New York Chinese eatery heats up cultural appropriation debate


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People used to say that they were "influenced" by other cultures, and other cultures would take pride in how they influenced the world. Now they are accused of "cultural appropriation". I guess we Japanese should go back to wearing kimonos and being samurai. Or were they "appropriated" too? OK, Jomon culture it is!

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This story reminds me of the report of Chinese students at Duke University who were threatened with academic penalties if they spoke Chinese loudly in the common rooms. The Chinese are here in the world to stay! They are not some cute ethnicity that needs to measure up to American norms. The decades and centuries ahead will be very different.

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The whole idea of whining about cultural appropriation is stupid. The entirety of humanity has been about "appropriation" of things we like from other cultures. If I want to grow dreads, because I think they look cool, that's not stealing someone's culture, that's paying respect through imitation.

Anyone who has a problem with that is a complete and utter moron.

I've eaten food that is Japanese influenced (aka appropriated), that I couldn't find in Japan, that has been delicious. Sure, it's not traditional, but that doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with it.

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Online critics pounced, including New York Baohaus restaurateur and author Eddie Huang who dismissed Lucky Lee's as "the Fyre Fest of food & 'wellness,'" on the restaurant's Instagram page.

Now what's Mr. Huang doing with a name like Baohaus for his Chinese restaurant? Is he culturally appropriating the Bauhaus art movement of the 1920s, which of course was German and not Chinese? Does he serve knödel and bratwurst there? Shame on him for his lack of cultural awareness and sensitivity.

Honestly, I thought the world of restaurants and the people who work in them was better than this malarkey. Truly is it said that some people are just looking to be offended.

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To be honest I don’t really understand the furore over ‘cultural appropriation’. I mean, if someone wants to look/dance/dress/cook etc like that from another culture then what’s the big deal if it is done in a respectful manner?

Look at the fashion now, very Western-inspired isn’t it? Knives, forks, lifestyles...I’d like to think we have all borrowed from each other!

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The food in question is not Chinese food anyway. It's chinese-American. People in china don't order lo mein for delivery that shows up in a white box and fortune cookie. All those foods coming out of NYC are a great example of how immigrants contribute to American culture. Chow mein in a white box, egg rolls, and fortune cookie are totally American. What is being appropriated is the victimhood that was once the province of African Americans. But now since "people of color" has been raised from the dead, everyone not white is a victim. Asian Americans, the wealthiest demographic in America, are now POC and suffer oppression; and by extension, cultural oppression.

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This happens all the time. Recently a Canadian book was published on the phenomenon/adaptation of "Chinese" food in restaurants across Canada.

If we're going after the "perps" does anyone want to take on the number of so-called sushi restaurants abroad owned by Koreans?

It's part of history and the evolution of food culture. Italians would not have spaghetti otherwise. Just sayin'...

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"What people are reacting to is saying 'For generations, Chinese in America were doing stuff but they did it horribly. As a white person, I can do it better,'" Ku said.

The woman in question never actually said "as a white person", but these kinds of interpretations show up all the time in articles like this. Can we say that it's yet another racial "trope?" Or are tropes only things that white people are able to think exactly because they are white and somehow unique?

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