In Chinese society, in order to make new
friends, people usually treat the others with meals or food that also can strengthen
established relationships. In Chinese culture, foods have been used as
symbols of meaning in many occasions, such as wedding and ‘makan besar’ to transmit
and relay different information. Chinese not only enjoy their food but they believe that eating good food
can bring peace and closeness to especially to the family and relationships.

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In Chinese society, they are belief that every
food has its own meaning. For example, peanuts, which is also known as the
longevity fruit, mean longevity, while orange mean chestnuts mean good luck. Noodle
is long, which means health and longevity, and glutinous rice balls means the
family stay together. But, there are also some foods that are a symbol of bad
luck, such as pear, which is sound like away, and they belief that eating eat
could mean separation.    

Chinese noodles are a
little bit different from the other ethnic. It comes in different sizes and
shapes. “Chow mien”, which is the noodle, can be cooked in the soup
or stir-fried. It is usually served for certain time such as breakfast, lunch,
or late snacks. Noodles are served to symbolize the long life during birthday
celebrations. That is why when there is a birthday celebration, noodle is a
must. The longer the noodle, the longer the life will be for the birthday
person. It is usually accompany with meat and vegetables that are chopped up
into a small pieces and stir-fried or steamed. A dinner meal usually has soup
in the middle, and surrounded by 3 to 5 main dishes of vegetables, seafood, and
poultry dishes.

As we can see, in the Chinese society, their
cooking is not involving a lot of deep fried cooking but they are more to soup
foods. In Western culture, people are more overweight and high blood pressure
than in Chinese culture. To please western tastes, most of the Chinese restaurants in
America have deep-fried dishes such as almond fried Chicken, and deep-fried
shrimp. This is also to promote their business.

Due to geographical
differences in China, each area has its own way of cooking and different eating
habits. For example, Northern China has cold and damp weather. It makes people
there eat more hot and spicy foods such as chilies, onions, and garlic. They
believe that these foods will increase blood circulation and help get rid of
the coldness and humidity that suit their weather while people that are from
the south like to eat food which is more to mild and cooling foods because of
the warmer weather. These foods reduce the hotness and dryness. This theory is
called balancing “Yin and yang”.

Chinese culture believes that
there are a positive energy and a negative energy in the universe which is “Yin”
and “Yang”. “Yin” represents negative energy while “yang”
represents positive energy. They have to be equally same balanced to get a
harmonious and healthy condition, if not, conflict and disease will be created.
There are elements that belong to both “yin” and “yang,” meaning
some elements of yin falls within yang and some elements of yang fall within
yin. Balancing forces has been a part of Chinese thought for thousands of years
and it has become an important thing for them. It has already become a basic
guideline for social, political, medical, and dietary usage in Chinese culture.

Foods belonging to the yin that is also known
as “cold” food are such as bitter melon, winter melon, Chinese green,
mustard green, Napa cabbage, bean sprout, soybean, mung bean, tulip, water
chestnut, cilantro, oranges, watermelon, bananas, coconut, cucumber, beer, pop,
ice cream, ice chips, grass jelly, clams, and oysters and other else. These
foods cannot be eaten excessively because it can cause unwell body such as stomachaches,
diarrhea, dizziness, weakness, and coldness in the body if done so.

Foods that belong to the
yang which is also known as “hot” food are such as chili pepper, garlic,
onion, curry, cabbage, eggplant, pineapple, mango, cherry, peanuts, beef,
turkey, shrimp, crab, French fries, fried chicken, and pizza. By taking this
foods excessively, they are thought to cause skin rashes, hives, pimples, nose
bleeds, indigestion, constipation, redness in the eyes, and sore throat. That is
why both food groups need to be balanced evenly, not taken extra or insufficiency
in order to create a peace and healthy state.