The sweet taste of freedom inside a simple slice of pizza

A TIKTOK video uploaded by Aizat Zainal Abidin Asri showing his varsity mate from China, Serena Zhou Yu Zi shedding tears after sampling pizza for the very first time has gone viral with over half a million views.

Both are post-graduate students at Universiti Pendidikan Idris in Tanjung Malim, Perak. Aizat is pursuing a master’s degree in sports coaching at UPSI, while Serena is pursuing a doctorate degree (PhD) in human resource management.

Aizat stated that he had invited Serena to join him in the pizza meal while doing laundry and was surprised at her reaction. He explained that Serena had a very strict upbringing whereby her parents forbade her from consuming western cuisine of any kind. He noted that their diet was very traditional and hence Serena’s emotional response to biting into a slice of pizza for the very first time.

@coachaizatBersyukur dengan apa yang ada. Benda remeh bagi kita mungkin istimewa bagi seseorang

♬ Sad violin – Katsuyuki Takahashi

The video has attracted a wide variety of comments, with some cynical netizens even suggesting it was staged just for it to go viral. However, many netizens agreed with the poster’s sentiments when he captioned the video by stating: “Be grateful for what you have. Trivial things for us may be special to someone else.”

A number of netizens also related by sharing their own experiences of only trying out simple treats like KFC much later in life or only on special occasions.

User known as gunner said, “Just like me, only got to try KFC when aged 20+. Only could afford to buy after started working.”

User @aisya echoed this sentiment by saying: “Only those who have gone through hardships can feel this way.”

Aizat, however, was keen to emphasise that Serena did not come from a deprived background but rather that her parents were very traditional in their ways. Western foods, especially fast food, were definitely non-starters.

Therein lies the crux of the issue. For Serena, biting into a pizza for the first time represented the taste of liberty and freedom. Now, those are things that many Malaysians take for granted and would do well to appreciate and preserve.

A good starting point would be to tell those who wish to dictate personal choices to stick it in a pizza box.

Freedom—it’s finger-licking good. – Nov 17, 2023


Main photo credit: Harian Metro

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