Chinese food culture and intercultural communication: the American Chinese restaurant as an example
AbstractIn recent years, more and more Chinese restaurants have opened in the United States. However, in order to make Chinese food better accepted by American customers, Chinese cuisine has been adapted to American tastes, and become American Chinese food. Traditional and original Chinese food is replaced gradually by American Chinese food because of this acculturation. In addition, since Chinese food entered the United States with Chinese workers, the Chinese food that Americans first came into contact with was not authentic Chinese food and they also had a stereotype of Chinese food as unsanitary and of low-quality. Thus, how to fully integrate the traditional Chinese food culture while quickly integrating into the local culture is a major challenge for American Chinese restaurants to deal with. Why do we emphasize the importance of maintaining Chinese characteristics? The reasons are as follows. Firstly, in the United States, Chinese restaurants are not only a place to serve food. For Chinese immigrants, it also has the function of transmitting information, gaining a sense of belonging and easing Chinese immigrants’ homesickness. For American customers, Chinese restaurants offer them the opportunity to experience Chinese culture. Therefore, only by maintaining Chinese characteristics can these two functions be better run. Secondly, due to the stereotype of Chinese food for American customers and the competition of other ethnic restaurants, the market competitiveness of Chinese restaurants is gradually decreasing. Therefore, only by forming their own characteristics and passing on the attractive traditional Chinese culture to American customers can change the stereotype of American customers about Chinese restaurants, make Chinese food better accepted by American customers and enhance the competitiveness of Chinese restaurants. Chinese restaurants should pay attention to the Chinese cultural connotation of dishes and pay attention to the creation of the cultural atmosphere. Only in this way can they gain acceptance by American customers while better conveying Chinese culture.
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