I'd never really grasped the widespread fascination with genealogy in America, since I knew exactly when my family showed up in the States. But this journey had become my own genealogical search: an investigation into how Chinese immigrants, like Chinese food, have embedded themselves in places around the world. They have adopted Italian first names, Thai last names, and, in Jamaica, Roman Catholicism (the church usually ran the best schools) . . . As I moved from culture to culture, I met Chinese people who listened to reggaeton and danced salsa in Peru, played guitar in reggae bands in Jamaica, and spoke Hindi in India. Yet in some sense, despite generations in other countries, we acknowledged each other as Chinese--even when we spoke no common languages.
The Fortune Cookie Chronicles is a frequently amusing, always informative, thoughtful meditation on our food culture.
ETA: Jennifer 8. Lee is blogging here.