If a chef came up to you and said that they wanted to prepare you a dish that consists of the slimy foliage that sticks to your leg when you're swimming in the ocean, cold white rice, and raw fish, and it's often served with a green paste that sets your nose on fire and paired with a watery brown sauce, you'd probably curl your nose up in disgust. But sushi has become a beloved dish that's popular all over the world.
The popular street food that is believed to have been introduced to Japan sometime in the ninth century has been deeply associated with the country for hundreds of years. The generally healthy food can be prepared in a variety of ways and packs tons of protein, omega-3's and vitamins depending on the vegetables that are used in the meal's construction.
According to one Twitter user, however, they are swearing off of the dish for good because it's a "whitewashed colonizer's food." They published their opinion of the food and said that whoever eats the stuff is "culturally appropriating Asian culture" if they decide to scarf it down.
It didn't take long for throngs of people to retweet Fiona's opinion and respond to their tweet. In the threaded discussion, the topic of Sushi's origin came up, with debates as to the food's country of origin.
To the people in the comments saying Sushi it’s a Japanese food, it’s actually not. The concept of sushi was introduced to Japan in the ninth century, and became popular there as Buddhism spread. The original name was Narezushi and came from South East Asia, in China actually.— Hani ☀︎︎ 🇯🇵 (@Hani_paradise7) January 20, 2021
Others seemed to agree with Fiona stating that many people eat Sushi not just because they believe it's delicious, but because "of their fixation with asia thinking they're cultured..."
I don't agree but kinda do.— Aadvanst (@aadvanst) January 21, 2021
Globalizations fault I'd say but yeah.
Sushi is overrated and some of the like people who enjoy it might simply enjoy it because of their fixation with asia thinking they're cultured or some shit.
Others pointed out the way some cultures have "appropriated" Sushi and put their own twist on it as well, like sushi "pizzas" and "cups" in Brazil.
However, there are lots of other people who thought that Fiona's claim that eating sushi is "cultural appropriation" was entirely bogus. Some stated that just because someone's ethnicity is different than the food they're eating doesn't necessarily mean they're promoting "whitewashing" or the mitigation of another culture.
I eat Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, etc.) pretty regularly. Thank you for telling me this! I’ll boycott those businesses from now on. Don’t wanna be caught appropriating. I’ll stick to tacos and burritos like I should, right?— Carlos (@Carlos_Ramos) January 21, 2021
So just like how pizza is now American food, or tartan/plaid is a garment everyone can wear? Locking aspects of culture up so only a select few can experience it only kills cultures not saves them. Sharing it helps spread these cultures and lets others learn about them— Fletch (@FletchB1) January 22, 2021
While others castigated Fiona for not being "woke" themselves after digging into their Twitter history and seeing that they claimed that being "Latinx" was the "same" as being Asian, along with some other questionable fetishizations of "Asian people."
Other Asian and Japanese people chimed in stating that they eat food from other cultures and that they disagreed with Fiona's tweet stating that enjoying sushi as a meal is akin to "cultural appropriation."
As an asian I can confidently state that this tweet is absolute bullshit— Terry Wang (@Tl_wang02) January 21, 2021
i'm japanese and i like to eat bread, pizza, hamburger— RYU N. (@ryusho2523) January 21, 2021
And throngs of other people sarcastically commented that they would be unable to eat all of their favorite foods now because they're ethnically not from the same region as the meals that they love originated from.
guess i cant eat basically any food that i like now because im not from where it originated— LavaKingGD? (@LavaKingGD) January 21, 2021
Dang, that means I can't eat pizza anymore because it originated from Italy or burritos and tacos because they were from Mexico.— Sneasel Bandit Jay (@WmsJamad) January 22, 2021
Then there were those who pointed out the fact that Japan had colonized other countries too.
ignoring the fact that japan colonised my country LMAOOOO— leigh (@souffleighh) January 20, 2021
Aren’t Japanese also colonizers am I wrong tho 🤨— NAHOMI (@NEKONAHOMI) January 20, 2021
Others stated that "food...is how people and cultures come together." There are tons of think pieces written about the communal aspect of food and "breaking bread" with folks as a great unifier, so Fiona's claim that eating sushi is "cultural appropriation" and is a divisive meal goes against that long-held belief.
You do realize the Japanese EMPIRE was also an imperialist colonial power with a track record that makes Portugal sweat over who wins the "Now That's What I Call Evil" trophy right?— Leivve (@Leivve) January 24, 2021
Also food is suppose to be how people and cultures come together.
What do you think? Will you be swearing off sushi now? Or do you think that Fiona is simply tweeting out of pocket? It seems like Fiona's tweets may have offended some folks on Twitter as their account is now temporarily restricted. Was it for the sushi comment? Or the fact that people were pointing out some of their previous tweets about Asian culture?