Adams Bodomo and Enyu Ma


In this paper we analyze two African communities in Guangzhou and Yiwu, China, arguing that among Guangzhou Africans on the one hand, Black Africans, particularly West Africans, have a tighter community and interact more with each other than Black Africans in Yiwu. On the other hand, Maghrebian Africans in Yiwu have a tighter community and maintain a more cohesive interaction than their counterparts in Guangzhou. Evidence for this characterization of the communities comes from food and communal food-eating habits. There are hardly any West African restaurants in Yiwu while there is an abundance of West African and other Black African restaurants in Guangzhou where there is more community patronage. In contrast, there are more concentrations of North African restaurants in Yiwu than in Guangzhou. We discuss the crucial role food and food-making and eating places play in providing structures and avenues for community bonding to promote community formation and community identity shaping.

Africa – Asia Relations through the Prism of Television Drama

How Africans in Hong Kong Conceptualize Korean Culture

Adams Bodomo and Eun-Sook Chabal

Even though many African and Asian countries share a common history of European colonialism and thus a model of economic development shaped within the aegis of center-periphery analysis, many Asian countries have been able to ride through the burden of center-periphery economics and built more successful political economies than most African countries. This state of affairs has often led many African analysts to point to Asian success stories like China and South Korea for comparative analysis and often see these Asian countries as models of socio-economic and socio-cultural success to emulate. In particular, Africans in the Diaspora, especially Africans in China, tend to compare very frequently the socio-economic and socio-cultural conditions of their host countries with those of their source countries. This paper outlines and discusses how a group of Africans living in Hong Kong and other parts of Asia see Korea and Korean culture through the prism of Korean television dramas, which constitute a popular cultural phenomenon among Hong Kong/Asian youths. Through qualitative and quantitative survey methods, participant-observation, and questionnaire surveys, the paper reports on how African community members of Hong Kong and others think of Koreans. We show that Africans draw a lot of comparisons between Korean and African ways of conceptualizing the world.