Double Delicious


Who wouldn’t love to listen to stories while enjoying some tasty food?! Or even more interestingly, what if the stories ARE about that food? These are exactly the reasons I was drawn to Double Delicious, which was shown at Abbotsford Convent during the Asia TOPA festival 2020.

Five public figures, over 100 minutes, each with a story to tell about them coming to, or growing up in, Australia as an immigrant, and each with that one special dish to share that they deemed essential to their being. I was intrigued by the idea, and will probably steal it if I ever host a dinner party. Indeed, all our identities are integrated with the meals we shared while growing up, which could be as simple as a warm stew filled up with cheap canned food, or rice with nothing but pork fat.

The stories are fascinating, portrayed in a mix of monologue, hiphop, contemporary dance, or grandmotherly chat. Admittedly, as my friend and I commented in the podcast, the stories could have been more interesting and impactful if, instead of seeing snapshot of five stories, we had more insight and depth into one or two particular experiences.

Nevertheless, as an audience member, I loved getting to know their personal journeys, and was excited to enjoy the dishes. I, for one, didn’t know anything about chole at all before the show, and now I know it’s not only extremely tasty, but a dish of great significance in Indian culture.

It was interesting to see the audience was predominantly white Australians, and I wondered how they experienced the stories. Would they relate and like it? What would they think of the food? How differently would their experience be to my own as a Chinese migrant to Australia?

I asked my white Australian companion for their “raw” (and uncensored) feedback. I might not agree with all his opinions or the tone, but I share here to show the continuum of experiences between some migrants and white Australian audiences.

谁会不喜欢一边品尝美食一边听故事呢?!更何况,还是关于食物的故事。这恰恰是2020年 Asia TOPA 节期间在 Abbotsford 修道院展出的《双倍美味》吸引我前往观看的原因。

五个公众人物, 100分钟演出时长,每个人都有一个故事来分享,讲述他们作为移民来到澳大利亚或在澳大利亚长大的故事。 同时每个人还展示烹调一道对他们来说意义非凡的菜品。我觉得这个主题非常新颖。如果我有机会举办晚宴,一定会盗用。确实,我们的身份认同,与我们儿时分享的饭菜无法分割,有时甚至只是一顿用罐头食品填充的炖菜,或者简简单单的猪油饭。

表演中所分享的故事本身也很有趣,以独白,嘻哈,当代舞蹈,或聊天等多种方式描绘。诚然,正如我和我的朋友在播客中所说的那样,如果这些故事能够集中某段经历提供更多的见解和深度,而不是对全部体验的快速描述,那么它们将会更有趣也会更有影响力。不过,作为一个观众,我很享受听他们讲述自己的个人旅程,并对每一个菜品都感到无比兴奋。在演出之前,我对 Chole(炖鹰嘴豆)这道菜一无所知,现在我知道它非常美味,而且是一道在印度文化中具有重要意义的菜。

有趣的是,现场观众主要是澳大利亚本地白人。我很好奇知他们是如何体验这些故事的。他们会感同身受,会喜欢吗?他们会喜欢这些食物吗?和我这样的中国移民相比,他们对表演的感受会有何不同? 和我一同观看演出的澳洲同伴在音频中表达了他的“原始”(未经更改)反馈。我未必同意他的所有观点或语气,但我在这里分享他的观点。从中我们可以感受到在一些移民和澳大利亚白人观众之间还可能存在着多少文化的距离。


Valerie Berry Storyteller
Elizabeth Chong Storyteller
Heather Jeong Storyteller
Benjamin Law Storyteller
Raghav Handa Storyteller
Nicholas Ng Musician

Xia Cui

Author: Xia Cui

Living in Australia for over ten years, Xia has always been intrigued by the process of meaning negotiation among people from different sociocultural upbringings. How does miscommunication or a conflict occur, for example, get resolved, or not? She’s constantly seeking answers to questions like these through her roles including being a language teacher, translator/interpreter, academic and fitness professional. Xia is currently dedicated to developing immersion Chinese programs, and passionately working with her fitness clients every day towards their goals! 在澳洲生活的十余年间,崔峡所从事的职业有语言教师,翻译员,研究学者, 健身教练等等。在她工作生活的人际交往过程中,崔峡始终有着强烈兴趣并不 断探索的是,来自不同社会文化背景的人们是如何进行意义沟通的。误解甚至冲突是怎样产生,化解,又或不了了之?崔峡目前致力于开发沉浸式中文教学课程。与此同时,她每天都在充满热情的与自己的健身客户一起努力实现他们的健身目标!

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