I think one of the things I love the most about O is the way he opens himself to trying Chinese foods.
On the weekend, we went to Yum Cha with some of my friends and he not only ate and enjoyed all the food we got, but also was keen and ready to try the more different food – tripe, intestines, chicken feet. We didn’t get any of those, but I love that he’s willing and wanting to give it a go.
The shame and embarrassment I felt/ still feel sometimes about my culture is heavily felt when it comes to food. I have early memories of going to school with rice or chicken or a hard boiled egg in my lunch box and developing resentment for it setting me apart from the other kids. I wished that my parents cooked food like my friends’ parents did – roasts, pies, pastas. Chinese food is so fragrant, there’s no way to hide it away. “What’s that smell?” was a common question I heard when it came to food. I never invited friends over for dinner because I was afraid of what they would think about the food my parents cooked.
Food is so important. It’s like a binding ingredient for people. Food shared is life shared.
The fact that O loves Chinese food and wants to try the “weird” stuff that other people scrunch their nose at, is a real relief. I always took it personally when people didn’t like aspects of Chinese culture and saw it as them not liking aspects of me. But with O, the way that he comes to understand Chinese food and culture, makes me feel so accepted as I am. It makes me love him even more.