IBARW 3 – 5, no 6! Questions

I’ll answer sparkymonster‘s questions today. Note that you’re going to get mixed answers, because white people know some obscure everyday shit too, and I am, don’t you know it, half.

1. List 5 things which are basic common knowledge in your culture, which people outside are unfamiliar with. This is not about obscurity, but something everyday to you, that others go “bzuh?” at.

a) Sometimes pie crust is made with leaf lard, i.e. pork lard. Yes, in sweet pastries. Yes. Pig.
b) Chinese often quietly practice ancestor worship. More, many of us take it for granted that our older deceased relatives are “with us”. This is not thought of as odd or weird in any way.
c) There are a bunch of fruit that Asians/Pacific Rim cultures eat that seem to be unknown to many other cultures. Lychee, longan (bonus: name means “dragon eye”), rambutan, durian (smells like him, tastes like her!), custard apple, etc.
d) You’ve heard of green tea, mango and ginger ice creams, probably. How about corn, taro root (youtube – ube is a name for taro root), red bean (aka azuki), or sweet potato? Speaking of which, have you ever had warm sweet red bean soup for dessert? How about sweet tofu during your normal dim sum brunch?
e) Speaking of dessert, how about a slice of apple pie, sandwiched between two slices of sharp cheddar, wrapped in pie crust and deep fried? That’s good middle-American rib-sticking farm-work mid-morning snack! (the weird part is that I can’t find this on Google anywhere!)

2. What was the last book you read that was written by a person who is a different race than you? Do you seek out books written by people of other races? Why? Why not?

Green Arrow – Road to Jericho, by Judd Winick. I don’t seek out books written by people of other races. They come to me. In fact, I’m not sure I ever read a book by a half Chinese, half White person before. Know any? Huh. Update: H reminded me that I have in fact read books by Cecilia Tan. It was a long time ago. :)

3. What did you eat at dinner last night? Would you call it ethnic food? Why?

Fried lamb shank steaks with a vinaigrette, wok-sauteed salad greens with garlic, bread, goat cheese spread. Om nom. All food that is prepared in some way is ethnic. White food is also ethnic. Some foods are also ethnic in that only certain ethnicities eat them. Speaking of that, I think it’s really funny how the white folks only just heard about umame (hell, I only just heard about it). Also, MSG? How is it that it doesn’t give Asians headaches? Just asking!

4. Has your gender presentation changed over the last 5 years? Has this change/lack of change been a deliberate choice on your part?

Nope, it hasn’t changed. Yes, it’s been deliberate. Mostly for corporate business reasons. Yes, I am VERY aware of gender-related, sex-related and sexuality-related civil rights issues. Ask me why. I dare you.

5. Do you discuss race and racism in your livejournal/blog or in person? Why have you made that choice?

You bet your ass. Both in blog and in person, though in general not at work except in safe spaces or if someone’s being an egregious ass-monkey. Why? Because I have a stake in it. I am here not just for myself, but as I explained earlier this week, because I cannot let the lao, tai tais and ba down.

6. Bonus question. Were you aware of International Blog Against Racism Week? Did you choose to participate in it? Why or why not?

You bet your ass. I have been totally participating in it and having a lot of fun with it. Why? Honestly cuz I keep getting whipped up and I am a wordy son-of-a-bitch. And yes, I think my Mom would take that as a compliment, why?