Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I love the Internet. I love food blogging. I love food bloggers. Where else can I talk about something one night and find out that 1000km away, the same thoughts are being permeated in the minds of others. I was reading Chocolate Suze' post about how she is a food blogger and how she is Asian. Go read the post for the full details. Then come back and continue with this post.
Reading that post made me smile, because the previous night at The Langham Christmas In July Pudding Class, a group of us food bloggers were invited and had the exact same conversation.
So let me set the scene. The Langham was holding their annual Christmas in July pudding class. Food industry personnel and a handful of food bloggers were invited to the event. When we all got there, we were lead into a nice room where we stood around, drank champagne, ate canapes and chatted. When the canapes arrived, we all whipped out our DSLRs and started snapping. This prompted one of the non food bloggers to comment what big cameras we all had. Michele then said that she came even more prepared, and had on her wonderful food blogger t-shirt. Obviously, I loved the t-shirt as I'm a food geek too, and said I'd wish I wore my Yoda Says "Blogging This, I Am" t-shirt.
We all laughed and joked about what massive food fans we were. Then I looked around the room, and asked Michele, "How come there are so many Asian food bloggers?". Besides Michele, who is "of Asian descendance" as they would describe on TV, there was also Sarah, Agnes, Joyce and Penny, all of who are also of "Asian descendance".
Michele and Joyce thought that it was probably because Asians love to eat, more so than many other cultures. Then I asked why are there also more woman food bloggers. Agnes and Michele said that it's probably because woman like to share their stories more than men. Both these statements I would agree with. We all laughed at that and left it there.
Things got much funnier later on in the night though. As we were all in one group, we tended to stick together a bit and chatted, as we didn't really know many of the industry people. Finally, when the class was over, we just happened to be standing next to the editor of a major food publication in Melbourne. The editor turned to us all and asked "Are you all South East Asian food bloggers?". We all laughed, and Sarah politely replied, "I mainly blog about Melbourne." The editor then repeated her question, and again Sarah said "I've blogged about Vanuatu and Germany when on holidays, but I live in Melbourne so mainly write about Melbourne things". It was totally hilarious and I had to stop myself from laughing. Here was the editor of a major food publication having no idea about food blogging, its influence or the people who wrote them. Agnes and myself had to explain that we had full time jobs, were all very different from each other, and didn't make any money from our blogs. It is just a hobby that we love.
I then proceeded to asked the editor what their opinion on food bloggers was, and mentioned this article, which their publication may or maynot have written. (Is that how I should phrase it Joyce, to not incriminate myself? Joyce is a lawyer). The editor had never heard of the article and said that their publication would love to do an article about food bloggers. I think the fact that the editor knew very little means they have to do a lot of catch up with how the Internet operates nowadays and the distribution of information. The world is a-changin', and food blogging is just a small part of the democratisation of the control of information. I'm not saying that food blogging is better than traditional media, merely another outlet in which one can consume and further improve one's decision making.
So it brings me back to ChocolateSuze's post about how she is a food blogger and she is also Asian. Yes, I too carry a big camera around and snap photos of what I'm eating. But why should I be singled out as opposed to a Caucasian male? What differentiates us? I'm courteous and do not use flash in dark restaurants, I don't shove my camera in people's faces without asking and I never (ok hardly ever) post embarrasing photos of my friends on my blog. Haha.
The question of "we need variety" from ChocolateSuze's reader (who apparently is Asian so hence instantly is not racist) makes no sense. If all the bloggers in Australia were Caucasian, would there be a complaint that we need more variety? I thought the fact that Asians, as a whole population in Australia, are less represented in the community and over represented in the food blogging community is a good thing. Where else can you hear more from a minority sector? Surely, the views of Asians about food, and inevitably about other aspect of society, is a positive thing. And this request for variety, does it mean that because I'm Asian. I'm exactly the same as the next Asian? Huh? Am I not an individual with different points of views established from my upbringing, social influences and personal experiences? The fact that I grew up in Australia for nearly all my life means that my views also incorporate much of the Australian culture, meaning that I provide more variety than a Caucasian food blogger as I can see things from an Eastern and Western point of view.
Finally, as with the freedom that is afforded us in Australia, if you don't like reading someone's blog, don't visit it. You have that right, as is my right to write a food blog, despite being Asian.
Posted by thanh7580 at 10:15 PM