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Why so many Asian food bloggers and Yelpers?

Monica Oct 21, 2013 01:41 PM

I've come to realized that a lot of Yelper reviewers are Asians and a lot of food bloggers are Asians as well. I wonder why this is the case. I am Asian myself(though I don't have a blog or don't really contribute to Yelp).
Anyone thought the same?

  1. n
    nyfoodtrain Mar 30, 2014 10:31 AM

    Definitely! I wonder why these Asian women, and 99% of them are women, need to express themselves so badly regarding food? In any case, as long as they don't come in hordes and cause a long wait - which is basically the case everywhere, I'm ok with it. The long lines are shitty part.

    1. s
      Sherriebradshaw Mar 28, 2014 07:07 PM

      That's because Asians always hang out together & they always go to fancy places to eat & then they always have something to critique so they can show it off to their group. Then they tell their friends their opinions. I am surrounded by them so I know this is what they do.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Sherriebradshaw
        LotusRapper Mar 28, 2014 07:37 PM

        That's a general brushstroke of younger Asians (~ 30 and under). However I'm sure other cultural groups behave similarly too.

      2. p
        Pookipichu Jan 31, 2014 07:29 PM

        Happy Lunar New Year!

        10 Replies
        1. re: Pookipichu
          p
          Puffin3 Feb 1, 2014 05:13 AM

          Regarding the 'asian' interest in French cuisine.
          The french have a long history of colonialism throughout asia. There has been a lot of 'pollination' of french cooking techniques into asian food. Not so much the other direction.
          The best baguettes in the world are reportedly found in Viet Nam. 'Pho' is a french peasant dish made with beef or chicken like 'pot-au-feu'. Not the usual pork.

          1. re: Puffin3
            LotusRapper Feb 1, 2014 08:22 AM

            Pho is one of the best old world "phusion" inventions. I can eat it 7 times a week if I could. It's my go-to comfort food, esp. when the weather is rotten and/or if I'm feeling sick.

            I believe Viet folks put a bit of rice flour in the baguette dough to make it lighter and more airy.

            Btw, Puffin3 you're on mid-Island right ? You ever seen these threads ? Worth checking out next time you're in town:

            http://wisemonkeys.ca/2013/02/the-demographics-of-banh-mi/

            http://foodosophy.wordpress.com/2009/...

            1. re: LotusRapper
              Chemicalkinetics Feb 1, 2014 12:59 PM

              <I can eat it 7 times a week if I could. It's my go-to comfort food>

              I cannot. I cooked Pho a few times at home, and I always have trouble finishing. Unfortunately, to make the Pho broth, I cannot just make small portion. It always come out as 10+ serving.

              1. re: LotusRapper
                p
                Puffin3 Feb 2, 2014 05:41 AM

                Thanks. I've book marked both sites.
                I can't get my head around why a take-out/restaurant would use margarine in a banh mi. Using real butter can't rise the production cost that much can it?`I will not eat anything I know has margarine in it.
                Goes back to the time when a crazy aunt, in spite of having literally enough 100% free 'dairy' including butter to fill a barn would buy big tubs of pure white margarine and mix the little yellow dye packets into it. She couldn't be bothered spending too much time doing it so it always had a 'marbled look. Her sisters kept her supplied with fresh baking. When we visited she liked to serve thick slices of fresh bread slathered with 1/4" thick marbled margarine and a sprinkle of sugar on top. 'Yummy'. Same with milk. She bought powdered 'skim milk' and even then liked to water it down.
                Over time she gave so many family members and 'former' friends food poisoning it got to where no one would eat at her house. When there was a 'pot luck' and she brought her famous potato salad my aunts knew her recipe and one of them would make the same recipe at home and secretly throw auntie's potato salad away and wash the bowl then put the 'copy' into the bowl and put it on the 'salad' table.
                They made sure she always brought her "famous" potato salad so the switch was easy. This sort of thing went on for years and she never knew.
                Anyway.

                1. re: Puffin3
                  Monica Feb 2, 2014 10:10 AM

                  Does your aunt get sick from eating her own food or she developed tolerance for it.

                  1. re: Puffin3
                    n
                    ninrn Feb 2, 2014 04:24 PM

                    I think restaurants use margarine because a tub left on the counter all day doesn't become rancid like butter does.

                    Was your aunt a kid during WWII? My Dad also loves margarine, powdered, evaporated and canned milk, canned peaches and canned meats (especially Vienna sausages). Coming from both an Asian British colony and the war era, these things represented prosperity and The West, and were therefore glamourous, modern and exotic to him when he was growing up. As a toddler immigrant, I had the same feelings for Jell-O and canned ravioli. I just couldn't understand why my Mom wasn't as excited about these amazing culinary innovations as I was. While I don't like the taste of those things anymore, I still get a weird twinge of little kid angst and excitement when I see them in the store.

