The Similarities Between "Baking Cakes in Kigali" and "Kim's Convenience" (Post-Colonialism)

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The Similarities Between "Baking Cakes in Kigali" and "Kim's Convenience" (Post-Colonialism) von Mind Map: The Similarities Between "Baking Cakes in Kigali"  and "Kim's Convenience" (Post-Colonialism)

1. Family

1.1. Angel builds a sense of community despite the fact that many people are from a different ethnic background.

1.1.1. She provides a safe space for her customers to talk about their concerns

1.1.2. Angel helps other community members to connect and build relationships

1.1.3. The catalysis within the community does not deter the citizens from forming relationships.

1.2. Angel loses her children and this causes her relationship with Pius (her husband) to become strained

1.3. Appa wants his children to have a successful career; one that he couldn't fulfill as a Korean immigrant in Canada.

1.4. Appa and Umma left South Korea and immigrated to Canada i hopes that their children will have a good future.

2. Hopes and Dreams

2.1. Appa wanted his "legacy" to live on

2.1.1. Appa; "I am talking take over store. Make Kim's Convenience Dynasty" (Choi 26) Appa's original career was a history teacher in Korea, why does he want to be known as the town convenience center's owner? It is not a glorifying title yet he wants to keep the business in the family.

2.2. Angel wanted to rebuild her previous life in Tanzania as a successful baker

2.3. You Appa was teacher in Korea. He was very good teacher. Student all love him. He have lots of friend. We have very good life in Korea. Then we come to Canada ... and he work every day ... Why? For you and Janet. (Choi 64)

2.3.1. Due to the fact that they are immigrants with limited vocabulary, Umma and Appa are unable to reach their full potential. The alienation they face is obviously a result of cultural differences, language barriers, and the lack of a large community they can be comfortably a part of. "Seen? Sorry, I don't - I can't catch fast what you talking. ... I can't catch hearing you speak mouth too fast." "What ya talking about?" (Choi 27)

2.4. Angel hopes that something like the Rwandan genocide will never happen again anywhere in the world.

2.4.1. Pius commenting on the book at a memorial for all the victims of the genocide; "... and if those words [never again] meant anything then [when the death camps were closed] there would not be places like the one we've just been to today, with books where people can write "never again" all over again” (Parkin 65)

3. Gender Roles and Feminism

3.1. Stereotypically gendered roles/archetypes are obvious through "Baking Cakes in Kigali"

3.1.1. The roles of the landlord, carpenter, fixer, etc. are all stereotypically male roles and it is obvious thoughout "Baking Cakes in Kigali"

3.1.2. Angel fits the stereotype of a woman She has a mother's responsibility and pressures. She must teach her granddaughter and other women about sex education

3.1.3. There are sterotypical family roles as well; Pius is the breadwinner despite the fact that Angel has a successful specialty cake business Angel is a warm and embracing woman, while Pius has difficulty showing emotions. Leocadie is a single mother but she wants to find and marry her son's father. She portrays the weak woman who is dependent on a man to provide for her family

3.1.4. The aid workers providing training follow the trope as well. "... we’re training sex workers to do sewing, then they can earn money from sewing instead of from sex” (Parkin 50)

3.2. "Kim's Convenience" is set in the past as well; the gendered roles exist in this text as well

3.2.1. Appa is the business owner who is in charge of everything involving the store. Umma is a passive character who does not appear much. Umma's rare visits show that she is not a prominent contributor in the store's happenings.

3.2.2. Appa has expectations for Jung to be the breadwinner for his new family as well. Despite Jung's admittance of his unhappiness, Appa offers wisdom that that is what parents do

4. Relationships

4.1. Appa and Janet have a strange relationship; their bickerings can often seem offensive but

4.1.1. "I love you too, Appa, and see. no one's twisting my arm to say it.: (Choi 80)

4.2. Angel and Pius's marriage is strained because of children's death

4.2.1. Just like how Angel helps the people around her, she receives the same treatment and it able to come to terms with her children's deaths. She is eventually able to reconcile her marriage

4.2.2. Their children died as a result of the war/genocide. Daughter died due to HIV positive test results, son died in the genocide. The family is ripped apart and Angel is left to replace the motherly role with her grandchildren.

4.3. Angel's relationship with the community as a whole; she takes on the motherly figure and is considered to be a solid pillar for many people to depend on.

4.4. Jung's role model was always Appa every since he was a child. When Jung hit what he thought to be rock-bottom, he returned to the convenience store in desperate need for some guidance.

4.5. Jung and Appa's last encounter resulted in Jung's departure that lasted years. He only kept in touch with Umma at church. He returns home to notify Appa's new status as a "halabujee" (grandfather in Korean)

4.5.1. "Jung said Appa was a horrible husband, that he was treating my mom like a slave. And Appa hit him. Hard. Jung was hospitalized for a few days. After he was released, everything seemed to be back to normal. Then, one day. my dad went to get the money from the safe and it was empty. So was Jung's room." (Choi 45) Janet states that everthing seemed to be back to normal; this fact alone is obvious that Jung was dissociating himself with what happened. Both father and son pretended that nothing happened and buried it deep within themselves. Jung's heartbreak and sense of betrayal from Appa's treatment resulted in him wanting to escape his entire family. How did Appa treat Umma in the past to provoke Jung to say such things? It seems as though Appa and Umma's marriage is not strained, was it really as bad as Jung depicted it to be?

5. Identity

5.1. Janet wants to pursue photography as a career and her photography degree from OCAD shows her long-lived passion for it.

