Returning with the Collective Identity

Through my five weeks of traveling throughout China, I have learned so much within so little time. As a result, I came to China to learn Landscape architecture and experience the eastern parts of the world. Much of my exploration in China involved building of character through various identities. The journey has been tough mentally and physically across this program, but it was worth the effort. While understanding the different experiences in China, I saw myself finding different types of identities in China. I describe food to be an identity because it is important part of people’s lives. The living identity serves an important role as well because of the dual relationship between food and birds. People act a particular way in China because of cultural reasons. I try to understand the culture and use my set of skills as a landscape designer to decipher these identities. As a whole, I see myself to understand these identities in China. In the end, I develop the collective identity. The collective identity is the understanding of cultures, food, experience, connection, and analysis of China.

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The Teochew Identity

Growing up as a Chinese American, the only language I was taught was Teochew(Chiu Chow/Chaozhou) language, a dialect of China close to Taiwan. In many events, I was asked if I spoke Mandarin in China; however, I could never answer. With a search of finding people speaking teochew in China, there was no luck. Instead, there was an incident of Chinese tourists on Elephant Hill in Guilin, but there was not enough time to talk to them. Again, my encounter with teochew food in Hong Kong has reinforced my love for the teochew culture. With this China trip, I wish to go back, but in my ancestral hometown of Puning, Chaoshan, or Shantou. China has reconnected my identity of who I am and my true identity.

The Teochew Identity

Hong Kong The food emits a strong odor of delicious. I am fairly familiar with this type of food, especially the taro cake. The taro cake had more of a leech and garlic-like flavor. So far, our table finished the … Continue reading