The World May Soon Get a Dumpling Emoji
Remember all the agitation and excitement about the taco emoji? Now it’s the humble dumpling’s turn.
The Dumpling Emoji Project is an effort — launched by New York Times writer Jennifer 8. Lee and designer Yiying Lu — to celebrate what its founders have deemed a “seemingly universal food, popular throughout the world’s cultures.”
“Poland has pierogi. Nepal has momos. Russia has pelmeni. Japan has gyoza. Italy has ravioli. Georgia has khinkali. Korea has mandoo. Argentina has empanadas. Jews have kreplach. China has potstickers,” the Project’s official website notes. “Yet there is no dumpling emoji ... What gives?”
Lee and Lu have launched a full-on push to right this wrong, starting with a Kickstarter page that has attracted 318 supporters and raised $12,478. (They offered as rewards lots of great dumpling swag —cookbooks, tote bags, T-shirts and more.)
Presumably with the help of that backing (there was also a Change.org petition), the two were able to present their plea to the committee that oversees the official sanctioning of emoji, the Unicode Technical Committee, and they have just announced that the committee has accepted as candidates for emoji not only the dumpling, but also the fortune cookie, the chopsticks and the takeout box. It’s expected that all four will be made available as part of the Unicode 10 release in 2017.
However, like its delicious namesake food, the Dumpling Emoji Project had a hidden meaty center: the goal of opening up the emoji approval process to a larger audience, of making it more democratic.
“While we are pushing for inclusion of a dumpling emoji, we are also hoping that our campaign shines a light on the little-understood, undemocratic approval process for emojis,” the founders have written. “We are creating an organization to give a voice to the people about emojis: Emojination. Our motto is, ‘Emoji by the people, for the people.’"
The people have spoken. The dumpling will have its day and its emoji likeness. Can a soy sauce emoji be far behind?