An Evocative Journey of Three Generations of Chinese Women from Guangzhou via Hong Kong to England
原著作者Helen Tse於2014年獲頒大英勳章，表揚她對英國飲食界的貢獻，同年出版的食譜《Dim Sum》榮登《時代雜誌》暢銷榜。2006年，她把親身經歷與家族歷史寫入《Sweet Mandarin》，風行三十多個國家，本團取得中文改編版權，首次搬上舞台，揭開「流徙三部曲」第一頁。
“You want to be a chef, instead of a lawyer?!” Helen’s father is stunned.
Catering is probably the most common business among the overseas Chinese community. The older Chinese generation labors day and night in order to free their younger generation of the chore of the kitchen. Helen, a British born Chinese, against all expectation leaves her lawyer job to set up her own restaurant. She discovers that her family cuisines are not only tasty but also full of dramatic stories, spanning almost a hundred years and crossing from Guangzhou via Hong Kong to England.
Helen Tse was awarded MBE for her contribution to the food and catering industry in UK in 2014. Her latest cookbook Dim Sum became a Times bestseller. In 2006, she put the remarkable journey of her family and her own into Sweet Mandarin, which was published in 33 countries to great acclaim.
Our Sweet Mandarin will be the world premiere of the dramatic adaptation of this uplifting memoir. It also opens the first chapter of our Trilogy of Diaspora, which will introduce three independent plays to discuss Diaspora in various contexts.
專題文章(1) － 原著作者 Original Author
著：鄭雅芝 JennyAnya Cheng、謝冰盈 Sam Tse
《流徙之女》由《Sweet Mandarin》一書改編，原著作者為英藉華人Helen Tse。Sweet Mandarin 亦是謝氏姊妹所開設的同名餐館。Helen、Lisa和Janet謝氏三姊妹本是專業人仕，2004年，三姊妹決定放棄於倫敦的高薪厚職，在曼徹斯特開設了一家中菜館── Sweet Mandarin，又名「甜甜」。有別於一般的中餐廳， 她們摒棄了傳統的圓枱，也拒絕選址於唐人街。Sweet Mandarin是一所中西合壁的新派餐館。最特別的是，餐廳仍售賣三姊妹外婆和母親的招牌菜式：咖喱雞和雞煲。
Sweet Mandarin至今獲獎無數。英國名廚 Gordon Ramsay 在他的電視節目《F Word》 給予 Sweet Mandarin 「當地最好的中國餐館」的頭銜。Helen 和Lisa 更獲首相卡梅倫邀請於唐寧街10號為訪英的中國總理李克強設宴。三姊妹更推出共六款特色醬汁。除了在英國的大型連鎖超級市場有售外，銷售點更遠至歐洲及亞洲，甚至香港。
2014年，Helen 及 Lisa 獲英女皇頒授 MBE勳銜，以表揚她們對餐飲業的貢獻。
The play is an adaptation of the memoir Sweet Mandarin, which is written by British-born Chinese author Helen Tse. Sweet Mandarin is also the name of their award-winning restaurant located in Manchester.
Tse sisters, Helen, Lisa and Janet, were professionals in different fields. A family trip to Hong Kong and a tracing origin journey to Guangzhou, they were touched by the stories of their family. In 2004, Tse sisters decided to give up their jobs with impressive income to be restaurateurs together. The determination of passing on the spirits and history of the three generations of Chinese women in the family led them to open a restaurant called Sweet Mandarin. Sweet Mandarin is a Chinese-Western fusion restaurant. There is no round table and the restaurant is not located at China Town. Most characteristically, the restaurant is still serving Lily's and Mabel's signature dishes: Chicken Curry and Chicken Clay Pot.
The restaurant has received numerous awards. Gordan Ramsay, a world-famous chef, has awarded Sweet Mandarin with "UK's best Local Chinese Restaurant" in his TV program the "F Word". On behalf of Sweet Mandarin, Helen and Lisa were invited to cook for the Chinese Premier Li Ke Qiang and Prime Minister David Cameron in 10 Downing Street during Li's visit to the UK. The three sisters have started their sauce business and launched a total of six different sauces. Not only can the sauces be found in big supermarket chains in the UK, they are also sold abroad in Europe and Asia, even Hong Kong.
In 2014, Helen and Lisa were awarded MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), in recognition of their services to the food and drink sector.
專題文章(2) －20世紀中期香港的生活狀況Hong Kong in mid-20th century
著：蘇育輝Ben So、鄧宇廷 Adam Tang
在如此情況，打「住家工」對婦女是不錯的選擇。不少來自內地農村的婦女湧到香港，她們同樣離鄉背井，在香港無親無故。因為傳統上會由僱主照顧衣食住行，不愁居住問題，很多女傭甚至視之為第二個家，不再回鄉。當時打「住家工」，亦有外國家庭聘用，所以部分女傭會弄西餐又懂說洋涇濱英文（Chinese Pidgin English）的半鹹淡英文：「例如同主人講『ten two o'clock Jardine bomb bomb, chow chow quick quick』，即係話12點怡和鳴午炮，快啲食飯！」
Following the end of WW2, there was a population boom in Hong Kong. It jumped from 1.5 million in 1945 to 3 million in 1961. Among the immigrants, most of them were Chinese refugees escaping the Chinese civil war; the result was a huge demand in housing. The housing policy failed to meet the supply, people then turned to live in illegal settlement: rooftop houses, wooden houses and squatter along hillside etc. Not only was this kind of settlement small in size, but they also came with poor facilities and unhygienic environment.
