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Oberlin College Is Serving Up The Racism



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Oberlin College Is Serving Up The Racism (Image: MGN)
  • College students at Oberlin college are in an uproar over the disrespect for the native cuisines of foreign countries.
  • The foreign students at the college are expecting their native taste buds to be satisfied with food that perfectly resembles that of their mothers cooking.
  • At first, social media thought the complaints from the students was a joke, apparently, they are taking it very seriously.

Although the idea of colleges having bad cafeteria food is nothing new, the students at Oberlin college are ready for a change. Remember the endless lines of pizza, bread, pasta, and some terrible excuse for a salad bar? It brings back memories of those “Freshman Fifteen” that, no matter how hard you tried, you couldn't avoid.

Well, last week, the students of Oberlin college went from complaints in the mess hall to national headlines. Yet at first, the media attacked the students for their “political correctness” and quickly the world started wondering if the whole thing was a joke.

I”m here to tell you, it is real.

The Oberlin Review reported that the main complaint of the student body is that Bon Appetit, the food service vendor “has a history of blurring the line between culinary diversity and cultural appropriation by modifying the recipes without respect for certain Asian countries’ cuisines. This uninformed representation of cultural dishes has been noted by a multitude of students, many of who have expressed concern over the gross manipulation of traditional recipes.”

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Diep Nguyen, a first-year college student from Vietnam, got the true experience of the “blurring of the line of culinary diversity.” Apparently, Nguyen, in desperation for some Vietnamese comfort food was filled with excitement when she saw that Vietnamese food was on the mess hall menu. She ordered the traditional Banh Mi Vietnamese sandwich, yet it turned out to be nothing more than a cheap knock-off that had no resemblance to the actual sandwich. The sandwich is traditionally made with a crispy baguette, grilled pork, pate, pickled vegetables, and fresh herbs. The sandwich she received was ciabatta bread, pulled pork, and coleslaw.

The feeling was mutually shared by the colleges “sushi bar.” Tomoyo Joshi, a junior from Japan, said that the lack of fish and undercooked rice is disrespectful to her culture. “When you’re cooking a country’s dish for other people, including ones who have never tried the original dish before, you’re also representing the meaning of the dish as well as its culture,” Joshi said. “So if people not from that heritage take food, modify it and serve it as ‘authentic,’ it is appropriative,” she continued. Apparently, in Japan sushi is such a highly regarded dish that people take years of apprenticeship before they are taught how to properly serve the dish.

The students are now protesting the school for not respecting the cuisines of other cultures. To be honest, I don't know if I can blame them. I mean, I know that when I go to a restaurant and my steak and or burger is not made to perfection, I label the entire establishment as “unamerican.”

Food is a very personal experience to some. We all have our comfort food. For some, it's flaming hot Cheetos, for some its ice cream, for some it's Oreos, for some it's steak. Whatever your comfort food is, it's important to you. So when students come to America from foreign countries they expect us to know everything about the culture of their native cuisine. I mean they came to our country for our culture, how dare we give them theirs while they're here….right?

Or…another possibility is….they could stick to the pizza line, and get their native cuisine in the restaurants that litter every town in the United States. Just a thought.

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