The Jing Fong Restaurant A Living color China experience by maxwell shopkorn

The Jing Fong restaurant was a dim sum experience. Dim sum is usually linked with the older tradition from yum cha (drinking tea), which has its roots in travelers on the ancient Silk Road needing a place to rest. Teahouses were made along the roads for a break for travelers and a place to socialize Later in time it was discovered that tea helps digestion so snacks were added with the tea.

There were many options on the menu to order regularly, but this meal was dim sum and there were once again many, many options to eat. An employee at the restaurant would come around with a cart filled with traditional Chinese dishes that tasted very good. Here is the card that was punched every time we received food:

I tried many different types of dim sum food during my time at Jing Fong Restaurant that each had unique flavors and recipe passed down from generation to generation. These were my personal favorites: Soup Dumplings Pork, Pork Shumai, Chocolate Buns, Chicken Feet, Almond Coconut Jello (White), Shrimp Spring Rolls and Shrimp and Bacon (Images appear in the order of the words above from left to right). Each of these dishes was delicious in their own right. What I did not expect to like were the chicken feet and almond coconut jello because they were both new to me. They looked (in the case of the chicken feet) and sounded pretty unappealing, but actually were some of the best food I tasted.

Another very important aspect of dim sum is yum cha which is drinking tea. Drinking tea connects to the aspects of ancient life and religions that were practiced then and now. For example, the five great relationships is shown in this case between friend/friend. This is an aspect of Confucianism that shows how people should act with each other. In this case it is the act of pouring tea for a friend because you should not pour for yourself. My friends at my table and I each took turns pouring tea for everyone, sometimes right to left, left to right or someone poured for multiple people. Sharing food and drink with other people and getting to know them is Confucianism again because it is interaction with other people as you should act in that given situation.

A carrot shaped dumpling with lotus inside actually symbolizes both of the religions shown at dim sum, Confucianism and Taoism. The dumpling shows Taoism because it shapes a carrot which is a part of nature and the natural world in general. However it also goes against the Rectification of Names from Confucianism because it tries to make it something that it is not.

Their were figures on the wall of a Phoenix and a Dragon. These also had their place exemplifying the visibility of Taoism in this Living Color destination. The Phoenix statuette on the wall is female because it comes from the ashes which is rebirth, the dragon statuette on the wall is male because it doesn't go through the process of rebirth. These show yin and yang in Taoism, as the phoenix is yin because it shows femaleness among things as the dragon symbolizes maleness from yang. Yin and yang is a main concept of Taoism and is clearly shown by these two figures.

There is also a piece of art on the wall that symbolizes both Confucianism and Taoism. The exterior of the work of art is showing Confucianism because it is a fixed pattern and is uniform and conforms to a border. However, the interior of the artwork symbolizes Taoism because it is very much like the natural world. It shows that there is a pattern but it is irrational and unpredictable and there must be trust that it is the correct pattern.

The staff at the Jing Fong restaurant also demonstrated Confucianism and Taoism. They demonstrated the five great relationships which is a Confucian term. They interacted in the employee/customer relationship where they had to be polite and make sure the the customer was satisfied with their experience. They also had to be mirror mind in this sense which is essentially the ideal Taoist. Someone who is calm and levelheaded in all events. If a customer is rude they must be calm and believe that they will work this out or they could be fired if they are rude to the customer.

This was an amazing experience in every sense. I would most certainly recommend this to any future 8th grader to do out of school and not just for the Living Color China project. The dim sum was not only delicious and helped me try new things, it also let me see the legacy of the ancient religions that I had studied in class. They were present almost everywhere in the restaurant. Taoism and Confucianism were present at the table, with the staff, with my friends and I, with the artwork on the walls and even the food served. In Confucianism the goal is to fulfill your role and interact in your role with others who are in their proper role in society. I certainly did this as did everybody in the restaurant. No matter whether you were a chef in the kitchen or a customer you acted within your role and relationships. There was Taoism present the the way that everything happened unpredictably to me as I had never had the experience and had to trust in "the way" that all would work out. I had a positive outlook on what would happen and had a beyond amazing time. All in all, the dim sum and Jing Fong restaurant was something that gave me joy in being with my friends and having a good meal, but also seeing the legacy of what I was learning in class in the real world take effect.

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