                    1. re: ninrn
                      LotusRapper Feb 2, 2014 05:12 PM

                      Growing up during the '60s/'70s in an Asian country heavily backed and defended by the US, my Mom worked as a civilian for the US Guv. She had access to staff commissary, so things like mayo, hot dogs, sodas of every conceivable kind, junk foods and chips (yay Pringles !) etc. etc. were common in our household. My childhood faves:

                      - Kraft sandwich spread (still love it today)
                      - Pringles
                      - Milo
                      - Mr. Goodbar
                      - Nestle Crunch

                      And many others I forget now. Goes without saying we were rather popular amongst the neighborhood kids !

                      1. re: ninrn
                        p
                        Puffin3 Feb 3, 2014 05:40 AM

                        Yes my aunt was a kid during WW11 but she was raised on a Mennonite farm with her ten brothers and sisters and home made food was always abundant. Fishing and hunting and foraging and a huge abundant garden was only a few steps away.
                        All the 'dairy' you could imagine. Dozens of loaves of bread/buns/donuts. Beef/pork/chickens/turkeys/geese/ducks always available.
                        All these things were hers anytime for the taking. After she got married and moved off the farm and into the 'city' she preferred powdered milk and canned meats and all things 'store bought and the dreaded margarine. Go figure.
                        She long since passed away.
                        She was the only kid who didn't ever 'connect' with food. Her fridge was literally lined with mold sometimes. She preferred to have her fridge temp at it's most economical setting.....barely cool. Once in a while my mom and some aunts would go to her house and do an in-depth cleansing of her kitchen and bathroom. She would happily sit on the couch and knit and gossip in 'low-German' while every one else did the work.

                  2. re: Puffin3
                    l
                    lagatta Feb 11, 2014 12:13 AM

                    Food from the former Indochina (especially from Vietnam) is very popular in France.

                    1. re: lagatta
                      LotusRapper Feb 11, 2014 08:51 AM

                      This is digressing from the OT, but Indonesian foods are popular in the Netherlands as a result of their colonial history in SE Asia.

                2. n
                  ninrn Jan 31, 2014 03:18 PM

                  One big reason is because there are simply more Asians than anyone else. (I'm Asian, so please don't take or tag this as a racist comment.) More than half the people in the world are Asian and, as others have pointed out, our cultures tend to place huge importance on both technology and food.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ninrn
                    LotusRapper Jan 31, 2014 03:54 PM

                    And the food blogs are in hyperdrive over the next week or so with the observations of Chinese New Year's going on ..... a billion plus folks gorging themselves (including me) ;-)

                  2. w
                    wokeith Jan 31, 2014 02:57 PM

                    As an Asian myself, I think it's because we are more passive in general. When we get served bad food or endure bad service, we're not vocal about it. Most Asians don't confront that. So we like to do that online because people don't know who we are, yet we get our point across! My friend who's in the restaurant business told me that 75% of their Yelpers are Asian females and most often than not, they would take pictures of their food before eating.

                    1. b
                      Bkeats Oct 29, 2013 07:03 AM

                      We were out at dinner a couple of nights ago at a local Italian spot. Wife and I had ordered and we were chatting and drinking the wine. Next thing I notice, there are numerous flashes going off. Annoying as all hell. I look at the next table and there is a group of five, all Asian, and they're busy taking pictures of the bread plate. Yes, its a nice assortment of bread which includes 5 different types but its still nothing but bread. But I swear each person at the table took at least 3-4 pictures. Some of them were raising the phones as high up as they could to get aerial shots of the table I presume. So that was nearly 20 flash pictures taken in short order, 30 seconds or so of non-stop flashes. Then it looked like some of them were immediately posting the pictures. Went on the whole effen dinner. They were completely oblivious to the annoyance they were causing to all the other diners around them as it was pretty crowded in there. I wanted to say to them do you go out to eat or to fucking blog as the rest of us were here for dinner. I don't know if asians blog/write more about food than others, but no matter what ethnicity you are, please don't do that in large groups in the middle of a crowded restaurant. You can ruin the experience for everyone else. I wanted to go home and blog "had a great dinner except for the bloggers who were busy observing the food instead of eating it." Leave your phone in your pocket. Talk to the people you're having dinner with instead of worrying about how many people are following you online. Have real friends, not just virtual ones.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Bkeats
                        Monica Oct 29, 2013 07:15 AM

                        I was eating my lunch at a ramen bar last week by myself and noticed a whole bunch of young Asians taking pictures of everything from a napkin to the last slurp of soup. So freakin annoying!! That happened in Jean Georges not too long ago..again it was a whole bunch of young Asian bloggers getting up and down to supposely to get better views of food.
                        Me..i don't have the patience to stare at food when it's infront of me. I remember taking a camera to a restaurant in France and totally forgetting about it until the meal was done. I gotta eat when I see the food..

                        Seriously though, I wish I didn't have to see this every time I dine out.

                        1. re: Monica
                          p
                          Pookipichu Oct 29, 2013 07:51 AM

                          Just to offer a counterpoint, not everyone taking photos of food is a blogger. A lot of Asians like to take photos of their food. It doesn't bother me, and in my experience, it's not nearly as prevalent as people talking loudly, something that's definitely not limited to bloggers. It seems like the older I get and the worse my hearing gets, people around me in restaurants get louder and louder to assure that I will get a splitting headache. Between loud music and patrons screaming to each other across tables, I don't remember eating out being so loud.

