Saturday, May 20, 2006

Chinese Movies

There are 5 films in this series titled Chinese Restaurants. Basically, the film director wanted to document how Chinese have settled in all parts of the world and how the common denominator in these overseas Chinese communities is often a Chinese restaurant that was built not because of culinary expertise or inclination but because of survival instincts. As many of us know, there is a Chinese restaurant everywhere in the world

In Peru, there's a famous Chinese cooking show on TV hosted by a Chinese man who also runs a real restaurant in Lima. He married a Peruvian woman who confessed that she would prefer their 2 biracial daughters marry Chinese men because Chinese values are so much better AND "I love small Chinese eyes! So beautiful! I want grand kids with small eyes!" *LOL* However in another Peru clip, a tearful HongKong immigrant recalls being instructed by her parents to marry out of HK so she could have a better life. Her marriage was basically arranged. The marriage ended in a divorce but she has 2 biracial Chinese Peruvian children who do not understand Chinese and thus holds her back from returning to HK

The Turkey story was the most fascinating for me since I cannot imagine Chinese living there -- even though it is at a junction between Asia/Europe and has witnessed thousands of years of Asian trade and migration. The focus was on the family who opened Turkey's very first Chinese restaurant in 1957! They were Chinese Muslims who were basically kicked out by Communists in 1940s and spent almost a decade slowly migrating toward Turkey (including trekking over mountains in horses and camels and watching family members die during this trek). Their Chinese restaurant in Istanbul refuses to serve pork because they're serious Muslims. Today the kids from the family has married Turks, Germans, and Taiwanese. They've all re-settled in different parts of the world but reunite regularly in Istanbul where Chinese grandma calls home.

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