Phase 1: Posing Real Questions

Updated 3 years 2 weeks ago

In Phase 0, I narrowed down my list of inquiry projects and chose a final project I want to work on in XiZhou. I am doing the legends and stories behind the food and cuisine in XiZhou. In this Phase, I will be doing some background research and posing questions that I will be answering in XiZhou.

What I Already Know

Legends and Stories about XiZhou's food and cuisine show a lot about XiZhou's culture and history. The food is unique to this area and so I can learn a lot. Stories and legends have been passed through generations and different families. I know that there is this food called XiZhou Baba there. It has been in China for about 150 years. There have been gaps in between that XiZhou Baba was not made. There can be many legends about XiZhou Baba during that time. That gap might be related to some big events that happened in China around the village. Mr. Tafel told me about the XiZhou Baba on a comment in Phase 0 when he was giving me ideas for my final inquiry project.

What I Want to Know

I would like to dig further into the XiZhou Baba and widen my project to other foods too. It seems like this very cool type of food that might tell me a lot about their culture and probably has a very interesting story. Mr. Tafel also gave a suggestion to dig deeper into XiZhou Baba. I would also like to look into the stories of some different types of food there. It will widen my perspective on the topic and I will get to learn more about the foods and culture over there. I want to find out where the foods originally came from, what the inspiration there was, is there an interesting story behind the food, how do you make it, and if the way of making it changed. There are many things that can be said about all those subtopics and would really give me depth into each type of food I would learn about. 

I did some background research which is written in Phase 3. This is the preparation for my inquiry project and to help me develop big questions to guide my research in XiZhou.

Big Questions (With possible answers)- This is important because it will be the guide and energy to my research in XiZhou.


1. What are some of the stories behind XiZhou Baba?

The XiZhou Baba is like a thin pizza without cheese and tomato sauce, so I can infer that the western cuisine might have influenced the XiZhou Baba. There might be some type of Chinese food that influenced the XiZhou Baba too, like Sticky cake.

2. What were the influences on Er Kuai?

There might be some Mexican or foreign influence on the er kuai since it is kind of like a burrito but thicker.

3. Were there outside influences on the food in XiZhou?

I think there is because the XiZhou Baba and the er kuai are similar to some foods in the western cuisine. There are also Muslims in the village meaning that at some point foreigners have came to XiZhou.

4. What are the legends and stories behind the foods served in the festivals? How did it influence the festivals?

I need to dig deeper into this question, but I think that the foods served at the Shangsi Festival is related to Xi WangMu since it is a celebration for her. The torch festival foods should have some story to do with fending off the demon king.



5. What are some of the oldest foods in XiZhou?

I am not sure but so far it looks like its the XiZhou Baba and/or Er Kuai. They seem like very traditional and special foods to XiZhou. A lot of people seem to know it and like it. 

6. What are some of the oldest festivals there? and what foods are served?

I know of two festivals that are celebrated there but I am not sure if it is the oldest. I know that they serve XiZhou Baba at the Shangsi festival and they serve wine, sweets, noodle, and fruit at the Torch festival.



7. How have the foods in XiZhou right now changed over the years? Why?

I think they would have changed since the village has gotten influenced by the modern world. Also, they might have been influenced by the big events that happened in XiZhou.

8. What are the values of the foods in XiZhou? and has any story or legend change the value of that food?

I think the foods in XiZhou are very special and unique to that place. They have been influenced by their neighbors and western parts of the earth, but in the end, they have always had something that is special to XiZhou itself that no other place has. The legends and stories may have changed the value of the food either letting it slowly fade away or letting it grow among the people and becomes more widely known.


Passing the Stories/Legends

9. How were the legends and stories of these foods passed down?

The stories are probably passed down by told stories or written ones. This guess was made on the fact that I don't think they are that developed to have phones and computers to record stuff electronically. They also probably communicate with each other a lot since they aren't carried away by the busy life everyday.

10. What are some stories about the foods in XiZhou that is still passed down today?

I need to dig deeper into that but I think the stories for the two festivals should be still passed down today. Also, the stories on how to make the XiZhou Baba and er kuai should also be passed on.

After getting out and gathering information from the locals, there have been new answers to these questions. I also changed some of the questions. Please see Phase 3 for more information.

Digging Deeper

I need feel like I need to dig deeper into the XiZhou Baba and er kuai before I leave to XiZhou because I feel like in the 10 questions I have here, I can not answer most of them very well. I also should learn more about how the people in XiZhou communicate since I have two questions on how the stories are passed on which I barely answered because I don't know much. Also because it's crucial to be able to talk to the villagers when I get there.

I will be moving on to Phase 2, where I will be finding helpful resources to possibly answer some of the questions above. 



My name is Annie Y. I am part of the Superior Microcampus group. As of March 4, 2017, I arrived in Xizhou. We stayed in Xizhou for 28 days. Those 28 days has been such a unforgettable experience. I got to connect with the people here. They were very nice and welcoming. The weather was really nice. There was pretty blue skies and puffy white clouds. I miss everything about Xizhou and the Microcampus experience.