Surpassing the Beeline

Collaborative Performance // 2018 // Concept and Directed by Abishek Thapar; Perform by Rinku Kalsy, Hilda Moucharrafieh, Vaishali Nanda, Masha Ru, Sahil Sahni, YiLing Hung // Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Photo: Andy Goulding
What I've been missing the most in terms of homey food, is the RICE.

It is not just about the rice as an ingredient, one type of main dish, that I am missing here.But what makes me feel even upset sometimes is the fact that it's not easy to find "the right" rice in the Netherlands.Taiwanese rice, different from Thai rice or the rice from other countries, it is mostly white, round shaped, with lots of fresh fragrancy, small but fleshy and chewy.

Rice is something we eat almost for three meals a day, and even for night food occasionally.

In this performance, I am one of the storyteller. I choose a rice cuisine called Zong-zhi 粽子 to share with the visitors. It is actually a “Chinese” cuisine, but after dacades of developing and adaptation, it has now a few Taiwanese versions. Through presenting Zong-zhi, I share my personal experience as a foreigner living in The Netherlands. The experience triggers myself to question (or to rethink, or to re-confirm) my own identity as a Taiwanese. I introduced how this cuisine is made and share my family recipe. And then I extend the story to a broader discussion about the blurry border and overlapped history between Chinese and Taiwanese culture.

Food is the vehicle to convey feelings/thoughts/perspectives/ideas, and eating together is a form of social gathering to generate conversation.