The Media is Falling ‘Pho’ Asian Culture

Over the past decade, there has been a visible rise of East Asian culture represented in Western media. From popular Netflix series, such as Squid Game, to the popularity of foods such as boba, entertainment and food trends from the East are gaining a greater presence in Western society.

Much of this can be attributed to the media, which promotes this trend by providing subtitles to East Asian shows and movies on popular streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. Additionally, Asian celebrities and customs are also beginning to get incorporated into mainstream western media through movies such as Crazy Rich Asians and Shang-Chi, both of which are blockbusters with a predominantly Asian cast.

A current example of the East Asian influence is the hit series, Squid Game. This psychological thriller has topped charts since its debut on September 17th, reaching number 1 on Netflix streaming in over 90 countries. Reaching 111 million viewers worldwide, the dystopian series emphasized the power of non-English media.

The media’s affinity for Asian culture also extends to Asian foods which have witnessed a dramatic spike in popularity. Foods such as pho, sriracha, momos, and kimbap are increasingly popular amongst millennials and Gen-Z. Through Tik Tok trends and Instagram food influencers, people are widening their palates to Asian cuisine. This can be seen in Tiktoker Emily Mariko’s salmon rice bowl going viral and instantly becoming a culinary trend for both amateurs and professionals in the kitchen.

This cultural change, promoted by the media, has provided a refreshing change in both the entertainment and culinary industries. As more people are exposed to different cultural practices and perspectives, society itself evolves to be more inclusive and cognizant of the world around them.