                          1. re: Pookipichu
                            Chemicalkinetics Oct 29, 2013 08:00 AM

                            Let's start "vblogging"

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              p
                              Pookipichu Oct 29, 2013 08:12 AM

                              My "v" has nothing to say and I certainly wouldn't take pictures of it and put them on a blog.

                              1. re: Pookipichu
                                Chemicalkinetics Oct 29, 2013 08:19 AM

                                Ha ha ha. That is pretty funny.

                                I was just addressing your "it's not nearly as prevalent as people talking loudly".

                                vblogging or vlogging. Some people carries a video or smart phone and point at themselves and the environment, and document the whole experience.

                                http://youtu.be/4-t9bb29sOs?t=44s

                                Now, you can have best of both worlds (or three worlds). Speaking loudly, blogging, video taping...etc. All in one package next to you. :D

                                Edited: I updated with a better example of vlog.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                  p
                                  Pookipichu Oct 29, 2013 08:27 AM

                                  Oh. oops. I had recently read about young people twittering photos of themselves, nevermind....

                                  Video-ing yourself during dinner seems time consuming, but I've never seen anyone do it.

                                  1. re: Pookipichu
                                    Chemicalkinetics Oct 29, 2013 08:31 AM

                                    <Oh. oops>

                                    I wasn't sure if you were joking or not. So I assumed both possibilities.

                                    <but I've never seen anyone do it.>

                                    Me neither, but certainly some people do it. I can only imagine what it will feel like if my neighboring diners start to do this throughout their entire dinner.

                      2. f
                        FoodPopulist Oct 27, 2013 09:36 AM

                        Because Asian food is better than European food.

                        18 Replies
                        1. re: FoodPopulist
                          RealMenJulienne Oct 28, 2013 03:30 PM

                          Get outta here. All you have to do is compare dessert menus to see that's not true.

                          1. re: FoodPopulist
                            Monica Oct 29, 2013 06:42 AM

                            that sentence can create a WW III. =p

                            As much I love Asian food, I love 'European' food as well...especially the French food. If I had to pick my favorite cuisine, I'd have a hard time picking one between Thai and French. and NOBODY makes better desserts than French!! and that's a fact!!!

                            1. re: FoodPopulist
                              Chemicalkinetics Oct 29, 2013 06:44 AM

                              <Because Asian food is better than European food.>

                              So true. Those Asians are much skinnier because of the better quality food.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                LotusRapper Oct 29, 2013 01:39 PM

                                "Those Asians *were* much skinnier because of the better quality food."

                                Fixed it for ya ;-)

                                http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/china-confronts-problem-of-obesity-8434421.html

                                When was the last time you saw a 3-story KFC in the States ?

                                http://www.lifeofguangzhou.com/node_10/node_228/node_232/img/2009/10/19/125593785870631_5.jpg

                                Or a McD that takes up the bottom three floors of a large building ?

                                http://exurbanpedestrian.files.wordpr...

                                1. re: LotusRapper
                                  p
                                  Pookipichu Oct 29, 2013 01:42 PM

                                  Ughh, the invasion of KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonalds and Starbucks. It was such a fond memory when there were none in China or Taiwan.

                                  1. re: Pookipichu
                                    JungMann Oct 29, 2013 08:28 PM

                                    They might not have been there when you were in China, but boy are they there now. We loved Popeyes because that was "ethnic food" for us, or at least to me. There is a chain of native fried chicken stores in the Philippines that are known for American fried chicken and copious rice. Here we didn't know what to make of the amazingly seasoned rice and biscuit. If Americans were confounded by General Tso Cuisine, we were flabbergasted by General Lee cuisine.

                                    And now as an Asian-American who embraces my roots here and in the old world, I can make biscuits as well as my mother made baozi. In fact I recently won a ribbon for my Spicy pimento cheese biscuits with maple miso bacon based on a sandwich I used to make after too many late nights out.

                                    1. re: Pookipichu
                                      k
                                      klyeoh Oct 30, 2013 12:08 AM

                                      I came across one of the first Starbucks outlets in China when I was in Beijing in 2000. It was located right in the heart of the Forbidden City - a small outlet with a counter dispensing coffee and pastries, with 2-3 coffee tables, in the Inner Court and right next to the emperor's private living quarters! Over 20 Starbucks outlets were opened in Beijing alone within that first year.

                                      1. re: Pookipichu
                                        b
                                        BuildingMyBento Jan 31, 2014 03:27 PM

                                        Knowing Taiwan's cuisine, I'd say those are on par...

                                        1. re: BuildingMyBento
                                          Chemicalkinetics Jan 31, 2014 04:18 PM

                                          <those are on par>

                                          "those"?

                                      2. re: LotusRapper
                                        Chemicalkinetics Oct 29, 2013 02:09 PM

                                        <When was the last time you saw a 3-story KFC in the States ?....Or a McD that takes up the bottom three floors of a large building ?>

                                        Now, now. To be fair, KFC and McDonald are considered med to med-high range of restaurant in China. Poor people don't see McDonald and KFC in China. As such, these restaurants are builded differently in US vs in China.

