Food and Binary Oppositions in the Chinese Meal System
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As one of the most basic and accessible social codes, food has many social and cultural connotations. This article aims to offer a semiotic reading of ordinary Chinese meals. The three-meal structure and four binary oppositions (Cooked/Raw, Fan/Cai, Solids/Liquids, and Vegetable/Meat) are discussed. The laws that govern the Chinese meal system reveal how Chinese people see themselves and others, how they connect the past and present, and how they identify themselves with their culture.
KeywordsFood Semiotics Binary opposition Chinese meal Identity
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