QUARANTINE comes from the Medieval Latin “quarentīna” (“forty days”), carrying deep Christian resonance. It was practiced by Venetians during the Middle Ages to keep ships from plague-ridden countries from docking at its ports. The Black Plague (1347-1352) took the lives of some 75 to 200 million people in Europe and Asia. Globalization was mostly to blame and the plague recognized no borders between Asia and Europe, made no distinctions between the Chinese and Italians.
But if history doesn’t repeat the same steps, it does like to dance to the same beat.
During the Black Plague, mass Christian hysteria required a scapegoat, and once again the Jews became easy targets. Today, it’s the Chinese (and by extension, anybody who looks like them). The President of the United States, possibly unaware that the “Spanish Flu” of 1918 very likely originated in military camps in Kansas, calls COVID-19 the “China Virus”, provoking boycotts, threats, and even violent attacks against some homogenized “can-you-tell-the-difference-I-can’t-tell-the-difference” Asian American community. Far-right politicians across Europe have applauded this. Cynical words causing wholesale unnecessary anguish. And as the epicentre of the virus shifts to the Middle East, South America, Africa, so too will the xenophobia, the racism. Well-meaning people everywhere, using the tools of a critical mind and open heart, will be needed to utilize their keyboards, thumbs and pens, to serve the most targeted among us, whatever their race, ethnicity, tribe.
But what is required right now is a quarantining of political language, particularly from these so-called leaders. A forty-day grace period where only the prodding sterile language of science is given breath. Yes, distance yourself from others, self-isolate, but just as consequentially keep the plague-ridden language of division from docking at your port. #covid19 #quarantine #socialdistancing #selfisolation
As the chef & owner of Sushi Making For The Soul, I wanted to take this time to address the growing uncertainty and concern around the COVID-19 pandemic and our sushi classes. I am mindful of what is of greatest concern to our guests, being as we are in the business of handling and serving food, particularly at this time. Therefore, we have enhanced hygiene practises, sanitation, and social distancing within small groups because all this is critical to slowing the spread of the virus. I understand your anxieties and I share them with you.
Our “Sushi Distancing” measures, include, but are not limited to:
1. Capping our maximum numbers that recommended by The Public Health Agency of Canada (changing on almost daily basis). By doing this we can break up our workstations into multiple stations to ensure recommended social distancing;
2. Greeting all guests at the sanitation station (includes hand cleaners, sanitation wipes, gloves);
3. Securing guest coats and bags away from any work or food stations;
4. Ensuring every guest washes their hands as soon they arrive;
6. Distributing plastic gloves multiple times throughout the class. (Ordinarily, we do not use gloves, simply bare hands and water to pick up rice and other ingredients);
7. Our staff washing and sanitizing their hands every 1/2 hour;
8. Wrapping of all food in plastic wrap before the arrival of workshop participants.
Finally, to our prepaid clients (individuals, corporate, private, public institutions), I wish to calm any anxieties you may have about future classes. You have all been very loyal and trusting of us and we thank you. You will be given priority to re-book classes once this all passes. Dates will be emailed to you to choose from before they are posted publicly. For now, we will continue to follow the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Canada and keep you informed about the latest developments so you can rely on our commitment to you with peace of mind.
During the challenging weeks and months ahead, I can only wish that you and those closest to you remain safe and healthy. COVID-19 is yet another crisis which great countries like ours can transform into opportunities to bring people together rather than divide them. It is my hope we can act on such an opportunity during this very difficult time.
I look forward to meeting you at a future workshop!
They are the Haenyeo (해녀)- the women of the sea. You will find these grandmothers in the frigid waters off Jeju Island at all times of the year, in search of mollusks, shellfish, octopus, seaweed- anything that will command a reasonable price at the market. They can hold their breaths for up to three minutes, dive as deep as 30 meters, contending daily with hazardous weather, poisonous jellyfish, and sharks. And when they return to land with their catch (men still refer to it as “gathering” or “harvesting”), these indomitable, fiercely-independent women must navigate a rigidly Confucian ecosystem, with archaic ideas about the role of women in a society engineered by men. In the semi-matriarchal haenyeo community, the women are the breadwinners, and it is their husbands who stay home, cook, care for the children. In South Korea, as almost anywhere else with outmoded sensibilities around gender and sex, this has always been equivalent to losing face.
This is the last generation of the haenyeo (almost all of them are in their fifties to late eighties.) At their peak in the 1960s they numbered more than 25,000. Today, there are less than 5,000 plying their trade. It is a practise and way of life in decline. But there is a legacy that will not be denied them. In this small community, in that part of the world, challenged for centuries by every accepted societal norm, these women of the sea have always ruled.
Watch the fun segment here.
One of the inspiring sushi workshops this summer teamed the generous people from TD Securities with our own Chef Sang to show our commitment and love for a cause so dear to all of us: leading vulnerable children and youth toward their inborn promise! We are so honoured to have contributed in our own small way to such an important fundraiser! Thanks to 2nd Floor Events for hosting us at their gorgeous venue!
2018 was a milestone year for us. We surpassed the 20K participant mark. For ten years, we have been creating memorable team-building sushi workshops for some of North America’s great organizations. This video is a sampling of some of the 300+ we have been proud to serve. Thank you! #SushiWarriors #JustRollWithIt
To each and every one of you who attended our classes in 2018- Thank You! 2018 was a milestone year for us because of you!
You have also played such a vital role in helping us pay it forward, especially to youth in vulnerable communities and with the help of so many of our city’s great institutions. Thanks for carrying us on your shoulders!
We hope you will continue your great journey by carrying peace and compassion in your hearts EVERY day of 2019. Let Du Lin’s face be a reminder of what peace and compassion looks like. Happy New Year!
As for those of you interested in attending the best party in town, we roll out the red carpet for you! Welcome!
Sampling Tofu-Avocado Gratin and Mongolian Tofu with Lainey & Mel. Click here to watch the segment.
Check out the segment here.
Chill out and check out the segment here.