                                        By the way, you do know I have been messing around, right? Some of posts here are serious, but some are just funny.

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                          LotusRapper Oct 29, 2013 10:08 PM

                                          Hey I'm still a noob to your humor, CK [grin]. Gimme time.

                                          But point taken, there are umpteen Chinese folks who'll never be able to afford a McD/KFC/Pizza Hut meal. And how lucky for them !

                                          (I do fondly recall the days when "Kentucky Fried Chicken" sold giblets and biscuits. At least up here in the Great White North.)

                                          1. re: LotusRapper
                                            Chemicalkinetics Oct 30, 2013 05:08 AM

                                            My humor sucks, so don't expect you can pick it up all the time. I need the practice though.

                                            I think I was trying to be funny when FoodPopulist said "Because Asian food is better than European food." (which I suspect that he/she was also being funny. Anyway, most will read that as "better = tasting better". I tried to say that "Yes, it is better (in health)"

                                    2. re: FoodPopulist
                                      MamasCooking Feb 2, 2014 12:37 AM

                                      It really is a matter of personal taste isn't it? I married into an Asian family in my twenties and suffered some real culture shock secondary to their attitudes about food and consuming many things I considered inedible. They were unable to completely convert me but I learned to expand my *food* world thanks to their influence.

                                      1. re: MamasCooking
                                        LotusRapper Feb 2, 2014 09:37 AM

                                        Curious to hear some examples/stories :-)

                                        1. re: LotusRapper
                                          MamasCooking Feb 2, 2014 01:04 PM

                                          My FIL used to make fish head soup and he and my husband would eat the eyeballs too. ( Slurping loudly). They ate balut...blood pudding...smoked pig snout...ears.....feet...knuckles...chicken feet.....every part of ducks.....poultry was utilized in some manner.....lots of raw meats, raw eggs, raw fish and raw shellfish applications. They also foraged a lot and knew what was edible and able to be used for cooking. Goat cooked in the ground and it seemed very rare and barely cooked to me. I was no food sissy before I married into these two:) My first hubby and I ate pickled pigs feet....beef tongue.....beef liver and I grew up eating every type of fresh fish... shellfish and game meat available in N California but all cooked! Just a different culture and a more old school POV of food where everything should be evaluated for it's food potential. My FIL actually expanded my already very good food knowledge and cooking skills by teaching me how to prepare plant and rice based meals with a few ounces of protein to feed my family. Both of these men were outstanding cooks who had no interest in processed carbs (other than rice and really good booze!) I was always willing to *give it a go* with those two, especially my FIL's bitter melon and long bean dishes with mushroom, fresh tomato and spring onions BUT not the eye balls! I also refused to eat their foraged mushrooms and always waited for them to keel over as they gorged on them.

                                          1. re: MamasCooking
                                            monavano Mar 30, 2014 10:36 AM

                                            Wow, you've made some intrepid changes to your diet. I think that's great!

                                      2. re: FoodPopulist
                                        s
                                        smoledman Feb 2, 2014 02:57 PM

                                        I still prefer spaghetti bolognese to Pad Thai.

                                        1. re: FoodPopulist
                                          MamasCooking Feb 2, 2014 09:06 PM

                                          Some Asian cuisines are much better than others IMO.

                                        2. y
                                          youareabunny Oct 25, 2013 06:07 PM

                                          I think most every race and culture love food. The difference is not everyone feels the need to post their 2 cents about it, every time. As mentioned earlier, Asians tend to be active on social media and new tech.

                                          There's two things I follow on YouTube - food and make up. Scratch that, one thing, food. Make up is flooded with mediocre Asian "make up artists" so I've picked 2 MUAs that I like, one happens to be Ukrainian and the other Spanish, and no longer waste my time on the subject. Thing is, Asians are incredibly cliquey and supportive. So I can put forth my stuff, whether good or bad, and they'll love me just cuz I'm Asian. Reminds me of the American idol jasmine trias "if you love your people, you know who you'll vote for" garbage.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: youareabunny
                                            p
                                            Pookipichu Oct 25, 2013 09:24 PM

                                            That's sort of a wide generalization that's strangely anti-Asian. There are a lot of mediocre make-up artists of any race. Secondly, I don't think the average Asian sees herself/himself as a monolithic unit, there's actually very little Asian unity in the United States from my perspective. If anything, the different groups are pretty fragmented, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino, Japanese Indian, Pakistani, Thai, etc.... Just the other day, a Korean woman asked if I'm Vietnamese, I said "no" and asked what she is. She said she's Korean, so I said "why didn't you guess I am Korean?" She said, "Oh no way you could pass for Korean".

                                            1. re: Pookipichu
                                              y
                                              youareabunny Oct 25, 2013 09:55 PM

                                              You are right that the different Asians tend to stick together. That's for sure.

                                              People guess I'm japanese, Chinese, Hawaiian, or some sort of mix. I'll take it if it spares me being roped in with a certain group all the time.

