Ginger Post: An Asian Canadian Online Magazine

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Ginger Post Inc. publishes scholarly and academic books and produces film narratives and documentaries.

Its online magazine, Ginger Post is for and about Chinese Canadians, Chinese Overseas in other parts of the world, and to a lesser extent the Asian Canadians. The editors and writers at Ginger Post have long recognized that virtually all media reports on events and issues that might be of interest of the Chinese Canadians are presented in Chinese. This is true of print and electronic media: newspapers, magazines television channels and radio stations. It means that the media reporting on Chinese Canadians are essentially for the new immigrants who understand the Chinese language.

The Chinese language media in Canada serve a necessary and useful function. However, there are millions of Canadians, whether they are of Chinese ancestry or not, who do not understand Chinese but are still interested in learning about what Chinese Canadians are doing or about issues that are of particular concern to the Chinese Canadians. Among them are hundreds of thousands of ethnic Chinese who were born and raised, or who grew up outside of China. These are the Chinese overseas, known in Chinese as the huayi (華裔, meaning the descendants of the Chinese). They are ethnically Chinese but their everyday language is for the most part English. They may want to know something about their Chinese heritage or what is happening in the Chinese communities across Canada and around the world. If you are reading this page, you are probably one of them. Ginger Post is for you.

There are several reasons behind the choice of “ginger” in our name Ginger Post. Culturally the Chinese Canadians, aside from the most recent immigrants, are more Canadian than Chinese, just as the Chinese overseas are more acculturated in the local languages, traditions, and customs of whatever countries where they were born or reside. It is likely that most of them may have some elements of Chinese culture in their everyday life. However, there is no common Chinese culture among all Chinese Canadians or among all Chinese overseas. Perhaps the only element of Chinese culture that the Chinese overseas may have in common is Chinese food. But even then, one is immediately confronted with the vast variety of Chinese regional cuisine. There is, nonetheless, one small item that is common to all Chinese food, wherever it is cooked, both inside and outside of China, and that is ginger.

The Chinese were among the first to use ginger as a spice in their cooking. It is the rhizome or the underground stem of the perennial plant Zingiber officinale. It adds a subtle and delicate flavour to the food. But it can be strong and sharp when chewed on. Ginger is also used to alleviate upset stomach. One very well known Chinese was fond of ginger long time ago. You may or may not agree with the philosophy of Kong Fuzi (commonly known in the West as Confucius, 551 – 479 BCE) or the ideologies developed in his name, but it is undeniable that he has had a long and profound influence on the Chinese, the Chinese overseas and other Asians. Kong Fuzi did not eat much but he would not eat any food without ginger (Lunyu 10:8)!

It may be a tenuous link, but the humble plant ginger, and Ginger Post named after it, could be the means that connect the Chinese Canadians.

On behalf of the Editorial Board and the staff at Ginger Post, I welcome you to this online magazine.

Ginger Post is a member of Canadian Ethnic Media Association.

Wei Djao: Editor

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