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Zongzi :
The Tastes Of Generations Within Canada - Continued

Throwing Zongzi into a river is not common in today's world but the tradition lives on in some rural villages in China.

For Fung Hi Eng and other Chinese Canadians, making zongzi not only meant remembering the death of Qu Yuan or fulfilling long standing Chinese tradition, it was an exercise in defining their identity, not just as Chinese, but also as members of regional towns and villages back at home. It didn’t matter that the cost of ingredients to make Zongzi were high, in much the same way as mooncakes, zongzi were also commonly given as gifts and were purely for the consumption of Chinese to instil nostalgia and humility.

In many ways, zongzi and mooncakes are in vast contrast to the other foods prepared by Chinese Canadian restaurants and families. In public, Chinese Canadians prepared dishes targeted for the consumption of white Canadians, but privately, were heavily reluctant to eat their own westernized creations, preferring to cling to the tradition and customs associated with time-honoured festival foods.


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Making Zongzi is a long and labour intensive task which involves soaking bamboo leaves in water.
Wrapping and adding items into a Zongzi varies depending on family and region in China.
Despite technically being a festival food, Zongzi is often sold year round by merchants and food companies.

Tradition Item