                                              1. re: Pookipichu
                                                s
                                                smoledman Feb 2, 2014 02:55 PM

                                                Don't you love how racist ordinary people can be?

                                                What I mean is not necessarily the traditional sense of superiority about one's race, but an obsession about race. Always filtering everyone through race.

                                                1. re: smoledman
                                                  taiga Feb 10, 2014 09:29 AM

                                                  If one considers things through a racial lens, why does it follow that they are racist, obsessed with race, or harbor any sense of superiority or ill will? Might they not simply be "filtering"?

                                            2. aching Oct 24, 2013 12:41 PM

                                              Two other observations (anecdotal only, not support by data):

                                              - In my city, Los Angeles, Asian Americans are very into eating out as a social event, especially in larger groups. Of course, many cultures socialize around food, but in the restaurants I go to, it seems like there are almost always groups of Asians eating together, whereas other ethnicities tend to most be couples or pairs of friends.

                                              - I also feel that many Asian Americans approach eating out almost as a competitive sport. Trying new places the day that they open, finding the most unusual or specialized foods, finding the best deals, and also just eating A LOT of food - eating is more of a hobby or even a passion, rather than a necessity for sustenance. I noticed this particularly when I spent a summer traveling in Southeast Asia with some Chinese friends, and their interest in finding the best food in each place we went far outstripped any interest in cultural sites, beautiful views, activities, etc.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: aching
                                                tcamp Oct 24, 2013 01:31 PM

                                                Speaking of Asian Americans and eating as a competitive sport, I was reminded of this local woman:

                                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonya_Th...

                                              2. jrvedivici Oct 24, 2013 12:26 PM

                                                This thread prompted me to conduct our own Chow survey / experiment to test Monica's theory. Please contribute and let's see if the same holds true for Chow.

                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/921546

                                                1. ipsedixit Oct 24, 2013 11:16 AM

                                                  Younger Asians have more money. Generally.

                                                  1. d
                                                    Dustin_E Oct 24, 2013 11:12 AM

                                                    i'm white, but a good asian friend of mine thinks i'm way more asian than he is.

                                                    i like food + videogames + math + money.

                                                    i wonder if it all comes down to immigrant mentality.

                                                    here on chowhound, we're looking from the perspective of an english-speaking food website, so most asian people on this board have some exposure (even if it was a few generations ago) to immigrating.

                                                    immigrating requires money.

                                                    math / tech / engineering has been a very marketable skill in the 20th and 21st century, which provides money needed to support a family somewhere new.

                                                    playing videogames i think uses the same parts of the brain that doing math or engineering does.

                                                    food is something that is very family-focused. when a family immigrates, they miss their home, and food can be a tool in providing comfort and familiarity. but food also changes when you go different places, and it can be an affordable and practical hobby (from conservative family dinner parties on the low end to convenient big-city restaurants on the high end.)

                                                    food is something that changes when you go different places. so does architecture, but "playing" with architecture is much more cost-prohibitive. so if you move to new place, exploring food is a way of exploring what is unique about your new home.

                                                    1. taiga Oct 24, 2013 09:18 AM

                                                      Culture

                                                      1. p
                                                        Pookipichu Oct 24, 2013 07:37 AM

                                                        Food is highly valued in almost every culture, but from my personal observations, I tend to eat a lot more food than non-Asians as do my Asian friends. Love of food + big appetite = more Asian bloggers and yelpers?

                                                        41 Replies
                                                        1. re: Pookipichu
                                                          LotusRapper Oct 24, 2013 08:30 AM

                                                          Common (more traditional) Chinese greeting = "你吃饭了吗 ?"

                                                          Pinyin: "Nǐ chī fàn le ma ?

                                                          Translation: "Have you eaten yet ?"

                                                          I rarely hear two Chinese persons (incl. myself sometimes) who converse without bringing up food & eating.

                                                          1. re: LotusRapper
                                                            p
                                                            Pookipichu Oct 24, 2013 08:49 AM

                                                            True, but my Italian friends are greeted by their grandmothers with "have you eaten, can I make you a sandwich, you need to eat more, let me make you something" :) My aunties always greet me by saying "ni pong la" Translation: You've fattened...

                                                            1. re: Pookipichu
                                                              LotusRapper Oct 24, 2013 09:20 AM

                                                              Arghhh, I hate it when my older relatives greet me that way: "Oh you've gained weight." or "Oh you've lost weight.". As someone who's grown up in N. America, I find those remarks somewhat offensive :-/

                                                              1. re: Pookipichu
                                                                Chemicalkinetics Oct 24, 2013 09:24 AM

                                                                :) Yet, those are supposed to be well-meaning.

                                                                There are a lot of very straight-forward Asian statements. It is actually perfectly ok to comment an elderly relative: "You look so much older than I saw you last or You have aged so much" in Asian culture. Given the correct context and tone, it is not an offensive statement in Asia, but it is offensive in American culture.

                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                  p
                                                                  Pookipichu Oct 24, 2013 10:30 AM

                                                                  I never take offense, after the 1,000th time your umpteenth auntie has told you "you've fattened!" with a big smile on her face, you just need to get over it. My non-Chinese friends find it absolutely bizarre, but in America, many people are very self-conscious about being told they've plumped most auspiciously.

