On Saturday January 28th, I took a trip to the Jing Fong Restaurant where my peers and I ate Dim Sum, learned more about the wonderful culture of China, and made connections about the legacy of ancient China. I was able to do this, due to the fact that during the experience we were dining with the proper etiquette and manners, being served and eating all types of different foods from the Chinese culture. In the following presentation, I will explain why this experience should be chosen to understand how the legacy of ancient China is evident today!
This picture shows my table, during the experience at the Jing Fong Restaurant (the spout of the teapot is facing in between people)
During the experiment as we ate, there were certain things we had to keep in mind. We had to use proper etiquette such as pouring our peers' drinks for them, helping serve their foods, making sure the spout of the teapot isn't pointed directly at someone, instead in between people, and not wiping our plates clean when we are finished but rather leave a little bit of food on our plates to show we are no longer hungry. These rules and values reflect Confucian principles, more specifically the concepts of Li and Junzi. Li means doing proper things the proper way, which in this situation would be our dining properly. Junzi is a gentleman, someone who is noble or superior. Junzi's act with Li, and by dining with proper etiquette, we were acting like Junzi's. Also, as my classmates and I were helping each other serve meals and pour drinks, I noticed this reminded of the concept of Guan Xi .Guan Xi is the forming of relationships, and as we were each helping each other, we were forming new or stronger relationships.
Crispy rice flour skin filled with grounded peanuts and coconut flakes
In the picture shown above, resting on the plate is a food that appears to look like carrots but is actually a flour skin filled with peanuts and coconut. This completely defies the confucian principle of Rectification of Names. The Rectification of Names states that things must act and behave based of of their purpose and role in society, and what they are. These look like they are suppose to be carrots, but are actually rice flour skin filled with grounded peanuts and corn flakes. They are not acting like carrots like the Rectification of Names states they should. This means, this is not an example of the confucian legacy being shown, but is the daoist legacy being shown. The Daoist concept that comes to mind here for me would be yin and yang. Yin and Yang is the concept of two opposites that balance each other out. With this food here, the appearance of the food is so different that it is almost the opposite of what it tastes like. Like the yin and yang, the opposing taste and appearance balance each other out.
The walls in the room of the experience
Even the room of the experience held and showed legacies of Ancient China. Notice the bamboo pattern on the top of the walls. This aspect of the decoration of the room is Daoist. Daoism has very strong beliefs in everything staying natural or nature like, like Pu which is things in their initial or natural state. The bamboo being a plant and a piece of nature shows this decoration is Daoist, with their love and admiration for nature.
Pictured: My table and some of the foods were eating during the experience
As shown in this presentation, this experience gives so many examples of how the legacy of ancient China still exist today. Whether its eating with the proper confucian etiquette, being able observe the lovely nature-filled decor, or even taking a look at the food being served, there is a lot you can learn , observe, and connect to the ancient Chinese legacy.