Student Choice cultural confusion: Japanese or Korean ramen at Campus Dining?

Mustang News
Civil engineering freshman Seth Santa Maria was scrolling through his phone the night of Jan. 5 when he saw something that piqued his interest.
“I was scrolling through the Cal Poly Campus Dining website when I saw that Korean food won Student Choice,” Santa Maria said. “But it said ‘Build Your Own Ramen.’”
Santa Maria posted a screenshot of the announcement on Overheard at Cal Poly, a Facebook group for Cal Poly students and parents.
“At first I was amused because I felt like it was such a common understanding that ramen is a Japanese food, but after a while, I didn’t understand how this got approved, how this went through so many people, how this was possible,” Santa Maria said.
Within minutes, many students and alumni expressed outrage regarding the Student Choice selection.
“I became really taken aback because I just could not comprehend how ramen was a ‘Korean’ food,” Michael Lee, a business administration sophomore, said. “I understand that there are Korean-style ramen like shin or jin ramen, but I found it unacceptable to see that Campus Dining had mixed up the food. I hope that next time there is actual research of cultural foods associated with the ethnic group.”
After students and parents voiced their opinions on social media, Cal Poly Campus Dining updated their website to show that Japanese food had won Student Choice.
However, there have been no changes made to the Korean features of the ramen at Student Choice, including the Korean chicken broth and kimchi, a Korean staple.
“Changing it to ‘Japanese’ is like putting a band-aid on a broken bone. It ineffectively addresses the mix-up and reveals that Cal Poly lacks cultural diligence,” business administration freshman Amy Ru said.
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