Chinky Rice Bowls – Part One

These are rice bowls made to look like cute coolie chinese

These rice bowls are made to look like cute chinky Chinese

Part One: Shock discovery of chinky rice bowls

We were shopping around QVB in Sydney and a colourful and swanky shop caught our attention. We went inside and laughed at all these gizmo and homeware styled gifts till a friend pointed out “OMG! look at that Suzie.” Lined up are rice bowls stylised as cute chinese caricature (see the above image).

That ain’t cute.
Shit that’s racist!

Here’s why it’s racist:
* The ‘Coolie’ look, a coolie is a racial slur for unskilled worker
* The drawn slanty and squinky eyes, a common and derogatory gesture
* How’s it related to rice. It’s a rice bowl and it projects a certain Asian stereotype

It’s a horrifying discovery and I’m going to do something about it.

Plan of Action:

To write a formal letter requesting the shop to remove the racist items off its shelf.
I am going to follow up and see if they do so, if not, more drastic plans will take place.

I have to write the letter before I head off. I am going to Melbourne for The Two Chairs project and exhibition.

Any suggestions on what I should say to them? How can I persuade them to take them out of their shop?
Follow me on my little journey as I take on the shop.

-s.nguyen

[Edited] I did a quick search on their site and they sell it online. It’s not a small shop either, it’s an international corporation. So how do I approach in a way that gives them a chance. Perhaps they’re not deliberately or intentionally being racist and it’s more of an oversight. Still, it’s an opportunity for them to correct their unfortunate hindsight.

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