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— Jenny G. Zhang: The first thing I notice when I walk into my grandparents’ home in Wenzhou, China, is the dining table. Large and round, it sits in the nebulously defined dining space equidistant from the front door, the kitchen, and the rest of the living room. Even outside of mealtimes, it’s often laden with food: room-temperature leftovers from an earlier spread, bowls of fruit, buns and breads that are picked at, mindlessly, throughout the day. When it’s time to eat, the dishes multiply — there are always far too many — and the chairs arranged in a neat circle around the table. The most I’ve seen it sit is 12 people: aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and my family, freshly arrived from America, elbows and chopsticks jostling against each other in the endless tussle to ply everyone else with as much food and drink as possible…

Image courtesy of Big Beach Films

July 17, 2019