Thai Culture in Thailand Cooking Class Review 519
“The good and the bad”
Although we arrived late, Chef Leez’s assistant had no problem escorting us to the nearby market where the rest of the class was out shopping for the lesson’s meals. We walked to the market where we were met by Chef Leez who was enthusiastically describing all the items she was purchasing. She gave a lot of tips regarding what to buy and what to stay away from. It was obvious she cared about the quality and health of all her ingredients.
When it came time to cook, we all paired with our companions and we each got a turn to cook. We were given aprons and a recipe book to guide us as we followed her. All of the dishes we made were delicious. I’m not used to shrimp paste as I have an aversion to cooking with shrimp brains and such, but it was surprisingly tasty when she spread it on a piece of bread. My favorite was the sticky rice topped with mango slices and coconut milk.
Chef Leez, if you’re reading this, I didn’t appreciate the black joke that you made that day. You said that during one summer, you tanned a lot and your family made fun of you for it. You also said that it made you look ugly. I saw in your eyes the moment you realized what you said when you looked at me and my husband and said “Oh, but not you! You’re beautiful!” I’m not offended in the least, but saying things like that is rude.
Nonetheless, I had a great time and enjoyed myself so much that I bought one of Chef Leez’s aprons as a souvenir. Unfortunately, I ended up with the runs a half hour upon leaving the class. I suppose shrimp paste doesn’t agree with me after all.
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Thai Culture 101
Chef lee herself is not prejudiced but Thai’s as a whole are a very prejudiced lot! A Thai will not date another person with a skin darker than their own! Beauty products all advertise skin whitener not SPF 50 but imply that the product will remove the dark pigment of your skin.
Chef LeeZ story on white is beautiful and black is not relates to her having been swimming for several weeks in the mid day sun and going from brown to dark dark brown and how her father refused to talk to her because dark skin, as in most Asian countries, implies you work outside and you earn small money.
This white skin is beautiful and dark skin is not can be seen being instilled on the children where you will see that parents wanting their children to be more beautiful than the neighbors children actual purposely put white powder on their children’s faces as white is beautiful and black is not. You will also see this on many of the generation of Thai’s that are 50 years and older.
So very sorry if you felt Chef Lee was being skin color prejudiced. I assure you that is not the case.
As a result of your review Chef Lee will now include, as a prelude to her story, “IN Thai Culture, “white skin is beautiful and black skin cannot be beautiful”.
Personally I believe this prejudice was instilled by the rich Chinese who settled in Thailand as they have fair skin and that meant they were beautiful and Thai’s could not be beautiful.
So glad you enjoyed the class just the same.