Compiled by Pat Tanumihardja For Northwest Asian Weekly For many, food is the link to cultural roots, the lens through which we view our
She had to face cultural differences at an early age. Now, she celebrates the differences and similarities in Asian cultures in her latest nonfiction work.
Smell is one of life’s most evocative senses. A whiff of cologne takes me back to a dim-lit street where I walked hand-in-hand with my high school sweetheart; the assault of trassi (Indonesian shrimp paste) on my nostrils recalls the days in my mother’s kitchen as she pounded this pungent paste with chilies and garlic in her weathered stone mortar.
Meander through the aisles of your corner bookstore, and you’re bound to come across some intriguing titles. “The Best Places to Kiss in the Northwest,” “The Cancer Lifeline Cookbook,” or how about “Sleeping Bag Yoga”? These books share a common thread beyond just challenging convention. What may not be so apparent is that the person putting out these covers is Asian American.
As expected of the wired Generation X-er I am, I Googled “Serve the People” to find out more about the book and the author. I was a little surprised; what I thought was a cleverly coined book title was actually a political slogan stemming from a speech Mao Zedong delivered on Sept. 8, 1944, in memory of a fellow Communist party member.