“Do you eat dogs and cats?”
During the pandemic, an issue that had surfaced and greatly affected the APIDA
community was a lot of Asian hate. I found that one of the common grounds for the hate
surfaced from a lot of misunderstanding in our culture especially involving food. A common
phrase I’m sure many individuals in our community had encountered was “do you like eating
dogs and cats?”
More recently, I noticed that a lot of individuals in the APIDA community had
experienced a lot of hate crime because of the origin of COVID-19. It is really disheartening to
hear comments about this issue because this causes a stereotype in our community.
To tackle this issue within the Fraternity & Sorority Life at Colorado State University,
our social chairs had decided to create an event surrounding the topic of food. We collaborated
with Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc and paired members from their organization
and members from ours to work together and make these dishes together from each other’s
cultures. The point of mixing the groups is to make sure that some members are creating dishes
from another culture and understanding the other culture as well as their organization
understanding ours. A lot of the food chosen related a lot to foods that everyone has grown up
with which made this event very meaningful in not only being more exposed to each other’s
foods but also creating an understanding of the how meaningful these dishes are because they are
filled with memories related to our childhoods.
One of the dishes that our sisters chose for this event was spring rolls with peanut sauce.
In the peanut sauce we added a little bit of fish sauce to bring out the flavor and a lot of the
members of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc ended really enjoying it. Fish sauce
itself gets a lot of hate mainly because of the ‘fish’ in the name and the strong smell but many of
our sisters and members of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc who would have never
thought they would enjoy fish sauce did end up really liking it and asked for more. This is an
example of misinterpretations in food. At the end of the day, food culture is really based on
where you’re from, what your economic status is, and the experiences you and your ancestors go
Thank you to Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc for collaborating in this event with us and thank you to our co-social chairs for organizing it!