bcm320

Congratulations: New Hi Score

As a Vietnamese Australian kid, I was surrounded by a lot of peers who were huge fans of anime and self-proclaimed ‘otakus’. Whilst other peers of mine rave about Crunchy Roll and continually binge-watch their favourite series, I’m personally not familiar with the genre. I’ve traveled to Japan multiple times and seen a multitude of stores dedicated to anime and manga, yet, I’ve never had a strong appetite for watching Anime. When introduced to Hi Score Girl, I was keen to know what fascinated so many of my peers about anime and the insight it would give on everyday life in Japan. How would I find it and in what ways did it help me further understand elements of Japanese culture?

Unpacking Anime
When beginning the series, I was extremely overwhelmed with the information being hurled at me at a quick speed. Having never watched anime before…

View original post 998 more words

Cake: A Slice of Pakistan

Cake. Whether it’s the Great British Bake-off or Cake Boss, I’ve never really turned down any kind of cake. However, the Pakistani movie, Cake, is far from the sweet kind. Personally, I’ve never watched any South Asian movie or had much experiencing engaging with Pakistani culture. When introduced to this week’s viewing, I was unsure what to expect. Due to the unconventional storyline and the length of the movie, I found it quite difficult to keep up with the movie first. 

Eventually, as the film progressed, I came across a few themes that I was familiar with through my own culture and others that were new. Predominantly, there was some focus on the expectation of Pakistani women and the attitudes of society. Additionally, there was a strong focus on the family unit and the responsibilities individuals have to their families…

View original post 870 more words

Fast and The (Furie)ous

Although I grew up around my mum, grandma, and aunties continually watching Vietnamese movies, I had never encountered a movie like Furie. After the Vietnam war, many media and film production companies were owned by those within North Vietnamese communities, as they became wealthier. As a result, mainstream Vietnamese movies commonly watched by my family always reflected the experiences and stories of those from the North or were inspired by Chinese culture. With the times changing, Furie is one of the first films that I have viewed where it accurately depicts the lifestyle and setting of those in Southern Vietnam. Although I am of Vietnamese ethnicity, I seek to compare and analyse Furie against my own experience in order to see whether I can better understand my culture.

Reconstructing the role of a woman
In Vietnamese culture, there is a common cultural expectation that a mother will excel at…

View original post 989 more words

Love for Sale: Selling the Indonesian Dream

From my experience as a Vietnamese-Australian young adult, most Asian weddings can be more daunting than celebratory. You’re made to greet all of your elders and unsurprisingly they will bombard you with questions like “Do you have a boyfriend yet?”, “Are you married yet?” or “We want to see some kids!”. When introduced to the film Love for Sale and its plot of someone renting a partner for a wedding, I wasn’t so surprised. In fact, if I was the protagonists’ age and I had to attend a wedding, I would probably consider it because the interrogations from Vietnamese families can be BRUTAL. Throughout the Indonesian film, there are many prominent themes that underpin it such as the importance of family and the workplace.

Family influencing personal relationships
Throughout the film, we recognise that the family has a large impact on relationships and potential partners. Within Indonesian culture, it is…

View original post 596 more words

‘Let them speak Cake’

GRAPHIC LIZZY

This week while watching Pakistani film Cake (2018), directed by London-based filmmaker, Asim Abbasi. Although slow-moving at the onset, the film presented global themes of love, loss, the carrying-on of time, and globalisation and the effects this his on smaller communities. Strong female leads, and the focus on their relationship was also a powerful drawing point of the film for me.

Mindful entertainer - Leisure News - Issue Date: Apr 23, 2018
Cast of film, ‘Cake’ (2018)

The movie had surface level similarities to Bollywood films I had watched, in that the length of the films really enables you to get a good understanding of the characters. However, there were also a lot of ties to the Hollywood romance genres, potentially aided by Abbasi’s familiarity with the Western film genre.

One of the thigs that stood out to me most this week did not necessarily produce an epiphany as was discussed in our lecture, but it did stimulate thought on…

View original post 582 more words

Ombak Bagus

BERRY

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8065796/

My cultural background could not be more colonial and typically European if it tried. On one side my grandparents are English and on the other side my grandparents are Irish, so watching foreign language films wasn’t exactly a family pastime. Although as an adult I also haven’t put much effort in to watching foreign language films either, so ‘Love for Sale’ (2018) was pretty out of my film comfort zone.

