Dumplings are one of the most universal cross-cultural foods in the world. Poland has pierogi. Nepal has momos. Russia has pelmeni, Japan has gyoza. Italy has ravioli. Georgia has khinkali. Korea has mandoo. Jews have kreplach. Argentina has empanadas, and China has potstickers.
Yet, there is no dumpling emoji.
This despite, there is a pizza emoji, a hamburger emoji and a taco emoji (which Taco Bell likes to take credit for with their change.org petition which got 33,000 signatures).
Emoji are currently controlled by the Unicode Consortium, which only 11 full voting members, each who pay $18,000 a year for the privilege. Eight of the members are U.S. multinational tech companies: Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Yahoo.
The only other three full voting members are the German software company SAP, the Chinese telecom company Huawei and the government of Oman.
And it takes anywhere from 18 months to two years for a single emoji to move through the approval process, as it also needs to receive buy-in from ISO (yet another international standards body).
Unicode is a standards organization. The folks on the committee which oversees emoji are mostly male, mostly American, and overwhelmingly engineers. (The photo I include is the Unicode Technical Committee)
They are not the best folks to determine a rapidly evolving, global, visual language.
Not only are we submitting the process for a dumpling emoji. 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."
Emojination serves as the infrastructure to let normal requests for emoji (like giraffe, or bacon) bubble up. It is the non-engineering part of emoji. It thinks about representation whether it's single-family emoji, transgender emoji, or whatnot.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (January 2016)