                                                                  1. re: Pookipichu
                                                                    Chemicalkinetics Oct 24, 2013 10:46 AM

                                                                    Every culture is different I think. I think most people in USA does not mind too much if they were compared to dogs. It can be taken as a big insult in Asia, if you tell someone that he/she looks like a dog.

                                                                    I just thinks words can have extra meaning and that is why people get offended. These extra meanings often do not translate with language, so what is offensive in one country is not offensive in another country.

                                                                    By the way, I am willing to bet that you are slender and young person. The reason I said that is because "You've fattened" is a neutral-to-positive statement to a slender person in Asian culture. However, "You've fattened" is offensive in Asian culture if you are actually fat.

                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                      b
                                                                      Blueicus Oct 24, 2013 10:56 AM

                                                                      Also depends on what sort of background you come from, if you were raised from a Chinese urban background being called fat or being told you've gained weight (especially when you actually are overweight) is not a complementary comment.

                                                                      1. re: Blueicus
                                                                        Chemicalkinetics Oct 24, 2013 10:57 AM

                                                                        <(especially when you actually are overweight)>

                                                                        Exactly. I agree. However, the statement can be a complement (in Chinese) if you are a skinny person. Whereas I think it is NEVER a complement to tell an American girl that "You have been getting fatter!" regardless of her body size.

                                                                      2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                        p
                                                                        Pookipichu Oct 24, 2013 11:04 AM

                                                                        The younger generation no longer greets each other with "you've fattened", it's definitely more of an older generation greeting, especially in the cities.

                                                                        There's also a difference when you really have gained weight, the way they say it is no longer in the tone "you've fattened, it's so auspicious", it's more of a "you've fattened?"

                                                                        1. re: Pookipichu
                                                                          Chemicalkinetics Oct 24, 2013 11:14 AM

                                                                          <The younger generation no longer greets each other with "you've fattened", it's definitely more of an older generation greeting, especially in the cities.>

                                                                          It is not so much about this younger generation. It is about old to young. This "You have been getting fatter" is often done as a statement from an elder to a youngster. It is rarely the other way around. When your aunt was young, she probably very rarely greeted her equals (people of her same age) with this statement.

                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
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                                                                            Pookipichu Oct 24, 2013 11:18 AM

                                                                            What you said is true about older to younger, but it's also true that that greeting is not en vogue with the younger generation. 30-40's somethings, especially people from the city. I don't know any urban Chinese woman who would greet a younger girl with "you've fattened" as a compliment.

                                                                            1. re: Pookipichu
                                                                              Chemicalkinetics Oct 24, 2013 11:28 AM

                                                                              I still hear it. 30-40 women complimenting 5-6 years old kids.

                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
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                                                                                Pookipichu Oct 24, 2013 11:34 AM

                                                                                Well that's a different story, even I will pinch a child's cheek and tell them how adorable and plump they are.

                                                                                1. re: Pookipichu
                                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Oct 24, 2013 11:37 AM

                                                                                  <I will pinch a child's cheek >

                                                                                  Yes, but do you tell a child of age 5-10, that "Johnny, everyime I see you, you are getting fatter"? Do you say that in English?

                                                                                  It is perfectly acceptable to say that in Chinese.

                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
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                                                                                    Pookipichu Oct 24, 2013 11:43 AM

                                                                                    Actually I differ in opinion, I will say kids are adorably plump, in Chinese or English, even when commenting on Western children. BUT I would not do that with older kids, Chinese or otherwise, and I think that most 30-40s generations would not either, I just don't hear it. It is no longer acceptable, my aunties are in their 70-80s, anorexia didn't exist when they grew up, but 30-40 year olds are much more mindful of girl's body image.

                                                                                    1. re: Pookipichu
                                                                                      Chemicalkinetics Oct 24, 2013 11:46 AM

                                                                                      <I will say kids are adorably plump>

                                                                                      Adorably plump is not the same as sayin "You look fatter and fatter every year" I specifically used the word FAT.

                                                                                      <I think that most 30-40s generations would not either, I just don't hear it. It is no longer acceptable>

                                                                                      What can I say? You don't hear it. I do. I am sure you are telling the truth. All I can say is that I still hear it.

                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
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                                                                                        Pookipichu Oct 24, 2013 11:51 AM

                                                                                        I think you are being too sensitive, I specifically chose/ worded my reply that "I differ in opinion" not that you are wrong or telling an untruth. There are a lot of Chinese people in this world, we easily have very different circles.

                                                                                        Regarding "ni pong la" tone is everything, it can be said in an endearing way or it can be said in a more serious way. When using English, tone doesn't distinguish meaning as easily, I'm pretty sure you speak some dialect of Chinese so you know what I'm talking about. Chinese is much more nuanced with tone.

