming (The Food). As both Hakka-Chinese and Cantonese foodways coexist side by side, it shows that Hakka-Chinese cuisine left a strong impact in Southern China since the 1980s and 1990s. Looking at the case study done by Sidney Cheung, it became more popular in recent years. It became more noticeable in Hong Kong as “some scholars suggests that the revival of Hong Kong style Hakka food…among Hong Kong migrants had to do with the development of 
a cultural nostalgia of [being a] Hong Kong Chinese" (Cheung, 57). 

On the other hand, Hakka-Chinese foodways in my family is somewhat different than the traditional Hakka-
Chinese family. The foundation of Hakka-Chinese foodways in my family is my mother as she is a Hakka-Chinese. My father, on the other hand, is Cantonese. It does allow me to have a mixture of both Cantonese cuisine and Hakka-Chinese cuisine. But what does it mean to my parents? 

I interviewed both my parents about their opinions and they provided an interesting insight of what they believed as Hakka cuisine. My father said that he was not entirely sure what Hakka cuisine is but dishes like “fish meat with tofu, salt covered chicken, fish meat with bitter melon, pork belly with preserved vegetables and many more…Those are Hakka cuisine but Cantonese cuisine has these as well”. On the other hand, my mother said that Hakka cuisine has its’ own flavor. It is generally rich in flavor, “high in calories” and “is typically salty” as well. She doesn’t cook it often either due to health concerns and the time that takes to make it. Simply put, my family does not always eat Hakka cuisine. We eat it on special occasions or when my mother decides to make them.