Thus, working as live-in maid was quite an obvious choice for many Chinese female immigrants. Many of them left their home in China and came alone to Hong Kong. With limited support from families here, they preferred to live with the master families for shelter. Some of them treated the master families as their second home. Many foreigners hired live-in maid, who learned to cook western dishes and speak Chinese Pidgin English, a mixture of Shanghainese and English. For example: “ten two o'clock Jardine bomb bomb, chow chow quick quick”, which means at 12 o’clock there is noon day gun fired by Jardine employee, let’s have your lunch.
Hong Kong experienced an economic boom in 60s, when the light industries developed at their quickest speed, factory work attracted lots of young people. However, the paid was 4-5 dollars a day only, for which the workers worked 10 hours a day, 7 days a week. The income was just enough to feed a family. Birth control and family planning were not popular among immigrants, whose families were common to have 5-6 children. Some of the poor families might give away their child to the rich; those unlucky ones might just be abandoned at the gate of those charitable orphanages, like Po Leung Kuk.
專題文章(3) － 英國華人生活 Lives of British Chinese
19世紀初已經有中國人移民英國，大部分是水手。倫敦的萊姆豪斯是歐洲第一個唐人街。但要到1950－60 年代才出現最大的移民潮，當時華人人口由12,523人上升至38,750人。當中許多人為逃離中國內戰而移民，亦有不少是來自香港新界的圍村村民。到埗後多從事飲食或洗衣業。今日的有大部分華裔英國人是戰後移民的第二或三代。而在英國出生的華裔英國人被稱為BBC（British Born Chinese）。
Dating back to the early 19th century, there was Chinese immigration to UK. Many of them were seamen. Limehoue area in London became the site of first European Chinatown. The largest wave of Chinese immigrants took place during 1950 and 1960, it increased from 12,523 to 38,750 people. People consisted of refugees escaping the Chinese Civil War and male farmers from Hong Kong. Majority of them were employed in the catering industry or laundry businesses. Today, a significant proportion of British Chinese are second or third generation descendants of these post-World War II immigrants. Chinese born in UK are referred to as British Born Chinese (BBC).
The hardships of living, language and racism posed problems to the older generations of British Chinese. Most of them were in the catering trade, working unsociable hours, and the lack of after-hours venues has led to the problem of gambling.
For the new generation of British Born Chinese (BBC), they also face the problem of stereotyping, racism or even racism attacks. Some of the BBCs feel confused about their identity as “Jook-sing”, some of them even do not want to accept the identity of being a Chinese; however, at the same time, many of them feel proud to belong both to the Chinese and Western culture. They have to cope with many difficulties growing up as a child or teenage, which is the reason why they are particularly strong, positive, and motivated to help each other within the Chinese community. School performances of British Born Chinese are outstanding. In 2002, BBCs obtained the best results in UK A-level public examinations compare to other ethnicities. Chinese are generally likely to be admitted to prestigious institutions, as Chinese youth would be expected to study in prestigious institutions for better career prospects in the future in order to obtain a stable salary to support the family, therefore they tend to work in professional field like law or medical industry.
專題文章(4) －英國的中式餐飲業 Chinese Food and Take away Shop in UK
著：黃安婷 Ada Wong
1880 年開始，倫敦及利物浦已經有中式小店及餐館，服務華人水手。1884年倫敦的國際健康展覽正式向群眾介紹中菜。「炒雜碎」，一款只在英美流行的中菜經典，其出現由於早期華人移民面對中式食材短缺，就地取材而創作。1907年，在英國首間有紀錄的中式餐館，於倫敦正式啟業。但餐廳的數目要在第二次世界大戰後才開始逐漸增加，雜碎、魚餅、炒麵等菜式比較常見。1958年，第一間中式外賣店「LOTUS HOUSE」於倫敦開業。漸漸地中式餐飲在英國普及，亦開始提供外賣服務。
Take out or takeout、carry-out、take away及parcel，指的是買家購買一家餐廳的菜餚或其他食品，並準備在其他地方享用。事實上，早期較低收入的中國家庭到英國後, 都是以家庭式經營風險和成本都較低的飲食行業為生，如外賣店。
In 1880, Chinese groceries and eating-houses appeared in London and Liverpool, patronized by Chinese seamen, dockworkers and students. In 1884, Chinese food was introduced to the British public at the International Health Exhibition in London. Chop suey, a dish you never find in China, has been an iconic Chinese dish in the West for a substantial period of time. It was mostly likely a dish created by early immigrations as an adaption to the western palates, or a solution to cover the shortage of raw ingredients at the time. The first recorded Chinese restaurant opened in Glasshouse Street, Piccadilly Circus, London, which was called ‘The Chinese Restaurant’. But not until the end of WW2 there was a steady increase. Chinese food became more popular, chop suey, chow mein and fish cakes were commonly found. In 1958, John Koon's Lotus House at Bayswater, London, became Britain's first Chinese takeaway. Since then, many Chinese restaurants offered takeaway service.