                                                                        2. re: Chemicalkinetics
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                                                                          miss_belle Oct 24, 2013 12:11 PM

                                                                          Being told you look like a dog can be a pretty big insult in the USA too. Just so you know:-)

                                                                          1. re: miss_belle
                                                                            Chemicalkinetics Oct 24, 2013 12:23 PM

                                                                            :) True, but it is probably not as bad. I certainly don't mind if someone says I look like a dog. I would actually be thrilled if someone compare me to a dog or a wolf. (My favor animals).

                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                              tcamp Oct 24, 2013 01:28 PM

                                                                              Interesting point. Why is (in the US) being compared to a dog insulting but a wolf is not an insult? Lone wolf? Positive connotation. And those sexy wolves from the Twilight series!

                                                                              1. re: tcamp
                                                                                Chemicalkinetics Oct 24, 2013 01:32 PM

                                                                                I can see that. A dog is considered to be servant to someone. So calling a person a dog can mean that this person is tool for someone.

                                                                                A wolf has none of that negative image

                                                                                I can go up to a woman, and praise her and said that her eyes are beautiful and they are sprinkling like those of a wolf (or an eagle). I cannot (most likely) say that her eyes look like those of a dog, despite dog eyes are really the same as wolf eyes

                                                                          2. re: Chemicalkinetics
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                                                                            Bkeats Oct 24, 2013 02:33 PM

                                                                            Umm, I think almost everyone in the USA would take it as a negative if you told them they looked like a dog. If you think I'm wrong, go out and tell an american female friend that you think she looks like a dog and see what the reaction is.

                                                                            Fox on the other hand is something different (I'm probably dating myself by even using the term fox).

                                                                            BTW, I think plenty of non-asian people obsess over food and write/blog about. Maybe just be a lot of vocal asians on CH.

                                                                            1. re: Bkeats
                                                                              Chemicalkinetics Oct 24, 2013 04:21 PM

                                                                              < I think almost everyone in the USA would take it as a negative>

                                                                              I am thinking about more along the line of men.

                                                                              "Yo Dog!"

                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                jrvedivici Oct 24, 2013 04:39 PM

                                                                                Sup Ck? You call?

                                                                              2. re: Bkeats
                                                                                Monica Oct 25, 2013 07:37 AM

                                                                                Well, my husband loves to suck on the bones and I always ask him, are you a dog? He doesn't get offended a bit. =)

                                                                                1. re: Monica
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                                                                                  Bkeats Oct 29, 2013 06:49 AM

                                                                                  So I modify my statement. Don't compare a woman to a dog. Generally not a positive thing, but who knows, maybe its ok now. Would it offend you if the positions were reversed with you and your husband? Next thing I know, it won't be bad to refer to someone as coyote ugly. But I digress.

                                                                          3. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                            inaplasticcup Oct 24, 2013 11:37 AM

                                                                            When a person who endeavors to stay thin, as so many of the Asian women who say such things to others do, I think it's reasonable for anyone to think that it's not such a well-meaning statement when they tell someone else they are fat. :)

                                                                            If you know anything about generally Asian culture, then you also know that many Asian women can do the passive aggressive jab like no one's business. ;)

                                                                            Signed,

                                                                            Yet Another Asian Food Blogger ^^

                                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                              Chemicalkinetics Oct 24, 2013 11:41 AM

                                                                              Ok.... this is getting a bit convoluted. I don't think this can be explained in 1-2 statements. What I can say is that it is not offensive when an elder say that to a younger Asian woman.

                                                                              It can be offensive, if it is a equal age woman to say that to one and other. This is why I said to Pookipichu that it is more about "It is about old to young."

                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                inaplasticcup Oct 24, 2013 11:43 AM

                                                                                I think that's an awfully broad statement - that just because an older person says it to a younger person that it's necessarily well meaning.

                                                                                It's not that convoluted.

                                                                                Old people can be offensive, annoying, and not so well meaningly passive aggressive. It happens.

                                                                                1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Oct 24, 2013 11:49 AM

                                                                                  <just because an older person says it to a younger person that it's necessarily well meaning.>

                                                                                  I guess you have to take it up to that older person then.

                                                                                  <Old people can be offensive, annoying, and not so well meaningly passive aggressive.>

                                                                                  Annoying? Probably. "Not so well meaning" I have to disagree, but I think we will just have to disagree because there is no way for you or me to prove this by writing a few exchanges here and there.

                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                    inaplasticcup Oct 24, 2013 11:50 AM

                                                                                    Really, ck? Given the spectrum of human experience, does either one of us have to prove the possibility of either of our statements? ;)

                                                                                    1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                                      Chemicalkinetics Oct 24, 2013 11:51 AM

                                                                                      Ok.... I want to apologize and I want out. :(

                                                                                      Please forgive me, and let me go.

                                                                              2. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                                Chemicalkinetics Oct 24, 2013 11:56 AM

                                                                                <Signed,

                                                                                Yet Another Asian Food Blogger ^^>

                                                                                You are Asian? You didn't say. :)

                                                                                Anyway, you are biased, so your opinion shall be counted less.

                                                                                <If you know anything about generally Asian culture, then you also know that many Asian women can do the passive aggressive jab like no one's business. ;)>

                                                                                Why on Earth would your grandmother wanted to throw passive aggressive jabs at you? You must have been a bad girl. I am just saying.

