gastrodiplomacy

December 9, 2016

PD New headlines on the ways China promotes its culture abroad.

A social enterprise in Queensland is helping refugee and migrant women gain employment and foster community spirit through cooking. The Spice Exchange sees these enterprising women come together to creates spice blends, condiments and gingerbread. [...] Backed by Access Community Services, the social enterprise in Logan, south of Brisbane, also helps the women practise their English-speaking skills. 

“I think what’s interesting is that it helped contribute to US citizens thinking positively about the cuisines of China,” said Johanna Mendelson Forman, an adjunct professor and researcher of gastrodiplomacy at American University. “In recent years, Chinese regional foods and food waves have become a great interest in Chinese cultural diplomacy.”

With a significant number of Russian residents, Antalya will be hosting its annual Russian-Turkish Culture Festival, starting from Saturday this week. For its seventh edition, the festival will provide cultural exchange with Russian and Turkish guests including children. 

Indians — especially the youth — are learning Korean, eating kimchi and travelling to Seoul to sample the life shown on their favourite TV dramas, and films [...] Over the last decade, K-pop and K-dramas, as well as their movies, have unleashed a tsunami of growth and popularity in India, and the numbers of avid fans continue to grow exponentially.

At this intersection of culture and politics, a number of social enterprises have been born in the UK, encouraging women from migrant and refugee backgrounds to achieve their dreams of establishing their own businesses—all through the strength of their culinary skills. Such initiatives are aimed at allowing women to both use their power to earn and to fight anti-immigrant rhetoric.

November 24, 2016

Good food is the way to winning people’s heart. And Italians are masters at winning hearts with their globally popular cuisine so much so that the authorities in Italy believe food can also be a powerful tool for diplomacy. Organising an Italian Cuisine Week in around 120 countries including Doha simultaneously, the Italian authorities aim to lighten up people’s mood with good food.

More and more, a country’s diplomacy focus has shifted to promoting its cultural aspects — food, fashion, songs and dances — abroad. These are offered as an important part of its cultural diplomacy, which is not only internally generated, but is more impactful.

 

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