Sum ting wong?

Some people are offended far too easily…it might be just me but I find this extremely hilarious. 

Then again, people think I’m offensive.

A Christchurch restaurant owner’s defence of his “racist” menu is insensitive, says a social psychology expert.

Asian fusion restaurant Bamboozle has been accused on social media and by a Stuff restaurant reviewer of racism for giving dishes on its menu names such as “suk sum teet” and “chirri an garrik prawn dumpring“.

The menu has been on offer for at least two years, but this week spiked interest on Twitter and international media websites.

Professor James Liu of Massey University’s School of Psychology said there was “no doubt” Bamboozle owner Phillip Kraal’s response to the social media storm was “less than sensitive”.

Kraal told NZME “pretty much every one of our customers enjoys the written menu as part of their overall experience and often express disappointment when items are removed with seasonal menu changes”.

He went on to say the restaurant did “appreciate the feedback and are actively considering it”.

Liu told Stuff: “It’s their belief that what they are doing is fine. Their response shows a degree of insensitivity.”

“Maybe they are trying to send a message that it’s OK to make fun of particular people or particular accents.”

Actually it is OK to make fun of people’s accents…we’ve been doing it since for ever.

Whether it was racist was another question entirely, because Liu believed there was no malicious intent.

“You have to give people the benefit of the doubt,” he said.

But Liu questioned the owner’s experience – naming dishes in that manner was always going to be divisive, he said.

“You don’t know who is going to think it’s funny or who is going to be offended.”

Experienced Christchurch restaurant reviewer Alistair Paulin said in his review on Stuff that the menu was filled with “racist, sexist language”, pandering to the humour of young teenage boys.

“As I read the menu, I wondered how the all-Asian kitchen staff on view felt about their dishes being described as ‘velly special’, dumplings written as ‘dumpring‘ and an overstuffed roti being called ‘rital phatt ee’. We get it, some Asians struggle to pronounce ‘r’ and ‘l’ but does anyone over the age of 13 find that funny?” Paulin said.

Be offended, nothing happens. If you don’t like it don’t eat there. No one is forcing you to read the menu, or eat at the restaurant. Oh, and yes, we do find it bloody funny.

 

-Fairfax

 


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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