5 Tuesdays – 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Material: Distributed material + access to Netflix
Location: Taught online via Zoom. An invitation and explanations on how to join the meeting will be sent to registered students.
Instructor: Viveca Kwan
Price: $80 (early registration) $90 (after 9/19)
Dates: 11/09 – 12/14 (No class on Thanksgiving week)
This is a continuation of a course we offered in the winter but the winter course is not a prerequisite. This second part can be taken independently. For those who attended Part 1, we will venture into new dishes of the same three regions mentioned below.
The course is meant to be a cultural exploration to illuminate facets of China often eclipsed by the country’s presence in our news. What better angle than food to dive into the geography, History, and cultures of this fascinating country?
Using the 2019 Netflix series Flavorful Origins as our starting point – with its glossy food footage, use of drone photography, and narrative instrumental soundtrack — we will explore the craft and technique that go into realizing some of the main dishes of 3 large regions of China: Gansu, Yunnan, and Chaoshan.
In an explosion of sensuous experiences, the series depicts the dishes’ journey from farm to table showing us grassland herders and their flocks, or farmers picking the ingredients out in the fields and orchards, extracting essential parts and transforming them into the delicacies that will eventually feed hungry diners.
Your instructor will provide vocabulary lists of pertinent Chinese words in Pinyin and characters (no prior knowledge necessary) introduced in the video as well as relevant geographical, historical, and cultural information to help you gain essential context.
Among possible language activities after the short viewing (10-12 minutes), you will learn and practice pronunciation of the episode’s vocabulary words or practice writing a character or two, but our time will mostly be spent discussing points of interest stemming from your discoveries.
Finally, you will be directed to local and New England regional markets and restaurants that may offer these or similar dishes, food products or ingredients so you may taste first hand the featured flavors and foods. These discoveries often lend themselves to a lively in class discussion of new menus and recipes ideas to try for the next meal!
Unlike most of our courses, this cultural exploration will be taught in English and assumes no knowledge of Mandarin Chinese, nor a strong desire to learn to speak Mandarin Chinese. A simple curiosity in the language will suffice and a genuine interest in broadening your knowledge and understanding of the world and its civilizations.
If you know that this is the right level for you, please sign up!