Kid Punished for Filipino Eating Habits

April 27, 2006

On the flip side, we have a story about striving for acceptance. Angela Chao Robertson has become the first person of African American heritage to compete for L.A.'s Miss Chinatown.

Robertson is half Chinese, half black. While she didn't win the crown, she did get on the court. Back in Hyphen #3, we ran a story about sports leagues and beauty pageants, asking whether these events actually built community, or it did the opposite by excluding mixed race people.

The L.A. competition seems fairly open:

While other Chinese pageants around the country require that the father be Chinese or that contestants speak either Mandarin or Cantonese, Los Angeles' event is considered one of the most inclusive, requiring only 25% Chinese heritage.

Contributor: 

Melissa Hung

Founding Editor

Melissa Hung is the founding editor of Hyphen. She was the editor in chief for the magazine's first five years and went on to serve in many other leadership roles on the staff and board for more than a decade. She is a writer and freelance journalist. Her essays and reported stories have appeared in NPR, Vogue, Pacific Standard, Longreads, and Catapult, among others. A native Texan, she lives in California. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Comments

Comments

Peter...You're kidding right?You do know that Anna is right and many Filipinos do eat with their fingers.
well depending where you are it would be propper. If you are in a school or public place that is not used to that custom, IE an american going to the Philippines they who adapt and use and fork and spoon. but once in the US that would be poor manners for the flip. would use a fork and knife. My wife is filipino and she is not permited to you a fork and spoon inn my house. or when eating in public.
with pinklady. Yes we wash our hands and we wash hands. In the Philipines that don't wash there hands, They go to the restrooms and do waht they do, they do how ever don't use tissue or toilet paper, they use water in the toiler and their hands,Filps also eat with the hands, ok think people germs, hepititus , fecal matter, and then they eat. YUK my wife tried to feed me a rice and fish like that, I all but slamed her for that. i tried to expane to here why she can't do that to me or once she here in the US, all she said was ahOK, well 3 miutnes later she tried to feed me again. No wounder I had food posioning the entire time I was in the Philippines and months later I was still seeing a Doctor,But back to the the use of a spoon, YOU must use the proper mannners and cultuler haber in that country. Go for it prinicpal 100% keep thje flip kid away from the other kids until he learns the correct manners for eating , yes that thier custom to eat with a large spoon, but here in the US or Canada they look like pig shoveling in the food as fast as they can,Once the little wife is here and dose that in home she will be told only once, after that she get wacked, hit, belted until she learns.
so, maddag, eating with a spoon and fork in your house is not ok, but domestic violence is? i hope you end up in jail.
yeah maddag.. ee's right!
the original Filipino kid article Melissa referenced isn't online anymore, but here's another link:http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2006/05/05/cagadoc05052006.html
Each for their own. What ever is comfortable. I recently took my friend who's Italian to a sushi train. Having difficulty with the chopsticks provided - she was given a knife and fork.
Where is it written that a person has to eat a certain way? Is this a law? And whose law is it? Who gives an individual the right to change a person's way of eating? Etc, etc.I am surprised that this occurred in Canada. I don't want to generalize, but I always thought Canadians were open-minded people. Diversity should be embraced.Cultural diversity is what makes the world we live in rich. Be proud of your culture and ethnicity. Do not be ashamed of it.
do you canadians have the right to treat filipinos that way. well, im filipino and we eat that way, so what?! thats just a part of our culture. eating in a certain way is not a law. i might be younger than you think i am but thats just because i support my country and everything we do. people shouldn't be punnished just because we eat a certain way.but thats just my opinion;)
I am not really wondering why the administrators punished that child,,, if ever she/he did. I'm a naturally born Filipino but I respect foreigners here who are eating the way they trained to. I'm so sad that the administrators itself didn't care to ask why is the child eating that way and why did this foreigners on the on the other hand didn't show any respect.... I mean even if its only for culture acceptance...It's only my opinion anyway.. ^_^
That Principal should be hung, drawn, and quartered. I understand bigotry as a solution for possessing small genitalia, but to a 7 year old? what kind of placid society tolerates such kind of pederastic advances to a child in such a demeaning manner? is there no more Decency in the land of Rush? Let's give this bigoted pedophiliac a name and an address to send a mutilated Voodoo doll to that resembles his Offspring. perhaps he also expects such a rebuttal from Us Backward People. We Apologise for being Disgusting to Ku Klux Kanada, we just can't seem to be anything But Vulgar to the Klean Krackers of Kanada. please forgive us, you fucking pigs.
