Sometimes I feel establishments owned by non Asians feel emboldened to use Asian themes which are either offensive, perpetuate stereotypes, or make a mockery of our culture, traditions, language and history. If you think about some of the names which have come about over the years, they are all culturally insensitive and when called out the owners (usually white) either double down, make a non authentic “sorry, not sorry” or just delete all the comments criticising them. Here is another examples of this.
Newly opened “Rickshaw Bar” in Richmond, Melbourne has been given lessons online on its insensitive usage of Vietnam war theme for its establishment, not thinking at all how the history is full of horror and trauma for many Vietnamese and Vietnamese Australians. Leah Jing of Liminal bought the attention of this bar’s tone deaf ways over social media.
Since then, many netizens have offered their criticisms with the bar owners deleting comments on its social media and supposedly “revising their tone”. Here are some of the offensive themes they have used prior to this “revising”:
“settle into a booth or bunker down at the bar,”
“there’s no smoke without fire”
Not long after a barrage of comments which asked the bar to think twice, calling it tone deaf and asking the owners to apologise to the Vietnamese community, they issues a “sorry not sorry” statement on their Instagram page:
“We have taken down our content and apologise to anyone that was offended or found the content inappropriate.“
“We have revised our tone and are working hard to make this right. Sorry for any distress caused – it was never our intent.”
I guess it is acceptable that they are making changes, but I highly doubt they will totally change the theme of the bar considering that is the actual theme for the bar. So really they will still be profiting from a war which not only displaced but is also extremely traumatic for Vietnamese Australians and Vietnamese all over the world. Let this be a warning to other non Asian owned establishments who want to use Asian themes to learn to be culturally senstive.
Images via News.com.au and via Instagram
To read the original article, please click on: Rickshaw Bar in Richmond apologises after being criticised over Vietnam War theme