Food Fight! Cross-cultural Conflict in a Polish Blogger’s Post about Filipino Food

Abstract

Agness Walewinder, a Polish travel blogger, detailed her unpleasant experience in the Philippines and vowed that she “would rather go hungry that eat Filipino food again”. Her diary entry went viral on social media, infuriating Filipinos who criticized her poor research skills and bad restaurant choices.
This study analyzed 247 blog comments from the controversial blog entry, using concepts in Face Negotiation as an explanatory framework. The analysis underscored the differences between the individualistic tendencies of Western countries and the collective outlook of Asian countries. It found that the new media domain provided an equalizing environment where facework interaction strategies are more fluid, and the use of emoticons and text-based arguments compensate for the lack of non-verbal cues. The investigation of blogs and other cultural products of new media opens up a new understanding of how people from different cultures “save face”, communicate and manage conflict in an intercultural setting.