5.1.1. "I'm a photographer, Appa, This is what I've chosen to do ... I don't want to take over the store" (Choi 26)

5.2. Angel loses her title as a "mother" after the loss of her children

5.2.1. She is mostly known as the town baker, Pius's wife, Grace's grandmother, or the community's motherly figure.

5.3. Despite immigrating and being able to adapt to new conditions, the cultural differences are difficult to absorb.

5.3.1. Angel is unable to see the differences in preferences, most notably in cake. The mimicry that usually occurs for immigrants is not very strong; despite accepting other languages, Angel is obviously a foreigner in some aspects. "She filled the sink with warm soapy water, thinking as she did so about the deeply disappointing cake that she would have to bake for the Ambassador's wife ... Mrs. Wanyika could have ordered a beautiful cake with an intricate design or an original shape and lots of colours. ... " (Parkin 18-19)

5.3.2. Being Korean, Appa and Umma have prejudices that are not acceptable in Canada. "He is black guy, jean [wearing a] jacket. That combo is steal combo." (Choi 29)

6. Immigration

6.1. The migrants of Rwanda face diaspora due to the genocide that they escaped from

6.1.1. "Now we are all Bangarwanda" Pius speaking about the ethnical mix of people living in the compound. (Parkin 104) The Creolization of the migrants is a positive one because everyone supports and respects each other. The community members know that everyone in the compound is there because they need help, or are providing help.

6.1.2. The aid workers and migrants work in ambivalence; everyone is treated with respect but the Wzungu are exploited because they are thought to be wealthy.

6.2. Due to the fact that Angel herself is a foreigner as well, many of her customers and compound neighbors are able to open up to her about their personal troubles.

6.2.1. Most of them stem from the Rwandan genocide as well and Angel is able to connect and offer support because she has experienced personal loss as well; the death of her son and suicide of her daughter

6.3. Similar to immigrants chasing the "American Dream," Appa and Umma were chasing a similar goal.

6.3.1. "Me and Umma struggle whole life [to] make life for you. We do what we have to do, hope you can be doctor, lawyer, big success, but what you do? Take picture. We don't leave to come to Canada for you take picture." (Choi 53)

7. Stereotypes

7.1. The locals of Kigali, Rwanda believe that the Wzungu (white people) are able to provide aid because of their high salary.

7.1.1. The stereotype that all Wzungu are wealthy results in ambivalence; the landlord charges the tenants in bias depending on their ethnic background. Prosper and landlord, and Angel regarding the higher rent fee of the volunteers; “Madame, of course they must pay more! … because, Madame, they are Wazungu.” “No, Prosper. They are volunteers! … Those girls look like Wazungu, Prosper, but they are not.” “ … I did not know, Madame. I thought they were Wazungu” (Parkin 43-44)

7.2. Captain Calixte wants to marry a white woman so that he can obtain a visa through their marriage and leave the country.

7.2.1. He has a distorted view on what is an expectation for marriage. Due to the fact that he is in a developing country, his values and beliefs are very different from those he is trying to win over.

7.3. Appa is extremely racist and stereotypes people based on their visible ethnicity.

7.3.1. "He is black guy, jean [wearing a] jacket. That combo is steal combo." (Choi 29) Koreans are very blunt about their concerns and Appa is no different. He believes the stereotype and finds himself in a possibly dangerous situation to teach both the thieving customer and Janet a lesson

7.3.2. Due to Japan's colonial history with Korea, Appa despises the Japanese with a passion Janet reprimanding Appa on calling the cops about a Honda parked in an illegal space in front of the store. Appa does not call the police if there are non-Japanese cars in front. "How many times do I have to tell you, Appa, Japanese people aren't the only ones driving Japanese cars" (Choi 14)

7.4. The Asian stereotype of being model citizens of high stature is an expectation for parents as well

8. Appa is the bread winner for the family with the family's business.

9. Culture

9.1. Appa is a proud Korean and his background as a history teacher is obvious in his patriotism

9.1.1. Appa's way of bonding with Jung was to teach about memorable Korean events. Despite not seeing each other for years, when Jung returns, they continue their tradition and quickly reconcile "I let you run store all by you sell because you pass my test." "Right. Your Korean history test." "My proud moment Korea history test." (Choi 83) Why do Appa and Jung forgive each other so quickly? There must be lingering regrets and grudges, especially when they did not talk about anything either.

9.2. Angel's Tanzanian background compels her to see colours as exciting, and white as plain and boring.

9.2.1. Angel's id compels her to desire colour despite what the customers want. Although she know that the cake will be beautiful, she thinks that she can do better and the cake will not be a perfect representation of her skills. Her superego rationalizes that in order to keep her customers happy, she must put aside her own preferences in order to maximize business.

9.3. Safiya's cutting [female genital mutiliation], in Baking Cakes in Kigali, is a celebrated event. Due to the cultural differences, despite the fact that it is an extremely dangerous practice, it is seen as part of the norm of this society.

9.4. Captain Calixte thinks that his certificate stating his HIV negative health certificate is enough to have a white woman to marry him

9.4.1. The fact that this is not even second guessed by him shows the cultural differences between the two people. The expectation standards are extremely different.

10. Compared to Canadian born Jung who grew up with Canadian values and beliefs, Appa's own upbringing led to Jung's harsh punishment.

10.1. As a result of this culture difference, it was harder for Jung to accept the reality of what happened and why he was punished. While he planned his escape plan, Jung was emotionally disconnected in order to properly deal with it at another time.

11. Appa and Angel both have successful businesses. However their spouses are opposite ends of the spectrum; Umma is a quiet house wife while Pius works.

11.1. Could it be that Umma and Angel, and Appa and Pius are more similar as a result of their gender?