My technological artifact is an electric rice cooker. One might think that this is a stereotypical device for an asian to choose. However, there are deep cultural and personal implications when it comes to a rice cooker. To start, a rice cooker is an essential part of my childhood and current life. Every Filipino dish is eaten with rice which shows how much I consumed rice on a daily basis. My family would not always eat filipino dishes, but no matter what, rice would be incorporated. Although this technology is an appliance, it still has had a significant impact on who I am.
This artifact can also represent how this generation overlooks their cultural roots. I did not grow up with filipino friends. None of my friends owned rice cookers, and never ate as much rice as I did. Whenever my friends would cook rice, they would either use the stove or buy a microwave packet. On the other hand, sometimes even Asian Americans can forget or do not acknowledge their culture. We can often overlook how our food represents us as a culture.
The MAL’s mission is to preserve technological devices from the past to showcase and access these resources. Through seeing the past, one could understand how present technology came to be. My artifact relates to their mission because I believe that a rice cooker can tell a story through its usage, size, and who is using it. Some families even pass on their rice cookers, which is a preservation of history in and of itself. Furthermore, like any technological device, the rice cooker has changed and developed overtime; it is interesting and relevant to see how rice cookers functioned in older models.
To summarize, I chose the rice cooker to represent my culture as well as this generation’s dismissal of the importance of a rice cooker. Even something as simple as a kitchen appliance can have a significant meaning.