Taste Tour Guides - Lil
Meet Lil / Lead Guide
- Taste of Chinatown (Haymarket)
Lil was born in Sydney to Cantonese Chinese parents who arrived here from Hong Kong in the late 60s and early 70s. Lil grew up a little confused about her cultural identity. She wanted to fit in and felt uncomfortable bringing different food to school and speaking her mother tongue. This drastically changed after she went on a trip to China with her mother and her sister when she was 7. Lil experienced stories and food that made her love her heritage. She now lives in the awesome, tasty, satellite Chinatown suburb of Campsie. She is passionate about people and she loves how language and food are powerful tools of connection. She is fascinated and moved by our country's migration history and feels privileged to be a part of it. Lil started with Taste Tours in 2014, went on maternity leave, and now she is back! You may meet her on our Taste of Chinatown tour in the city.
Why did you decide to join the Taste adventure?
When I heard about the opportunity to become a guide, I thought “Aaah!! I have got to do this.” I love that Taste breaks down boundaries through food and reshapes people's perceptions about South Western Sydney and the people living there.
What skills, knowledge and opportunities has this experience brought you?
So many. I had no idea it would bring together skills and knowledge that I had always wanted to learn or develop. Taste has given me the opportunity to try something new, fun and useful to the community.
What are you enjoying the most about being a tour guide for Taste?
I love meeting people – the guests and the business owners. I love both hearing stories and being able to tell stories. It is thrilling to be out and about, sharing and learning.
How do you think Taste makes a difference (both to the local community and the customers)?
Taste can change an individual's perception of a certain area, cultural or religious group, and that is phenomenal.
What else do you do when you’re not a tour guide?
I am a full-time mother of three. I also study Korean and Chinese and I teach English as a Second Language.
Could we hear one interesting story about you?
When I was a child, my parents would get me to eat Chinese food that I didn't like by telling me that it was something else. For example, cubes of pig's blood were 'chocolate' and different types of dried funghi were 'rubber bands' or 'hair'. It doesn't sound appealing but it worked!
A last word, what are your hopes for the future?
I hope my children grow up to live in a Sydney that is free of prejudice, even more culturally diverse than it is now, and a city that is welcoming and kind to refugees.