2.0 CHINESE ETHNIC In Chinese society, in order to make newfriends, people usually treat the others with meals or food that also can strengthenestablished relationships. In Chinese culture, foods have been used assymbols of meaning in many occasions, such as wedding and ‘makan besar’ to transmitand relay different information. Chinese not only enjoy their food but they believe that eating good foodcan bring peace and closeness to especially to the family and relationships.In Chinese society, they are belief that everyfood has its own meaning.
For example, peanuts, which is also known as thelongevity fruit, mean longevity, while orange mean chestnuts mean good luck. Noodleis long, which means health and longevity, and glutinous rice balls means thefamily stay together. But, there are also some foods that are a symbol of badluck, such as pear, which is sound like away, and they belief that eating eatcould mean separation. Chinese noodles are alittle bit different from the other ethnic. It comes in different sizes andshapes. “Chow mien”, which is the noodle, can be cooked in the soupor stir-fried.
It is usually served for certain time such as breakfast, lunch,or late snacks. Noodles are served to symbolize the long life during birthdaycelebrations. That is why when there is a birthday celebration, noodle is amust. The longer the noodle, the longer the life will be for the birthdayperson. It is usually accompany with meat and vegetables that are chopped upinto a small pieces and stir-fried or steamed. A dinner meal usually has soupin the middle, and surrounded by 3 to 5 main dishes of vegetables, seafood, andpoultry dishes.
As we can see, in the Chinese society, theircooking is not involving a lot of deep fried cooking but they are more to soupfoods. In Western culture, people are more overweight and high blood pressurethan in Chinese culture. To please western tastes, most of the Chinese restaurants inAmerica have deep-fried dishes such as almond fried Chicken, and deep-friedshrimp. This is also to promote their business. Due to geographicaldifferences in China, each area has its own way of cooking and different eatinghabits. For example, Northern China has cold and damp weather.
It makes peoplethere eat more hot and spicy foods such as chilies, onions, and garlic. Theybelieve that these foods will increase blood circulation and help get rid ofthe coldness and humidity that suit their weather while people that are fromthe south like to eat food which is more to mild and cooling foods because ofthe warmer weather. These foods reduce the hotness and dryness. This theory iscalled balancing “Yin and yang”.
Chinese culture believes thatthere are a positive energy and a negative energy in the universe which is “Yin”and “Yang”. “Yin” represents negative energy while “yang”represents positive energy. They have to be equally same balanced to get aharmonious and healthy condition, if not, conflict and disease will be created.There are elements that belong to both “yin” and “yang,” meaningsome elements of yin falls within yang and some elements of yang fall withinyin. Balancing forces has been a part of Chinese thought for thousands of yearsand it has become an important thing for them. It has already become a basicguideline for social, political, medical, and dietary usage in Chinese culture.Foods belonging to the yin that is also knownas “cold” food are such as bitter melon, winter melon, Chinese green,mustard green, Napa cabbage, bean sprout, soybean, mung bean, tulip, waterchestnut, cilantro, oranges, watermelon, bananas, coconut, cucumber, beer, pop,ice cream, ice chips, grass jelly, clams, and oysters and other else.
Thesefoods cannot be eaten excessively because it can cause unwell body such as stomachaches,diarrhea, dizziness, weakness, and coldness in the body if done so.Foods that belong to theyang which is also known as “hot” food are such as chili pepper, garlic,onion, curry, cabbage, eggplant, pineapple, mango, cherry, peanuts, beef,turkey, shrimp, crab, French fries, fried chicken, and pizza. By taking thisfoods excessively, they are thought to cause skin rashes, hives, pimples, nosebleeds, indigestion, constipation, redness in the eyes, and sore throat. That iswhy both food groups need to be balanced evenly, not taken extra or insufficiencyin order to create a peace and healthy state.