In some parts of China, it is common to be asked “have you eaten?” as a greeting synonymous with “how are you?” Food is so deeply ingrained in Chinese culture that one’s happiness is equated, in metaphorical terms, to how full they are. I took this photo while studying abroad in Shanghai with the Davidson in China program last fall. During a trip to Yunnan Province, our group participated in a Yunnanese and Bai cooking class, which involved a morning visit to the market to select food for the meal that we prepared later in the day. The participants in the program had varying degrees of experience with Chinese language and living in China, but preparing a meal was the great equalizer. Chinese food—not lomein or fried rice—but real Chinese food is one of the most complex cuisines in the world. Not one of us could confidently say that we knew how to cook authentic Yunnanese food. This activity, which took place at the end of our first week together as a group, is one that I look back to fondly.
—Caroline Black ’20