The stories courageously dramatize the unfair, if not unequal treatment of the society to a foreign culture. Both the authors of the novels earn a lot of criticisms from fellow novelists since their masterpieces are set in Canada, the place they call their own and yet separate them from the society because of the cultural differences in their bloodlines. Chariandy (1997) said, My past is a foreign word. It’s just his momentary stab at summarizing a tricky situation. This statement just proves that any person cannot just totally leave behind his cultural identity and bloodline even if he/she moves to a foreign land. This is what connects him/her to the cultural past whether it is in terms of food or native delicacy or cultural beliefs or traditions. Both stories were written for Canadian literature by authors from different races although they have already lived their lives in Canadian society that greatly influenced their way of thinking and lifestyle. Wah uses his love of food and distinctive taste on Chinese food to retrace his Chinese origins.In his childhood years, Wah was a picture of a confused child due to his mixed blood. He narrated it like When it comes to Chinese cafes and Chinatowns, I would rather be transparent. Camouflaged enough so they know I am there but can’t see me, can’t get to me. I need a clear coast to getaway. Invisible. I do not know who I am in this territory and maybe I do not want to. (The Diamond Grill, p.2 par. 1) This is the stage in his life when even he, himself, was ashamed if not too scared to admit his Chinese ethnicity. He was aloof to mingle with other Chinese children because that would cause society to discriminate against him. His life has been a journey of search for his own racial-cultural identity.Among the symbolical foods that can be found in the café are sugar donuts, birds nest soup, Salisbury steak, gai lan, mixed grills, ginger, milkshakes, and lo bok.
The Diamond Grill and The Soucouyant Stories of Rediscovering Cultural Identity