Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Operation: Eat Our Food

I was interviewed today about gastrodiplomacy by DePers, a major Dutch newspaper.  Specifically, about Indonesian gastrodiplomacy to Holland. That is a fascinating case of the colony returning to influence the former colonial master.  To be sure, Indonesia has had a major effect on Dutch cuisine (see under: peanut sauce for frittes).  I am wondering if my op-ed in the Jakarta Globe had a little effect on the Indonesian decision to embark on gastrodiplomacy.  Anywho, here is the DePeers article thrown through the google translator (note, def not a perfect translation, but my Dutch is no good):

Operation: Eat Our Food
by Camile Driessen
Forget mysterious conversations embassies. Culinary Diplomacy is the new way to power. Countries are investing tens of millions in their own restaurants abroad.

After ping-pong and panda diplomacy is the newest form of influence from Asia. It's called gourmet or culinary diplomacy and is used by more and more countries. Yesterday announced the new Indonesian ambassador in The Hague to put in a lot of culinary diplomacy in Europe. Netherlands is the base for the Indonesian operations. The aim is to promote Indonesian culture and the economy a boost. Hearts and Minds rendang and gado gado win. Nice idea, but the Indonesians are not the first.

"Thailand has started," says "gastronomist" Paul Rockower the phenomenon studied and regularly publishes on the USC Center on Public Diplomacy. The Thai government introduced in 2002, the Global Programme to the number of Thai restaurants abroad to raise considerably. The aim was to make Thai food more popular, attracting more tourists and subtle relationships with other countries to strengthen. "The Thai campaign has so far been most successful, the kitchen has gone from exotic to mainstream and has given a boost tourism," observes Rockower.
Soft power
Culinary diplomacy used by countries to increase their soft power. That is to influence others through attraction rather than coercion. The cultural dominance of the U.S. through Hollywood is an example. Measuring political power in international relations often depends on hard power (military influence) and soft power (including economic, diplomatic and cultural influence). The idea is that countries seeking the right mix of soft and hard power to their power in the world to expand.

Culinary diplomacy is used by countries to create sympathy for their culture and act as a special mark on the map. "This leads to such successful nation branding to increase your soft power," says Rockower.

Meanwhile, many countries with its own culinary diplomacy unofficial nicknames like Kimchi diplomacy (South Korea) and Dim Sum Diplomacy (Taiwan). Even Peru is trying its brand around the local cuisine to be built under the title "Cocina Peruana para todo el mundo, Guinea-diplomacy so.

But the most ambitious countries in the Far East. South Korea began in 2009, the "Korean Cuisine to the World 'campaign aims at showing the number of Korean restaurants abroad to have quadrupled by 2017 to 40,000. It attracts tens of millions of dollars.

Taiwan also nice hammering on the road. The main goal is to people the difference between China and Taiwain clarify and to shake off the image that only LCD monitors and other electronic junk out of the country.

Taiwan set up including a culinary think tank and flying chefs the world over that as many culinary competitions to win. As Taiwanese restaurants are concerned is used for maximum exposure. These should mainly foreign malls and airports open.

Of course, even China is not behind. Plenty of Chinese restaurants you think. Here, but not in Latin America. Hence, the Chinese government in collaboration with business and restaurant owners is working to make Chinese food to promote. So they sent this year, including five of the country's best chefs to Chile to sixty emigrant Chinese chefs to train. A similar program exists in Costa Rica.
ChangJie Dong of China's State Council this year was clear about the goal: "The Chinese cuisine, with its eye-catching colors, irresistible fragrance and rich taste, can help the Chinese culture spread abroad." This is useful if you are strategic economic and political interests trying to build.
Pyongyang restaurant
South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, that they have any success with their international diplomatic offensives have given the kitchen even understand. They have also written a neighboring country which inspired an impressive kitchen is not exactly the first thing on your mind. North Korea is doing well now because of culinary diplomacy and is busy rolling out the state Pyongyang chain restaurants. Offices are now in Dubai including, Cambodia, Bangkok, China, Laos and Indonesia.
Nice surprise: Amsterdam is the next fortress. There is already a Dutch website to open restaurant in Chinatown. Which promises traditional North Korean songs and dishes such as hot stone and hot noodles. "For people who have ever visited North Korea will feel like a return to Korea."

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