This is not a joke: Chinese people are eating — and poking fun at — ‘#whitepeoplefood’

Pictures of simple, minimalistic meals, termed as “#whitepeoplefood,” are trending on Chinese social media, reflecting changing perceptions of Western cuisine in China.

Trending on the web: The hashtag #whitepeoplefood, or #白人饭 in Chinese, has gone viral on Chinese social media as users post images of their simple and often uncooked lunches.
* These meals are based on what users have seen in North America and Europe, contrasting with the complex flavors, many ingredients, and lengthy cooking methods often used in Chinese cuisines.
* Teresa Duan, a Hubei-native, shares pictures of her meals, primarily inspired by the food she found her classmates eating while studying in the United Kingdom.

A matter of convenience: The trend is particularly popular among younger office workers on a “996” schedule (9am to 9pm, six days a week) due to its convenience and time-saving aspect.
* Perry Liu from Beijing finds “whitepeoplefood” easy to digest and less likely to cause afternoon drowsiness due to its less oily and spicy characteristics.
* Manya Koetse, editor-in-chief of the blog What’s on Weibo, suggests this food gives individuals more time to continue working.

An urban phenomenon: The trend is mostly seen in urban parts of China, as it’s less understood in remote villages, according to Beijing-based food writer Mei Shanshan.
* The popularization of the hashtag reflects a shift in the Chinese eater’s perception of Western cuisine.
* Despite being initially shaped by economic and demographic forces, the “white people food” trend is now being satirized and parodied in Chinese cities.

Mainstream views: The #whitepeoplefood meme has now made its way to the West, where netizens find the Chinese take on Western food culture amusing.
* Koetse finds it interesting that this distinct aspect of Western food culture has been “magnified by Chinese netizens and turned into something ‘Chinese.’ “

View original article on NPR

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