I also have limited knowledge of Indonesia, having not consumed much media from Indonesia nor having travelled there. However, my best friend is Indonesian, and my partner has travelled throughout Indonesia extensively. Between the two of them, they make up pretty much my entire frame of reference for Indonesian culture. My friend probably provides me with a more accurate cultural insight compared to the surf-centric perspective my partner provides.

I really wanted to like this film. I really did…

View original post 388 more words

A Taste of Indonesian Culture, Through ‘Love For Sale’

TheeFloydy

Living in Australia, it would be a challenge not to immerse yourself in the plethora of backgrounds and cultures that populate the country. Those of us that live here are privileged with the surroundings of so many unique backgrounds, that with them bring unique experiences, ideas, lifestyles and much more. Asia as a whole is rich with culture, something I will be exploring further through my studies on films native to the continent. Beginning with Indonesia, and the film ‘Love For Sale’, I got an interesting insight into Indonesian culture, at least as it was represented within the movie. Something I engaged with alongside my peers with a live tweeting session, which I will now explore further.

Richard and Arini’s relationship was the focal point of the film…

View original post 540 more words

BCM320 DA – South Korean Food Fads

By Jennifer Ong, Corey Moore, Ibby Tubaro

Our group has chosen to examine ‘South Korean food fads’. Specifically ones that are uploaded online by independent internet creators or companies using celebrities for the purpose of gaining widespread attention. We all have varying knowledge and experience on these Korean food trends and challenges. The aim was to project our own unique experiences and opinions on these general food fads, and also encourage any onlookers to try for themselves or check out the South Korean food fads mentioned. This makes for an autoethnography with an interesting scope in which to investigate this topic.

Ellis et al. (2011) states a “thick description” of a culture is necessary in an autoethnography in order to produce an understanding of a culture for insiders and outsiders. The South Korean Wave (AKA Hallyu Wave) has brought exposure to the country, as a sort of soft power (Nye and Kim, 2013). South Korea is home to many successful trends and pop culture influence. These include fashion, music (K-Pop) and most significantly regarding this particular autoethnography, food. Among the food culture, the emergence of Meokbang shines. Meokbang (먹방) combines the words eat (다) and broadcast (송) that forms its meaning. Like the name suggests, people (most notably South Koreans) film themselves eating and interacting with viewers. Live stream eating paved the way for another Korean trend.

Although our group is looking at the overall South Korean food fad culture, we focused on recreating one particular challenge, called the “After Mum Is Asleep (AMIA)”. This involved us recording ourselves cooking and eating quietly. There is typically a dosimetre with a sound decimal system. When you go above a certain sound decimal, you get punished.

Jennifer’s Reflection:

Before I go into the filming experience and answering the overall objective, I would like to explain to you my upbringing on this Korean Fad. I first encountered Meokbang in 2016 when I was watching this Youtube Channel called FBE which people react to YouTube videos. This video on Meokbang really intrigued me and I started viewing all of these channels that were centralized on eating such as Keemi and Banzz.

For a while this consumed my whole life and also was the time period where I stopped eating in general since watching other people eat was enough for me. I watched less and less it over the years due to my busy schedule, but I still continue to follow the trend ‘connecting the personal to the cultural’ (Alsop, Christiane K.,2002). It should be notated though that I find ASMR Meokbang uncomfortable and cringy.

As an autoethnographer, we use our personal experience with recreating an ASMR Meokbang to produce a blog and video to represent our understanding on this popular Korean Fad (Ellis et al., 2011). Filming for this was actually very fun. It may have had to do with my role in choosing the punishment and the food, but it was great to see my groupmates eating all this unique Korean food for the first time. It also made me realize the work it takes before filming. We had to figure out the placement of me to be not in the recording view but still be able to see the Dosimetre. We had to prep this food before hand to make it easier for the other team mates and also background noises were also an issue while filming. It made me realize how praised the camera crew needs during productions even though they are rarely ever praised (Ellis et al., 2011).

