Colonial Food in Poetry : Hong Kong and Macau in Leung Ping-kwan’s Food Poetry

Yan Ho SIU

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The Hong Kong writer Leung Ping-kwan (Ye Si, 1949-2013) loves to use worldwide food as elements of his different stylistic works. There are many dietrelated elements in Leung’s poems; some of them use the dishes from different places as the theme to describe the colonies in different aspects. It is worth to research on the food elements used and the implication presented. This chapter attempts to analyse the food poetry related to Hong Kong and Macau, in order to explore how he finds the characteristic of the dishes in order to expound the phases of the colonies. Poem ‘Tea-coffee’ themed with the unique drink tea-coffee, explores the impact on Hong Kong as a British colony as well as the conglomeration of the eastern and western cultures. Poem ‘At Hotel Bela Vista’ mentions the African Chicken, a famous main course in Portugal cuisine, which highlights the import of Portugal culture to Macau as a colony. Leung narrates the fading colonial characteristic of Portugal in Macau through the change of flavor of this famous dish. Before Hong Kong and Macau return the sovereignty to China, through food poetry, Leung objectively documents the change to the cultural environment, and at the same time, expresses his worry about the future, his feelings about the fading culture.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTasting cultures : thoughts for food
EditorsMaria José PIRES
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherInter-Disciplinary Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781848884496
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Leung Ping-kwan (Ye Si)
  • food poetry
  • colonization
  • Hong Kong
  • Macau
  • tea-coffee
  • African chicken


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