The Jews Have Israel

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I Have My

The Jews are a fortunate bunch -- they have a state to call their motherland. There's something holy about going back to your roots that has nothing to do with institutionalisation or formalisation (religion). The pursuit of identity is a deeply satisfying, uniquely human trait. I think it's something that we shouldn't ignore (but at the same time, something we shouldn't flaunt).

I am Chinese by race, but not by ethnicity [1]. My grandparents, like many of the time, left the mainland (大陆) to seek a new home. The fact stands that the Chinese culture has gone through major turmoil these past 200+ years, much to the detriment to the common man and woman. Unfortunately, those faults have unfairly tainted the culture as a whole in this modern era, and even those (like myself) who carry the bloodlines fail to appreciate the richness of their 5,000 year heritage.

Perhaps it's the foreign upbringing, or perhaps it's the still-bitter-taste in the previous generation's mouths, or maybe it's just the complexity of our history, or some flaw in cultural norms. But merely "growing up Chinese" isn't a strong enough medium for the flow of culture, not in this colourful, modern world.

For the (good parts of the) Chinese Culture (or any culture) to prosper in the coming centuries, it needs to be driven with a strong agenda. The hard part is in figuring out what that agenda is; you don't explain the holy. That makes communicating that agenda through verbal or written means an exercise in futility; the problem being that what is read stays in the head, while tradition needs to be felt in the heart to be understood.

So what's a 20-year-old bachelor to do? Well, I'll start by buying a good carbon-steel wok, and treating it with the same respect that my grandmother would.

[caption id="attachment_1783" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Freshly seasoned and ready to go. Best \$45 dollars I spent this month."][/caption]

I'll learn to cook the food that my grandmother cooked. I'll learn the language. And eventually, when freedom allows, I'll actively pass it on.

Let's not forget that 民以食為天, and if there's anything to be gained by chasing down your roots, you can surely bet that a great meal awaits.

[1] - referring to the mainland Chinese.


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