Chinese Food In Jade Snow Wong's Fifth Chinese Daughter

Decent Essays

Looking at food as multidimensional, as something that shapes us, our identities, our cultures”( Stajcic, 8), Jade Snow Wong strongly believes that Chinese food is a marker of the Chinese identity. As a non-verbal form of communication, food is notably “at the center of every important event in our lives, such as birthdays, weddings, holidays and funerals. Within ritual contexts, food often 'stands in' for expressions of life, love, happiness or grief” (Stajcic,13). Therefore, she“devotes a lot of space in Fifth Chinese Daughter to descriptions of Chinese food habits, customs of weddings and funerals, Chinatown daily life, as well as business dealing intending to reveal the mystery of the Chinese community” (Bardhan, 186). She“takes the white reader on a gastronomic tour”, and she “describes Chinese meals, takes pain to explain the ritualistic significance of certain meals and folks beliefs about the medicinal properties of certain ingredients”(Stefanovici,216). Jade Snow's undoubted connection to the Chinese heritage is manifested in her endless employment of Chinese food cooking and recipes, and in her descriptions of festivals and family rituals. Her self-discovery voyage is reflected in her journey through the various assortments of tastes of different Chinese dishes. From the very beginning of the novel, she proclaims that she is “very lucky to be born [as] a Chinese daughter”(43). She states that her “Chinese background was [her] point of distinction”(Wong, No

Get Access