I just saw this story on the CBC National News. While I am equally outraged by the labelling of a little boy's use of a fork and spoon, I don't think that it is anything to be traumatized over. Notwithstanding the inappropriate reaction by school authorities, I would hope the parents and the Philipino community reassure him that this reaction was wrong, that his actions were not "piggish". At the same time, I hope that someone in authority in the school system severely reprimands the school for their totally stupid actions. Good grief! I am not the most politically correct person by any stretch of the imagination, but this is a kid eating with a fork and a spoon; so what?!!Let's just all back up a bit and look at this as a ridiculous situation, ths school needs to apologize to the young fellow and his family, learn from the mistake, and get on with life as it should be.Doug
What the hell!?! Intelligent and educated people don't act like that. Specially an educator himself. I know the Philippines is not the best country in the world. But for God sakes, eating with a spoon and fork is disgusting? Come on people...how the hell do you eat rice with a fork? Thats stupidity! I know not all Canadians are like that. But for those who are...GET A LIFE!
There is no reason one cannot keep their ethnic identity while in a foreign homeland, but when out in public, act with decency - have some table manners.I mean, do Indians eat with their hands? Do Inuits bring live food to the lunch room? Do Japanese people eat with chopsticks at KFC?The boy can eat like a pig at home, but the parents should have the decency to teach how one should conduct themselves in public. This reflects poorly on their community. Now everyone thinks Philipinos eat like pigs.
Just fell into this. I'm a Canadian resident, and I am horrified. Though the child's eating habits are debated here, the principal's treatment of the child cannot be debated -- there's no question that what that principal did was wrong and cruel. The psychological effects on that seven-year-old child are lasting.Also, Canada is no longer the land of just Canadians. It never really was. Before it belonged to the French and the British, it was the Native Canadian's. The African Americans came when they escaped slavery in America. Eventually, others of European descent arrived. Now, the Asians have come.It is, as somebody said, a country that prides itself on its ethnic diversity and racial justice -- something which the law supports.We are given the freedom to speak in whatever language we wish, practice whatever religion we wish, and theoretically -- we are given the freedom to work in any job or position provided we are qualifed, regardless of race, religion, and gender.The different uses of utensils is another cultural variable -- like language, like religion, like one's heritage.On the use of utensils:Utensils were invented to make things easier for the people who use them. The fork is all around useful for picking up food with one stab. The spoon is useful for things like soup or anything else that's too small that would fall off the fork -- i.e., rice, which is a basic staple for a Filipino diet, as I understand it. The knife is useful for cutting up things. The hands will ALWAYS be useful, depending on what one eats. The use of chopsticks, on the other hand, is common because of the way their food was cooked -- bite sized pieces.Because the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, etc. have use for the chopsticks, they are used to chopsticks. Because the Filipinos have use for the spoon and the fork, they are used to using spoons and forks. Because Americans and Europeans cook cook their meat as big slabs (like steaks, whole fish, etc.), the use of the knife and the fork is what they're used to.Some food, it is really best to use one's hands. Must one use a fork and knife to eat a burger? In eating ribs, would one enjoy it more with a knife and fork? How 'bout for corn? It is the same in the Philippines. Some food in the Philippines can be more enjoyable using one's hands.Just because one is in Canada, does that mean one must stop eating the food they grew up with? Canada is famous for its diverse cuisines AND the diverse manner of eating the food from those cuisines. That this little fact escaped the principal (and certain individuals who've left comments here) is simply truly unfortunate.
Ignorant is when you land in a foreign airport and think you have landed back in your birth nation. If I lived in the Philipines, I would show respect by eating with my fingers, but when 'n Rome, do as the Romans do', but do not infect my culture with yours
Ignorant is when you say one culture "infects" another. And who said anything about eating with fingers? You're just assuming Filipinos eat with their fingers? Who's ignorant now?
Most of europe eats like filipinos do, with a spoon instead of a knife.Ask yourself who is more cultured in the use of silverware, the continent that actually invented it (and who's nobility brought it to the Philippines)or with the assbackwards land across the atlantic colonized by hopeless convicts and religuous zealots?
