A sad comment on intercultural understanding

You’ve heard of a storm in a teacup, I’m sure. Now listen to this tale of a spoon and fork — that has generated international repercussions.

Filipinos traditionally eat their meals with a spoon and a fork and seven year old Luc Cagadoc is no exception, But his teacher at a Montreal school is and in an extraordinary display of stupidity told the boy he shouldn’t use a spoon and fork

According to Luc, she said he was disgusting, a pig, and a clown for eating that way. Luc says he was punished and moved to another table away from his friends.
His mother said she tried to get help from the school principal, but was told Luc should adjust to the Canadian way of eating. “‘Every time your son eats like a pig, he’ll be disciplined” he said

The protest spread from Filipino Canadians in Montréal to communities across Canada and even to the Philippines, where the culturally insensitive act of one person has besmirched Canada’s name. There have even been demonstrations outside the Canadian Embassy in Manila.

4 Responses to “A sad comment on intercultural understanding”

  1. Ace Alvarez Says:

    Dear Ben:

    With your commentary on the recent “spoon and fork” issue at a Quebec school, you have once again “championed” diversity in Canada.

    On behalf of myself and all Filipinos, I thank you so much for standing to what Canada stands for: everyone’s right to one’s culture.

    – Ace Alvarez, a Canadian from the Philippines

  2. Romy Zetazate Says:


    Thank you for your comment on the “fork and spoon issue.”

    Canada is a multi-cultural country. You are right that everyone should respect the individuals upbringing and culture,

    What is sad to note is that what one person’s wrongdoing is absorbed by the others.

    A Filipino-Canadian

  3. bill Says:

    Here’s a case of a student giving much-needed education to an ignorant school teacher and prinicipal.

  4. Ben Says:

    As an Italian Canadian, I wish to make a comment on the use of spoon and fork. Italian pride demands that in eating long pasta we use only the fork and out twirling power. However, we are llberal in the granting the use of fork plus spoon by others without brandig them pigs — or philistines. . What matters it that the world comes to enjoy and apprecate pasta, Italy’s national dish which has now becom]e international.

    Pasquale Mangiaore