COM536 | “Do You See Me? Chinese Food Culture” by Yan Liu


My name is Yan Liu. My project is “#Do You See Me? Chinese Food Culture.” I want to educate people about Chinese food culture through Chinese food. I chose this project because Chinese food is one of the most popular ethnic cuisines in America and when I did research, I found it super hard to find adequate informational resources about Chinese food culture. When you search “Chinese food” on Google or other search engines you can find tons of recipe sharing or cooking tutorial videos but it’s really hard to find any information about Chinese food culture like stories of the people behind Chinese food. So I really wanted to do something different to let people understand and know the Chinese food culture stories behind the Chinese food. To solve the dilemma, I created both a physical and a virtual side. So the website I created is the main portal for the Chinese food culture I really wanted to share. And it’s the aggregation for all the informational resources combined together. I crafted many stories about well known Chinese food cuisines and to engage people, I did the quiz and I also created online communities so you can find the stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and also Google Plus. On the physical side, I put QR codes on the outsides of Chinese takeout boxes so when you scan a QR code, it links to the website I created. And I also designed some postcards and I called it “food stickers” for the dining tables in Chinese restaurants. So when people go to Chinese restaurants and they order in takeout boxes or are just waiting for their food to be served on a table they can spend a little bit more time to read the stories behind Chinese foods. On the presentation day I brought foods into the class. Fortune cookies, dumplings, and tea eggs. And I call it, like, different levels for getting to the Chinese food culture. You can go to the first level and eat a fortune cookie and then go to the second level and test the dumplings – I made it. And finally it goes to the third level of authentic Chinese food – the tea eggs I cooked. When you finish all of the eating process, you go to the laptop to see the website and the video I crafted. The majority of the classmates said, “your food is really good.” And some of the classmates told me to give them leftovers. I think most of them were surprised when I told them the stories behind Chinese food. They told me they had never thought that there could be profound, meaningful stories behind the Chinese food that they love. Without any doubts, I definitely want to keep going and working on my project and so I talked with some of my friends, including American friends and Chinese friends. They wanted to engage. They want to talk. They wanted to communicate with real people from China. So I want to extend the project by creating physical communities. So if you’re interested in Chinese food culture stories, you’re welcome to join us.

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