Diner En Blanc, Tachée?
Ahh…. a tale of poor communication and misunderstandings?
So, a blogger was invited to Dinner En Blanc, an invite-only event where people are required to bring everything white, tables, chairs and food. Not only must it be white, it should all exude style and quality. So, utensils, should be fine china and dressing should be stylish and elegent.
Blogger came, blogger loved, blogger blogged and in the processed, actually gave a fantastic idea; Why not bring local cuisine that's white? Share, appreciate and admire the taste of Singapore!
Here's where things start to go wrong…
Apparently, someone (one of the organisers presumably), caught wind of the post and told him to take it down.
Emotions got high, and the word spread like wildfire – Snobby Foodies Despise Singaporean Cuisine!
I've got to admit, I found it quite amusing, all the drama. In a way, I'm also glad this happened. This, the curry debacle and other 'Singaporean vs Foreign Talent' incidents tells me that we Singaporeans are finally taking pride and ownership of our unique culture.
Even then, as with everything, there's more than meets the eye.
You see, while Daniel (the blogger in question), had good intentions, a lot of his suggestions where basically to ta-pau whitish local goodies for this dinner.
Don't see anything wrong with that? Think about it.
Here's the thing: part of Diner En Blanc is the appreciation of good food.
Ok, to be honest, I not sure whether bought food is allowed, but it's not about that, it's about attitude…and respect.
Let's put it this way, if its mostly home-made, lots of effort was used to make what they brought, so it's not fair to them when someone simply buys something off the street. If most people are bringing 'atas', slightly pricier food items, it'll be pretty cheeky of you to bring in 'simple' fare (I'm not gonna use 'local fare'. It's about ang moh vs local food).
It's not about 'local' or 'atas'. It's about not taking a short cut.
It's like somebody organising an art exhibition where all the artists bring their works for display and then some moron puts up a picture of the mona lisa as 'The Mona Lisa'. It's also like someone organising a potluck and you bringing a bottle of 'All Singaporean Newater'.
IMHO, I feel that both sides are at fault here.
The PR-Idiot who asked Daniel to take his post down, and Daniel for not taking the above into consideration.
Note – while at fault, I believe none of them had malicious intentions. Honest mistakes from both of them. One wanted to preserve the integrity of the event, while the other wanted to preserve the essence of his ideas.
What the organisers should have done is to ask Daniel out for white coffee and talk things through. The problem with sms and emails is the lack of context. That, and the Singaporean no-nonsense messaging etiquette are perfect ingredients for the Epic Brew of Misunderstanding. Good name, bad taste. Meet up, drink up, explore each others' concerns and views.
So, a huge misunderstanding.
Come guys. Stop argueing.
Time to MAKAN!
PS – Diner en Blanc, undoing your un-invite for Daniel will be a PR win, since you've already admitted that mistakes were made in the communications department. Taking the facebook page was not a good move either. It's childish, akin to "everybody scold me…dunch fwen you anymore!!"