Jing Fong Restaurant Vivien Sweet - History 8 LC

Jing Fong Restaurant Description: When we first arrived at the Dim Sum restaurant, the group, including teachers, broke up into tables of 7-10 people. The restaurant was decorated beautifully, with Chinese characters inscribed on the wall, and Everyone's place setting consisted of a cloth napkin, a small dish, a small cup for tea, and a pair of chopsticks. Each person then poured the person sitting next to them a cup of tea, as it is a courteous act in Chinese dining customs. Carts full of delicious-smelling Dim Sum foods were being pushed around, and if we saw a dish that we wanted, the "waitress" would give it to us and mark down the dish on our "check," where all of our dishes were listed. All of the dishes were sharing-size serving, and everyone took their portions using their chopsticks. Some of the dishes our table ordered were chicken feet, sticky rice, pork-filled steam buns and different types of noodles. Later during the meal, dessert carts were being pushed around, and we ordered some coconut jello and egg tarts. After the Dim Sum meal was finished and everyone had their fill, we gave Mr. Brooks the checks, thanked him and the other teachers, and left.

Legacy of Ancient China: While I was at the restaurant, I noticed that there were a lot of Daoist pieces of art hanging on the walls. For example, the walls of the Jing Fong restaurant were lined with a bamboo-themed decoration, which is a Daoist design. This is because nature plays a huge role in Daoism by showing the simplicity of an uncomplicated life. Nature is completely natural and is unaffected by humans, which is like the Dao. Another symbol of Daoism in Dim Sum is that in Dim Sum, there is no set menu; carts just come around the tables with many different types of food. This represents Wu Wei (following the Dao) because the many dishes that are served at Dim Sum are always changing, so to have a happy and satisfying meal, one needs to learn how to swim with the current of the Dao, or in this case, adapt to trying different dishes. One of the foods that we tried that showed signs of Daosim was a carrot pastry shell with a meat mixture inside. Confucius would certainly not approve of this dish, because it was going directly against his principle of rectification of names: things should conform to what they are named. However, there is a legacy of Daoism in the trickster carrot dish because again, the carrot represents simplicity of nature, and since Daoists are more light-hearted than Confucians, they can take a joke like a misleading dish. Lastly, the phoenix and dragon figures on the wall of the restaurant represented Yin and Yang; two dualistic forces that represent all aspects of life. The phoenix, Yin, represents femaleness, earth, darkness, and passivity. On the other hand, the dragon Yang, represents heaven, maleness, light, and activity. Together Yin and Yang, or the phoenix and the dragon, complement each other and symbolize every part of life.

The misleading carrot dish, with cilantro stems for roots, is filled with a delicious meat mixture.

However, while I was at the Jing Fong restaurant, I also noticed a strong legacy of Confucianism demonstrated in human interactions during the meal. The Five Great Relationships are shown throughout the meal, between the host and the guest. Because the host usually treats the guest, whether it's a friendly or business interaction, both the host and the guest show ren and li, or human-heartedness and etiquette. They follow the expected eating customs in China, like letting the oldest person at the table eat first and never sticking one's chopsticks upright in their bowl (it resembles a shrine, wishing death to someone at the table.) Like in Confucianism, having good ren and li filled interactions will lead to a harmonious and orderly meal, the ultimate goal of a Confucian society.

Another Daoist piece of art; each shape is different and there is no pattern to how they are arranged, much unlike the orderly society that Confucianism demands.

Why a future 8th should choose this experience: This Dim Sum experience is a great way for 8th graders to learn about the legacy of Ancient China in the modern world because it shows many Daoist and Confucian principles through artwork, food, and human interactions. Not only was the meal delicious, we were all able to learn about (and taste!) China's past and present through a traditionally styled meal. I would highly recommend this event to anyone who doesn't know a lot about Chinese lifestyle, and to those are familiar with these practices, so they can help others be a part of the Chinese legacy.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.