Have You Heard of Diner en Blanc?
As the title of this blog entry suggests, it is about the Diner en Blanc event that will be taking place in Singapore on the 30th of August 2012 [in exactly 5 days time]. Previously, I was reading some Tweets by Daniel [blogger of Daniel's Food Diary] and I came across one particular Tweet where he mentioned that someone had asked him to remove a blog post. Being the curious me, I Tweeted him to find out what blog post he was talking about and I soon came to know what it was all about.
So, how many of you have heard of Diner en Blanc?
Well, I personally haven't heard of Diner en Blanc and from what I gathered from Daniel's Blog Post, Diner en Blanc [also known as The White Dinner] first started in Paris in the year 1988 [the year I was born] and it was where the creator François Pasquier, asked his attendees to convene at the Bois de Boulogne dressed in white so that they could all find each other. This eventually became a must-go, world’s most viral outdoor food & party event which has taken place at Paris, Lyon, Amsterdam, Munich, Zürich, Berlin, Montreal, New York, and now Singapore.
And well, Singapore will be the FIRST Asian City to host this prestigious world-renown viral secret pop-up picnic.
So what's so special about this event?
Well, this is what I have gathered on Diner en Blanc's website:
"Imagine this - as if on cue, the sun peaks through the early evening mist as a cloud of people, some 1,000 strong, descend on one of Singapore's most recognizable landmarks. Just minutes before they had no idea of where they were going and now they form a vast sea of white.
White-swathed tables appear in orderly rows, white balloons drift lazily skyward as gleeful attendees, dressed head to toe in the color du jour, unwrap their summer's eve repast. The backdrop of the secret location add the only splash of color to the monochromatic celebration known as Dîner en Blanc or The White Dinner.
And several hours later, when it is time to leave, they fold their tables and chairs, pack their crystal and dinnerware, gather all their debris and head into the night, leaving no sign of their elegant revelry."
And how does it work?
"At the last minute, the location is given to thousands of friends and acquaintances who have been patiently waiting to learn the “Dîner en Blanc's” secret place. Thousand of people, dressed all in white, and conducting themselves with the greatest decorum, elegance, and etiquette, all meet for a mass “chic picnic” in a public space.
Over the course of the evening, the diners enhance the function and value of their city's public space by participating in the unexpected.
Beyond the spectacle and refined elegance of the dinner itself, guests are brought together from diverse backgrounds by a love of beauty and good taste. Le Dîner en Blanc recalls the elegance and glamour of court society, and diners engage one another knowing they are taking part in a truly magical event.
There are no disruptions: no car traffic, no pedestrian traffic, except for the occasional amazed and astonished looks from passers-by at the scene unfolding before them. And we, as they, wonder whether it's all not a dream."
So what's the big deal?
Well, this high-class [atas] event that is going to be organised in Singapore has stirred up quite a big "hoo-hah". Daniel [blogger of Daniel's Food Diary] was invited to be part of this event with other local bloggers and when Daniel put up a blog post about this event [what to expect and what food to bring], he was told to remove his blog post by the Diner en Blanc representative. The reason for the removal? Both the French and local organisers [for the event] felt that the local delicacies that Daniel suggested in his blog post were not in line with the image of the picnic.
In case you're wondering, the 12 white food that Daniel recommended were tau hway, teochew pau, cheese raisin buns, xiao long bao, chee chiong fun, fishballs, Hainanese chicken rice, white bee hoon, chwee kueh, kueh tu tu, soon kueh and popiah.
And making matters worst, they dis-invited all the rest of the local bloggers and social media personnel after the controversial post, citing that there was insufficient space. Well, in any case, Diner en Blanc is gaining criticisms from locals here and I really wonder how this event will take off in 5 days time.
To find out more about this big hoo-hah, do check out the various links below:
http://danielfooddiary.com/2012/08/21/diner-en-blanc/ http://danielfooddiary.com/2012/08/24/diner-en-blanc-2/ http://alvinology.com/2012/08/24/diner-en-blanc-atas-picnic-for-atas-people-in-singapore-no-local-food-or-local-bloggers-allowed/ http://blog.moonberry.com/singapore-tau-huay-too-low-class-for-french-upscale-event/
Even the local newspaper and Yahoo! Singapore website are talking about it here:
Mr Brown has also given his two-cents opinions on this issue: http://www.mrbrown.com/blog/2012/08/d%C3%AEner-en-blanc-disses-singapore-food-and-uninvites-bloggers.html
Anyway, here is the team of people whom are organising the Diner en Blanc Singapore: http://singapore.dinerenblanc.info/team.php
and the proud partners of Diner en Blanc Singapore are OCBC Bank and Perrier-Jouet.
On a parting note, let me say this clearly; for an event to be truly successful, it requires the support of participants whom in this context, are those whom are going for this event. While I am not sure how many of these participants are going to boycott this event or forgo the invitation, I sure do hope that people will stand by our local food culture and heritage. Whether Chinese, Malay, Indian, or Eurasian, we ought to be proud of our food culture.
On a side note, I like what Daniel said, "You do not dictate to bloggers which posts to put up, which posts not to; invite us, then uninvite us. You do not own us; Neither do you own the Internet."
Stay tuned to more updates from us!