Dim Sum symbolizes election-fuelled language anxieties

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 to vent about her dim sum.

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.



Then, the whole thing started to sound like a party debate:


Just like a Rad-Can debate, there was mild mudslinging:



And even humour:


It seems that Charte-fuelled tensions of language and identity are truly peaking. Whether it’s Couillard or Marois who ends up at the helm, we can only hope for strong leadership. But in reality, politicians are only exacerbating the issues.

I agree with @ReemsMTL that the way out of this heady impasse is really quite simple:

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