Outrageous Oberlin Students Are Mad About... Fried Chicken and Sushi?!
Students at Oberlin College are demanding to meet with the school’s president after complaining that the cafeteria’s take on Asian dishes is inauthentic and “disrespectful.”
Their grievances range from a “cheap imitation” of the traditional Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich to the replacement of fried chicken with steamed chicken in a Chinese “General Tso’s” dish.
Now, these students are demanding change – and recognition that the menu is a form of what they call “cultural appropriation.”
Oberlin College is known to be a fairly liberal campus, as well as actress Lena Dunham's alma mater.
Here’s an excerpt from The Oberlin Review:
“Bon Appétit, the food service management company contracted by Oberlin College, 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.”
One Japanese student explained her frustration with the campus sushi bar, while suggesting that the vendor's “lack of fresh fish is disrespectful.”
“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,” Tomoyo Joshi said.
“So if people not from that heritage take food, modify it and serve it as ‘authentic,’ it is appropriative.”
The dining services director has said they never meant to offend anyone, and will soon meet with students regarding their concerns.
Read more on this story, here.