                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                  inaplasticcup Oct 24, 2013 11:59 AM

                                                                                  Weak. :)

                                                                          4. re: LotusRapper
                                                                            Monica Oct 24, 2013 08:59 AM

                                                                            I think people used to say that because everyone didn't have enough food..it was basically saying, you are still alive and well!

                                                                            1. re: Monica
                                                                              Chemicalkinetics Oct 24, 2013 09:17 AM

                                                                              <I think people used to say that because everyone didn't have enough food..it was basically saying, you are still alive and well!>

                                                                              That is certainly not what it meant.

                                                                              1. re: Monica
                                                                                Melanie Wong Oct 24, 2013 11:12 AM

                                                                                The old Chinese euphemism was to say "you're looking prosperous" when someone gained weight, surely a reference to times past when there was not enough food to go around.

                                                                                1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Oct 24, 2013 11:33 AM

                                                                                  I think you have interpreted it differently.

                                                                                  The Chinese uses different greeting phrases for different situations. If a person is getting a thinner, then they have a different greeting. If a person is getting fatter, then it is another greeting. The phrase of "you're gaining luck or fortune" is just one of the many.

                                                                                  It is most noticeable when they hire a "praiser" for wedding. You break dishes during a wedding. They will say "May you have peace year after year" for the broken dishes.

                                                                                  http://www.mdbg.net/chindict/chindict...

                                                                                  For a middle aged man gaining weight, they will say "You are acquiring fortune". The same man losing weight, then they will say something along the line of being healthy or looking young, like "老當益壯"

                                                                                  It isn't like the Chinese ONLY praise a person when he/she gains weight, and criticize a person when he/she loses weight. If that is the case, then your logic is correct, but that isn't the case. They praise you no matter what.

                                                                            2. re: Pookipichu
                                                                              RealMenJulienne Oct 24, 2013 08:47 AM

                                                                              I don't think all cultures value food equally. You know how sometimes in the US you'll meet someone who says, "I hate food", or "I wish I didn't have to think about eating" or "I wish food came in pill form". I never once encountered that in East Asia.

                                                                              1. re: RealMenJulienne
                                                                                Monica Oct 24, 2013 08:58 AM

                                                                                My cousin who is Korean used to say that, I hate food. I wish i didn't have to eat.

                                                                              2. re: Pookipichu
                                                                                Chemicalkinetics Oct 24, 2013 09:18 AM

                                                                                < Love of food + big appetite = more Asian bloggers and yelpers?>

                                                                                That, and plus that Asians love social media.

                                                                              3. w
                                                                                Worldwide Diner Oct 22, 2013 12:48 PM

                                                                                I personally think it's mostly Chinese (or people of Chinese descent). I have no statistics - just observation.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Worldwide Diner
                                                                                  C. Hamster Oct 22, 2013 05:37 PM

                                                                                  Korean, too

                                                                                2. k
                                                                                  klyeoh Oct 22, 2013 01:41 AM

                                                                                  And quite a few Chowhounds as well.

                                                                                  1. y
                                                                                    youareabunny Oct 21, 2013 02:46 PM

                                                                                    I could go on a rant, but I'll keep it clean and just +1 what ^^^^they said.

                                                                                    I'm Asian too, btw

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: youareabunny
                                                                                      LotusRapper Oct 22, 2013 10:08 AM

                                                                                      ['Nother Asian here raises hand]

                                                                                      Food plays a dominant role in some cultures, but notably Asian. Our local fblog scene is heavy with Asians, but then so is our city:

                                                                                      http://www.urbanspoon.com/bgs/14/vanc...

                                                                                      And it seems to me there's a higher ratio of females than males.

                                                                                      In general I love the diversity of the bloggers' demographics, it adds to the richness of points of views and information available.

                                                                                    2. Chemicalkinetics Oct 21, 2013 01:52 PM

                                                                                      I think there are two things. Of course, none of us really know for sure, but I speculate two things.

                                                                                      First, Asians are more into blogging and internet stuffs in general, not just food. This is known that Asians are more into social media. It is shown not just in US, but around the world.

                                                                                      Second, food is highly valued in Asian culture. It plays a bigger role in several Asian countries, like Japan and China....etc. It is like video games. There is a far higher ratio of Asians playing video games than other ethnicity groups.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
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                                                                                        macsak Oct 21, 2013 02:18 PM

                                                                                        yup
                                                                                        chemkinetics is right
                                                                                        asians are very into social media

                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                          Monica Oct 22, 2013 07:01 AM

                                                                                          Food is highly valued in a lot of culture.

                                                                                          Another thing I noticed is that a lot of famous chefs especially ones from France open locations in major Asian cities before they even consider opening a location in US.
                                                                                          I gues there is a high demand for new things as most of these Asian cities are still developing with people constantly looking for something better and newer. People in Asia are more open to new concepts, ideas and food in general than people in West I think. Which explains why a bad pizza shop in suburban cities in US survive with no problem while bad food joint in Asian cities don't survive a day but that's a whole different topic.

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