One thing that I noticed during this study on Meokbang broadcasting is that the foods that Offical Korean variety shows do and Youtube channels do is use Korean foods. While this may not seem much, to cater to a worldwide audience, they aren’t changing to suit other cultures but sticking to their own. This can be seen as a marketing technique from the Government to promote Korean culture. An example of this is during the food selection for the Digital Artefact, I discovered so many Korean food that I haven’t heard of before including, Jokbal (pig’s trotters) and Hotteok (sweet syrupy pancakes).

Jokbal at Jang Choong Dong Wong Jokbal in Koreatown
Jokbal, from Eater Los Angeles
hotteok (호떡)
Hotteok, from Maangchi

Corey’s Reflection:

My experiences of Korean food culture before doing the subject Digital Asia was almost non-existant other than Korean BBQ which I first experienced in a restaurant in Japan and thought it was Japanese. I’d never heard of Mukbangs, sneaky eating challenges or After Mum is Asleep before. After experiencing these things via youtube and other streaming services that a classmate showed me, I became extremely interested. At first, I was confused and bewildered by these Korean food broadcasts not understanding their rules and if the people playing were trying to win or just losing on purpose to be entertaining to the viewer.

Looking back at my viewings of Korean food challenges reflexively (Alsop, 2002) before attempting to recreate a Korean food challenge to experience and understand why they exist. I had an epiphany (Ellis et al., 2011) that these food challenges and broadcasts while very unique and quite entertaining they are innovations on things that have existed for quite a while. people have been filming themselves eating things or trying to eat things in different ways and creating new trends, for example, Cinnamon challengeGallon challenge, and Consumption of Tide Pods the most dangerous of them all.

When it came time to attempt recreating the sneaky eating challenge, I wanted to also express not only the scene of the food challenge and being filmed but also with no prior knowledge of the foods we were eating so that my reaction captured on camera would be a genuine reaction to a first-time eater of Korean food culture to further gain an understanding of “Who am I in relation to the research?” (Pitard, 2017).

This blog also comes as a form of writing therapeutic for my author’s sense of self and experiences (Ellis et al., 2011). As the experience of the Korean BBQ plate at the centre of the table and everyone working together to cook and share a meal isn’t very similar to how I’ve experienced my meals.

When it came to being filmed the cameras became the furthest thing from my mind, as the art of eating silently and actual winning the challenge was my sole focus while eating. It was so much fun to experience and myself consciousness wasn’t an issue. The punishments while humiliating as they are intended to be, which I was also unaware of what they would be prior, but they didn’t affect my mood much which I personally think is why the contestants doing these challenges are also so willing to accept them also, they really just had to the experience.

While I expect I’ll never ever attempt filming one of these food challenges again. I can see myself thinking back on it and the Korean broadcasts I’ve watched whenever I attempt to eat something quietly or open something noisy and remember that the simple art of eating quietly can entertain a lot of people.

Ibby’s Reflection:

My personal context regarding South Korean culture is average. I became a fan of K-Pop in 2010, from there my interest in South Korea in general began to develop. I have familiarised myself with aspects of the culture through online browsing. I had no prior knowledge of this challenge, but I’m accustomed to ‘mukbangs’ and things like ‘the sneaky eating challenge” (the video involves a K-Pop group I’m a fan of, Red Velvet.) I always felt awkward watching mukbangs. I thought they were exaggerated to create a ‘fake’ relationship with the viewer.

Reflexivity is important within autoethnographic research (Pitard 2017), so I acknowledged that my own values can affect reliability. To understand and soften any prejudice or bias, I researched further on the Mukbang culture. Kim (2015) states the success of Mukbangs comes from the fact that people’s desire for food can be satisfied by viewing. Mukbang hosts interact with the people who are watching the broadcast (usually live, but sometimes through comments when video is posted).

I now understand better why Mukbang’s are successful. Mukbang’s require a relationship between the viewer and host, the “AMIA” challenge however doesn’t necessarily require that. Berger and Milkman (2012, pp.194) state in terms of online trends, “people share interesting or surprising content because it’s entertaining and reflects positively on them.” In these food fad videos, the people are professionals in terms of entertainment. When they successfully engage and invoke positive emotions, regardless of cultural or personal context, a successful form of entertainment is produced and has the potential to garner widespread attention. In my case, I’m not Korean, but I was still entertained by watching different “AMIA” videos. Watching them hopelessly try to keep quiet and fail, hence being hit with a toy hammer- or simply giving up and making loud noises because they just want to eat the food? Quality content.

