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Could there be a Pandan emoji?

Tags: proseunicodepandanus

When the Flag of Sark emoji became more real, I started thinking about 'actually useful' ways I could contribute to Unicode. One option is adding Myanmar calendar support (after puzzling over bugs for a while, there was a potentially helpful PR in the original repo in January).

Another option would be collaborating with others to add an emoji. There are an awful lot of foods and activities in the emoji list already, and all variants of soup, noodles, dumplings, sandwiches, etc. are close enough to those available.
Curiosity led me to Emojination, which is building a community to compare notes and make quality proposals. Let's start there.

When it comes to Southeast Asia, an obvious missing emoji is the durian. This appears to have been rejected with the decision:

no full, well-formed emoji proposal received, or proposal received after deadline, or proposed emoji not considered distinct enough to recommend

I can only find email threads from 2015 and 2017, and not a written proposal / rendering. It might have been too early for emojis to have a formal written application? I tried asking about what specifically fell through in Emojination Slack, to no avail.
So I think a local artist, business, or museum group could make a credible new pitch for durian? Here's a horrifying suggestion from Google Gemini:

To take things in a fresh direction, I thought of pandan.

"Pandanus" is a giant green fruit which I first tried in the Marshall Islands, and then was surprised to see again in the Maldives, 6700 miles away in another ocean. In Hawaii this is known as the hala fruit. It breaks into distinctive orange drupelets. The tip of the fruit is juicy but also very stringy. Someone told me that people used it as a toothbrush / floss?

The pandanus/hala fruit could be significant on its own, but there is also "pandan", the leaves used for flavor and color in many Asian recipes. Now I should have global support... right?

Some Wikipedia-ing taught me that these are two separate species (Pandanus tectorius and Pandanus amaryllifolius). Same genus, but there are hundreds of species in there. In the Maldives, where people have both, the Dhivehi words don't sound alike. They both have pointy green leaves, but the latter one (used for green color and flavoring) does not have a fruit!! If you Google for 'pandan fruit' you're just seeing other species.

So combining the two into one 'pandan' emoji, as I was working with Gemini on, would be unrealistic. Unless I can partner with people in the Pacific Islands to make a specific 'pandanus' / 'hala fruit' emoji campaign. If this were to continue, I could see reaching out to tropical crop gardens, local history and culture institutions, and even a hala fruit whiskey venture. Get the team together.

Also I acknowledge it will be tough to make a mini emoji of this which doesn't look like the pineapple: 🍍, unless you make a cutaway?

Note that Gemini's cutaway version gets confused and makes it have a pit.