Dumplings are a seemingly universal food, taking various forms 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 U.S. has Hot Pockets.
There is a pizza emoji, a hamburder emoji and a taco emoji. There is also a range of emojis of Japanese foods including sushi, fish cake, rice ball and dango. But there is no dumpling emoji.
There should be a dumpling emoji.
But how do we make that happen? The Dumpling Emoji Project has done the research, and is taking the steps to not only bring the dumpling emoji to life but also pave the way for a more inclusive catalog of emojis.
Watch this video for more information:
How are emojis determined? How do they end up on your smartphone's keyboard? It doesn't just happen. There is a process. The emoji is voted upon, approved and standardized by the Unicode Consortium, a body mostly made up of multinational corporations who each pay $18,000 a year for the privilege.
The full voting members are: Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, the German software company SAP, the Chinese telecom company Huawei and the government of Oman.
The folks on the committee which oversees emoji are mostly male, mostly American, and overwhelmingly engineers. And it takes anywhere from 18 months to two years for a single emoji to move through the approval process. Isn't there a better way? There's got to be a way to make emojis more accessible for regular folks.
We need a dumpling emoji. Better yet, we need better emoji policy.
Here's where this Kickstarter is trying to open things up for everybody and their emoji:
Emoji By The People, For The People
We want to open up the discussion of emoji policy and what it should look like going forward. We are forming a grassroots organization called Emojination to give voice to regular folks on issues of emoji.
Our motto is "Emoji by the people, for the people."
And you can join us! Anyone can be involved.
We're submitting our dumpling emoji proposal to right the dumpling disparity. But our bigger goal is to raise enough for our group to join Unicode as an official non-voting associate member (the same level as Twitter).
This costs $2,500 a year, which is why we set our goal at $4,000 (net of reward costs). Once we raise that, we could possibly choose annual membership with gives us half a vote on the technical committee that oversees emoji (which costs $7,500 for non-profits). The more money we raise for Emojination, the more years of membership we can secure for the future.
We want to create a system where popular emoji requests (#emojirequest) can systematically bubble up, and be transformed into proper proposals for the Unicode Consortium.
This isn't just about dumplings. We want to bring giraffes, the Nazar, and other in-demand emoji into the world in a diverse, inclusive way.
But we need your help to make it happen.
Join us to helping determine the future of emoji.
Clearly, this isn't just about a dumpling emoji (although that would be great). It's about creating a system where the creation and implementation of this increasingly important, rapidly evolving and widespread visual language, is more accessible to regular folks. (And we get our dumpling emoji in the process.)
The Kickstarter is raising the cost for Emojination to join Unicode as an official member, getting a seat at the emoji table. Having already raised well over their initial goal, additional funds will go towards securing more years of membership. Together, we can all get that dumpling emoji and so much more.
For further information about this movement and how you can help shape the future of emoji, visit The Dumpling Emoji Project. To pitch in, visit Emojination's Kickstarter, where you can share in the dumpling love, pledge to the cause and get rewarded with al sorts of dumpling-related schwag.