Thursday, July 17, 2008

a plate of bulgogi- 2008

It all started with a plate of bulgogi...there I was in the Korean restaurant with Yuun, the young Korean girl staying with me. I started thinking about how since I've come to the States I keep hearing the term "ethnic food" and I was wondering, "what is that about anyway?"

Ethnic means (according to wikipedia) a group of human beings whose members identify with each other, usually on the basis of a presumed common genealogy or ancestry.[1] Ethnic identity is also marked by the recognition from others of a group's distinctiveness[2] and by common cultural, linguistic, religious, behavioral or biological traits.

So according to this definition- ALL people are part of SOME ethnic group- I went and looked up the word 'ethnic' on Dictionary.com and found this as part of the definition:
eth·nic
1.pertaining to or characteristic of a people, esp. a group (ethnic group) sharing a common and distinctive culture, religion, language, or the like.
2.referring to the origin, classification, characteristics, etc., of such groups.

Well...according to all those definitions- we are definitely all part of some ethnic group or another...so why is it people say "Let's go for some ethnic food"....wouldn't ALL food be ethnic- because no matter what it is- it came from one particular group of people.

I think we should ban the word ethnic! It is highly offensive to me-- since I seem to NOT be included in this classification system-- why? I'm not sure why-- coz I'm not 'Indian' or "Chinese" or "Italian"...yes I did find Italian under ethnic foods-- for the European, I only found Miscellanious European foods.

On the other hand, maybe I'm quite happy not to be referred to as "Ethnic" since the Merriam-Webster dictionary says one of the definitions is "Heathen"-- whoa-- "Who is up for some Heathen food tonight?" yep, I think it would go over really well, don't you?

I guess that is what a plate of bulgogi will do to you- make you contemplate the important things in life. On this line of thinking here is a quote by Max Weber: "the whole conception of ethnic groups is so complex and so vague that it might be good to abandon it altogether."

I think Mr. Weber might just have been eating a bit too much Heathen food- what do you think?


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