Take out or takeout, carry-out, take away and parcel, different names but all refer to freshly-made food that is packed for taking away and eating elsewhere. Working in catering business was in fact very popular among many mid and low-income Chinese immigrants. With low start-up cost and minimal risk, these take away shops are very often family-run.
Before the advancement of packaging, the shops offered only dried dishes like pizza, fries and burger. Nowadays we can take away almost anything ranging from saucy dishes to hot soup. Chinese dishes have been westernized to fit the British appetite, for example a three-course meal pattern was established. Well-liked dishes are Kung Pao Chicken, spring rolls and Peking duck etc.
專題文章(5) －食物的真義 The Meaning of Food
著：賴閃芳 Sim-fong Lai
煮食不單單是家常事，食物也不只是果腹之用；正如張展鴻教授於飲食人類學一文所指，人類的生活由出生到死亡都離不開飲食。飲食及烹調習慣絕對反映了社會階段、性別權力、身分及文化認同等。又因著時代及社會轉變，飲食態度亦隨之而改。就如廚房對於 Mabel 與Helen這兩代人的象徵，相差十萬八千里。
劇中由Lily的父親、Lily，直到Mabel 與Eric兩代人均流徙至異地，倚靠為生的就是華人出色的烹飪技巧，它是經濟生產。可惜及至Mabel 那一代，「廚房佬」地位並沒有提升，雖然他們撐起整個倫敦甚至紐約唐人街，讓今時今日中餐於歐美發揚光大。正如Mabel 所言，廚房只留給沒有選擇的人，就好像她。廚房帶給她的，是二等公民的痛苦回憶。Mabel 又怎會同意當律師的Helen開餐館？
Cooking is not something ordinary; food is not for satiety only. As Prof. Cheung puts it in the article “Food Anthropology”, we are inseparable from the diet through out our lives, be it at the wedding or funeral. Eating and cooking habits definitely reflect the social status, gender and cultural identity. However, it is not stable. Our attitude towards diet will change as the society changes. Just like our characters Mabel and Lily, they represent two generations, whose “kitchen” means something totally different.
In the play, from Lily’s father, Lily to Lily’s daughter Mabel, they all emigrated to a foreign country. They could only rely on their excellent culinary skills to make a living, i.e. the kitchen fed all three generations. Kitchen men stayed in the kitchen, even though the Chinese cuisine flourished in Europe all because of them, their status has never improved. As Mable said, “Kitchen is for those with no choice”. Mabel was the one with no choice, what the kitchen brought her was the memories full of pain as a second-class citizen. Would she agree on Helen’s decision? No.
For Helen and her sisters, who were the third generation of BBC, food symbolized the memories of the family. The dishes were the only channel that she could understand her family history. Just like her spoken Chinese, these memories were nonetheless fragmented: mum’s Chicken Pot, grandmother’s curry and dad’s dishes. The family trip back in Hong Kong put together all these fragments; the Chinese side of her was filled. Finally, she could see the whole picture of who she is. Thus, in Helen’s mind kitchen was not about work, but love instead. Opening a restaurant was in fact her first step to reconstruct her British Born Chinese identity.
Hong Kong shares a similar background like Helen. It has been the hub of east meeting west since 1842, where fusion food is easily found. Local day trips were popular in 90s, many Hong Kongers aspired for nostalgic food and culture. This trend is getting popular again this year, Facebook groups are set up to “protect” those local or traditional restaurants. Coincidentally, these trends appear when Hong Kong is unstable politically. From the change of eating habits, we can see Hong Kongers are searching for the cultural identity. “It could be a counterattack on the globalization by the local culture”. Capital-driven globalization affects the society, we are losing the local culture bit by bit. Instead of looking forward, shall we take of look of our past? Could we see truly who we are, like Helen did, and are able to rebuild the cultural identity of Hong Kong people one day?
原著 Original：Helen Tse
編劇 Playwright：鄭廸琪 Callas Cheang
導演 Director：胡海輝 Hoi-fai Wu
Cast: Ben So, Ada Wong, Wing Mo, Adam Tang, Samantha Tse, Jenny Cheng
編舞及形體指導 Choreographer & Movement Director：徐奕婕Ivy Tsui
佈景及服裝設計 Set & Costume Designer：孫詠君Vanessa Suen
燈光設計 Lighting Designer：黃宇恆 Bert Wong
音響設計及作曲 Sound Designer and Composer：Jacklam Ho