This is in response to Anonymous on his/her post on May 9, 2006. (on a side note, no one would wonder why you had write Anonymous next to what you posted!)I'm sure Canada has a Chinese or Japanese restaurant or two somewhere. We certainly don't call you pigs when you ask for forks there. Nor do we have you sit apart from the rest because of your use of forks instead of chopsticks!KFC is Western food and probably cut a different way than if an Asian person would cook their chicken. Hence, the use of chopsticks wouldn't make sense on a KFC chicken but would make sense if they were eating Kung Pao chicken!Aside from not being able to eat with their choice of eating utensils, are you saying they can't eat Chinese food outside of their homes or Chinese restaurants either!? Would that be lack of "decency", as well, bringing foreign foods out in public!? Gasp!Oh, and by the way, have you ever seen a pig eat with silver ware?And PUHHLEASE - do not talk about decency! There is no decency in a grown person humiliating and bullying a 7 year old boy!And YOUR parents should have taught you the decency of thinking before spouting ignorant words!Let's not stop at "table manners" but look at "manners" in general - values that these educators are supposed to be teaching the children in their schools. Anyone (regardless of ethnicity) who has "manners" will be bothered by the actions and words of these educators.In a country that is supposedly taking pride in being a melting pot of cultures, this is not something that should be acceptable.And one more thing...the only thing this reflects is that, sad as it maybe, there are still people in this world, like you, Anonymous, who think they are superior than others just because the other people are different. But your numbers are going down and your days are numbered!So go ahead, think ignorantly that you are superior. There are more of us who know the truth!
Anna for your information, many of us here in the philippines eat with spoon and fork. We use them to make it easier for us to eat our meals and not to get our hands dirty or messy. Ocassionally we use our bare fingers if we feel like doing so but it always depends on the food. If it is a crab or shrimps why not?Maybe the stupid teacher licks the soup or eat it with his bare hands or fingers . So yucky if the principal does not take a bath everyday too just like pigs.We might be a poor country but we value respect, we might be a third world county but we are not from a stone age. Being barbaric is without respect.-My opinion
I mean, do Indians eat with their hands? Do Inuits bring live food to the lunch room? Do Japanese people eat with chopsticks at KFC? Posted by: Anonymous at May 9, 2006 11:55 AM--For God's sake did you read? The issue here is the boy being called a pig just because he used spoon and fork during lunch time! What hands and live food are you talking about? YOu mean filipinos do that? we don't do that. We are hygienic people. I myself hate "live food" the germs and the tape worm you'll get by eating them. we are taught to wash our hands first though we use those silverwares. I take a bath twice a day, Change clothes everyday. Pigs don't do these thingsThis reflects poorly on their community. Now everyone thinks Philipinos eat like pigs.Posted by: Anonymous at May 9, 2006 11:55 AMNOt everyone, the stupid and ignorant people are.Do pigs eat with spoon and fork?Come on have a life!
I mean, do Indians eat with their hands? Do Inuits bring live food to the lunch room? Do Japanese people eat with chopsticks at KFC? Posted by: Anonymous at May 9, 2006 11:55 AM--For God's sake did you read? The issue here is the boy being called a pig just because he used spoon and fork during lunch time! What hands and live food are you talking about? YOu mean filipinos do that? we don't do that. We are hygienic people. I myself hate "live food" the germs and the tape worm you'll get by eating them. we are taught to wash our hands first though we use those silverwares. I take a bath twice a day, Change clothes everyday. Pigs don't do these thingsThis reflects poorly on their community. Now everyone thinks Philipinos eat like pigs.Posted by: Anonymous at May 9, 2006 11:55 AMNOt everyone, the stupid and ignorant people are.Do pigs eat with spoon and fork?Come on have a life!
Once you decide living in a foreing country you should try to get adapted and start living their uses and habits...I mean try to eat the way they do...in this case fork and knife for solid meals spoon for soups and small fork for dessert and tea spoon for Ice cream. Please if you decide to raise your kids in a foreing countries go with their rules and manners.....you wouldn't like your kids feeling bad because of your lack of information how is the proper way to eat somewhere else.You know what...in my country people eat dessert with a tea spoon but here i eat it with fork...I think we should show some respect and appreciattion to the country that welcome us to live.Maybe this school dont want the est of the kids think that it is the proper way to eat, but of course this is not the way to treat a 10 year old kid.....Actually I blame the parents and I think this kid should get some teraphy because he must be really confused.
ei maddag, youre just another american who survived abortion. and to thnk youre even proud to let us know here that you can whack your wife for being too filipino. how stupid you are then to go to philippines get a wifey there and bash the culture? moron!why you most americans hire domestic helps from PI? because we are clean people and this people clean your shit. we wash our hands before eating, we use spoon and fork and even our hands and we truly enjoy our meal, thereafter we wash our hands and we brush our teeth, how about you? maybe you only get a shower once a week and floss only once a month! you stinks!the school is there to teach the boy how to adapt other table manners if needed or part of their curriculum and not there to punish the kid.maddag and the CA principal are lunatic twins and are disgusting than pigs.