Ethnographers become ‘participant observers’ (Ellis et al., 2011), so our methodology involved viewing examples of these Korean food fad videos and also attempting to recreate the “AMIA” challenge. The awkward silence and then a sudden crunch from a chip or sizzle from the hotplate created an almost cathartic experience where I was compelled to laugh. I personally found doing the challenge and watching others do it entertaining, but in different ways.

My first epiphany (Ellis et al., 2011) was realising through actually attempting the challenge, it’s difficult to keep the sound decimal low enough to not be punished for it. When I first watched “AMIA” videos, I thought the reactions were exaggerated by the contestants, and that it couldn’t be that difficult to eat those foods quietly. Although I now believe such reactions aren’t completely exaggerated, I still see these videos as a sort of ‘performance’.

Another epiphany was even though I enjoyed doing this with my group mates because we’re friends and they understand the struggles of this challenge, I realised that wouldn’t be enough to completely engage any random viewer. I knew I was filmed, but I was more focused on doing everything quietly, rather than entertaining the audience. I’m arguably not an entertainer, just an awkward University student. So not everyone would necessarily find it as funny as we did together.

Overall, even though it was somewhat frustrating to do the challenge in terms of not being punished, it was still very fun to do. I also now have a new outlook on South Korean food fads. For mukbangs, the experience of viewing someone else eat can be satisfying. For other food fads, the exhilarating situations where when presented with a challenge involving food, the performer can deliver an entertaining experience for the viewer that transcends cultural and personal context.

Conclusion:

Evidently as shown in each of our reflections, we were impacted differently from this overall experience. But we all definitely agree that we gained a better understanding of South Korean food culture than before we did our autoethnographic research, and in extension have new perspectives regarding these South Korean food fads.

References:

Reflecting on: Japanese Car Culture

In my previous blog (found here), I discussed the Japanese car scene and its influences throughout the world. I attempted to link my narrative and research perspective by giving my own background of the topic as well engage on cultural experience with readers who may have a similar epiphany (Ellis et al., 2011). This blog will analyses and explain my epiphany and how it drew on further research.

Ellis et al. (2011) suggested that Autoethnography is the practice of giving your own personal cultural experience and to reflect on yourself as a researcher to engage with other individuals, as well as using other methods of research such as drawing on epiphanies (personal experience) to illustrate facets of cultural experience and make characteristics of a culture familiar for insiders and outsiders.

As Bochner (1984, p.565) suggested, epiphanies in ethnography are important as they draw on recollections on feelings that are present long after the event occurred. In my previous blog, using Adams (2005) and Wood (2009), I attempted to expand and open a wider lens for readers to understand who I am and how my epiphanies influenced my interpretation of Japanese car culture. I discussed how being exposed to a western car culture at a young age has led me to Japanese car scene/culture, and by using emotion, such as the feeling of being at a car meet, influenced my research and drew from epiphanies, rather than assuming they don’t exist (Ellis et al., 2011). Thus, attempting to engage with others who may feel the same, and provide insights to insiders and outsiders, into a culture that may not be familiar with as Maso (2001) suggested.

While doing ethnography we become participant observers of the culture by taking field notes of cultural happenings (Geertz, 1973) which led me to taking further field notes and researching Japanese car culture. But, as suggested by Boylorn (2008); Ellis et al (2011); Denzin (2006); Jorgenson (2006); and Ronai (1995, 1996), I didn’t want to just purely talk at a narrative standpoint, but rather I used collected research, relevant cultural artifacts and topics about car culture, such as different types of cars and it’s relation to other media, and then compared it to my own personal experience to illustrate characteristics of Japanese car culture as well as contribute to understanding of a culture. Thus, using a personal narrative of my background and relation to car culture, to invite and connect readers into my “world”, to reflect on past experience (Ellis, 2004, p.46).

That’s a whole lot of text.

The main area of the blog was drawing on my emotions and epiphanies, and how it influenced me as a young person, and now as I am older. I wanted to create a blog post that was engaging, aesthetic and evocative to give insight to the reader to my personal experience through images, text and videos.

This is aesthetic and engaging… right?

This post is a bit research heavy, but I hope I provided some insight to how an epiphany came to me when thinking of a topic to write about, and how I went about further contributing research into the car culture (Not just Japanese care culture).

