If you’re interested in dim sum and live in Montréal, you appreciate the legend of Kam Fung. Maybe you’ve eaten in the cavernous St-Urbain dining room (or its Brossard counterpart). Maybe you’ve just stood in line and longed for a table.
Either experience is sufficient to grasp just how absurd—and yet fitting—it is, that now dim sum has been dragged into 2014 Québec election politics. Yes, those doughy pillows of shrimp, eel, mushroom, beef, pork (or mostly anything else that grows, swims or walks…) are the latest casualty to the province’s rapidly-degenerating discourse on language and identity.
Thankfully, it’s all been dressed with a healthy does of ethnic-food sarcasm.
It all started yesterday when outspoken Journal de Montréal columnist Sophie Durocher took to Twitter after a dim sum lunch.
Dimsum hier dans Q. chinois: unilingues anglais. J’appelle dans 1 resto indien rue Jarry: unilingue anglais. Pas de problème Mr Couillard. — sophie durocher (@sophiedurocher) 31 Mars 2014
The initial response seemed unsurprising, coming from one of Durocher’s followers…
But Montréal Gazette food critic Lesley Chesterman’s appraisal was a bit more scathing.
Chesterman’s tweets, it would appear, triggered a string of jabs at Durocher and, at times, the Parti québecois itself.
Disapproval of Durocher’s complaint was not limited to English, either:
Then the whole thing started to echo the last few party debates themselves:
Just like a TVA debate, there was mild mudslinging:
And even humour:
It seems that Charte-fuelled tensions of language and identity have officially peaked. Whether it’s Couillard or Marois who ends up at the helm, we can only hope for strong leadership.
But maybe politicians are just exacerbating the issues and the solution to Durocher’s quandary is really quite simple: