This cultural phenomenon inspired me to embark on a documentary project exploring the relationship between predominantly white communities in Southeastern Ohio and me, a Chinese immigrant, by having homemade lunches and dinners at different households, hoping that we all share a common table despite our differences. (On-going)
Raised by my grandmother, a chef in Southern China, I began to understand the importance of food-sharing at a young age. "There is nothing that cannot be made better by a nice meal together," as she often puts it.
In Chinese culture, instead of "How are you?" we ask, "Have you eaten yet?" The phrase has seeped deeply into the daily vernacular, dictating how we establish connections and get along with others. We have small talks, discussions, and negotiations by gathering around a dinner table and sharing food.