Eat a Bowl of Tea

984 Words4 Pages
For centuries people seem to think race and ethnicity define a person, However, we now know that there is more to a person than just race and ethnicity. In our society the heritage of an individual most likely defines who they are. Each individual, regardless of religion, race, or ethnicity has a sense of pride burning within them. This concept of pride sometimes overturns or perhaps overlooks problems within our society to fulfill this need. In the film Eat a Bowl of Tea, directed by Wayne Wang, a young Chinese couple living in a 1960’s Chinatown located in New York are constantly facing conflicts in their marriage. These conflicts reveal a sort of dishonor to the family, which in Chinese culture is of large importance. Dishonor, unfaithfulness, and deception are a few of the problematic issues that arise because of the choices of Mei Oi. These dishonors of Mei Oi to her husband, Ben Loy, truly show the overall Chinese priority of pride and the major obstacle of defending ones family name. The corruption of the notorious Wang family name caused by Mei Oi’s deceitful actions towards her husband, Ben Loy, truly demonstrates the ultimate Chinese priority and major concern of defending ones own pride in his or her family name. Dignity in a persons family name is of very large importance. Rather than seeing Chinatown as a city in New York we get the feel that it is not only its own community but its own society. The Chinese culture tends to present itself focused mainly on its reputation and appearance in a tightly knit community. In Wayne Wang’s Eat a Bowl of Tea (1989), the first section of the film ends with an extravagant wedding. The film takes place In the late 1940s, and the young American-raised Ben Loy returns to China for an arranged marriage to Mei Oh. During the very traditional ceremony, the bride is dressed in traditional Chinese robes, dressed in a
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