I would like to leave you with another video clip from fellow Australian Noriyaro that shows a bit more insight into Japanese car culture and how other car cultures influenced the Japanese scene.

https://www.twitch.tv/noriyarojapan/clip/RelentlessProtectiveDragonfruitResidentSleeper

Also, since its “Raid Area 51 Day” today, i’ll leave this here for you guys.

I forgot to mention this in my last post, but Eurobeat is a big part of Car Culture

Reference

Adams, Tony E. (2005). Speaking for others: Finding the “whos” of discourse. Soundings, 88(3-4), 331-345.

Bochner, Arthur P. (1984). The functions of human communication in interpersonal bonding. In Carroll C. Arnold & John W. Bowers (Eds.), Handbook of rhetorical and communication theory (pp.544-621). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Boylorn, Robin M. (2008). As seen on TV: An autoethnographic reflection on race and reality television. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 25(4), 413-433.

Denzin, Norman K. (2006). Mother and Mickey. The South Atlantic Quarterly, 105(2), 391-395.

Ellis, Carolyn (2004). The ethnographic I: A methodological novel about autoethnography. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.

Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. (2011) ‘Autoethnography: An Overview‘, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, vol. 12, no. 1.

Geertz, Clifford (1973). The interpretation of cultures. New York: Basic Books.

Jorgenson, Jane (2002). Engineering selves: Negotiating gender and identity in technical work. Management Communication Quarterly, 15(3), 350-380.

Maso, Ilja (2001). Phenomenology and ethnography. In Paul Atkinson, Amanda Coffey, Sara Delamont, John Lofland & Lyn Lofland (Eds.), Handbook of ethnography (pp.136-144). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Wood, Julie T. (2009). Gendered lives: Communication, gender, and culture. Boston: Wadsworth.

Ronai, Carol R. (1995). Multiple reflections of child sex abuse. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 23(4), 395-426.

Ronai, Carol R. (1996). My mother is mentally retarded. In Carolyn Ellis & Arthur P. Bochner (Eds.), Composing ethnography: Alternative forms of qualitative writing (pp.109-131). Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira.




Cultural Reflection

My last blog post explored memories of my youth and my encounters with Asian food. The recount of my past experiences is subject to my personal, cultural framework which have ultimately shaped my engagements and emotions towards them.

Cultural framework is embedded within and often subconsciously used throughout day to day life. It shapes values and beliefs while explaining tradition within society. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions can explain these differences among groups.

Given my initial neutral experience with the local Chinese restaurant, I was unaware of how much more there was culturally behind the food. Once I experienced the more flamboyant environment of Melbourne China town it became more of a luxury to me as it was at a far distance to where I resided. The quick and inconsistent exposure left me curious and intrigued, feelings that have never left.

With steak and veggies being the staple throughout my life, consuming something so different from the ‘norm’ of not only me but my acquaintances leads to so many questions. Growing up with a farming family I understood how I got my food and why we ate it – because we grew it, that was our farming culture, but I always wondered what their process of creation and consumption was. This was me comparing and contrasting my personal experience against existing research which Ellis (2011) argues is a key to understanding between insiders and outsiders.

Can culture dictate the way we see? Definitely.

Clusters of knowledge from both personal experience and academic research form to facilitate pathways in autoethnography (Hannah & Simeone 2018). This brings me to my current situation of combining my initial encounters and curiosity of Asian and its surroundings. Both will contribute to creating my project and enhancing my views while educating others.

In regards to my YouTube investigation, the platform itself has become a regular part of my life. Growing up with technology it adds to the way I engage in the digital side of my study, something that I am familiar and comfortable with.

Conveying understanding goes through stages and those stages depend on an individual’s cultural framework.
1. Encounter
2. Curiosity
3. Personal relation
4. Research

References:

  • Ellis, Carolyn; Adams, Tony E. & Bochner, Arthur P. (2010). Autoethnography: An Overview [40 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research12(1), Art. 10, http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1101108.
  • Hannah, M.A & Simeone. M 2018, ‘Exploring an Ethnography-based Knowledge Network Model for Professional Communication Analysis of Knowledge Integration’, Transactions on Professional Communication, vol. 61, no. 4, pp. 372-388