A group of non-Asian men is raising questions on cultural appropriation for starting and running an Asian restaurant business in Queensland, Australia called “Sum Yung Guys.”
“Sum Yung Guys” describes itself as a modern Asian restaurant, and based on its menu, we get to see fusion recipes from Crispy Buttermilk Chicken Wings with Homemade Korean Hot Sauce to Cumin Lamb Sliders, Pickled Cucumber and Spiced BBQ Sauce. According to their Instagram, the restaurant has yet to open.
One can also tell from the get-go that it sounds just like “Some Young Guys,” and word plays can’t be that bad, right? These guys appear young, after all.
The dishes look appetizing as well and seem far from some disgusting hodgepodge of ingredients that blatantly disrespect another culture.
However, Erin Chew of YOMYOMF finds something off about the moniker and questions its meaning beyond face value:
“I question whether using the words SUM and YUNG are culturally inappropriate. Really I can’t see any valuable meaning than these guys taking some words they think sound ‘Asian’ (and let me remind y’all, Asian ain’t a language).”
Chew explains why it’s disrespectful:
“Why I say it is culturally inappropriate is because words in different Asian languages mean different things, and the name of a restaurant or a person is important to have some meaning behind it – for luck and prosperity – so I feel slighted that these dudes just assumingly threw a 2 words they thought sounded like some Asian language, in many ways disrespecting our culture.”
Inappropriate or nah?