Re: [xmca] Allan Luke on Race and Language as Capital -- part 2

From: Ng Foo Keong <lefouque who-is-at>
Date: Sat Nov 29 2008 - 10:37:25 PST

Admittedly, my remark about food was made tongue-in-cheek.
Nevertheless, there is a tinge seriousness in it. Eating is a
social human activity, and delicious food brings people from
different cultures together.

Despite religous restrictions which pose a threat to universal
enjoyment of certain preparations of food, people in Singapore
find creative ways to mimick good dishes from other cultures
and/or explore new versions of traditional foods.

For example, Honey Chicken Pau, an analogue of 'Char Siew Pau'
(Chinese pork buns) is made halal (so Muslims are not alienated),
and non-Muslims can also eat them too.

As another example, Buddhist vegetarian food can be made to look
like and taste like their real-meat counterparts, and everybody
can enjoy Buddhist vegetarian food.

Hindus who do not take beef cook curry mutton. Nothing stops
non-Hindus from eating these too. btw, Mutton Tendon Soup with
French baguette is delicious and spicy, without being too hot.

Durian mooncake is an example of a traditional Chinese food
with a tropical transformation.

Not forgetting Japanese Pizza ....

My point is not that everybody will enjoy every weird combination
of food, but in Singapore, one is spoilt for choice by the
traditional as well as the non-traditional kinds of food. The
food culture here seems to be inclusive and inviting, rather than
exclusive and alienating. The creative evolution of new foods
feeds back into culture and language, enriching them in the process.
Therefore, food can be considered a kind of capital too, in my
humble opinion.

Perhaps someone might want to do a research study on this.
[Sorry, my own hands are full.]

2008/11/28 Mike Cole <>:
> Food and talk must be coordinated in special ways that it seemed to
> difficult
> to discuss in the context. Something about not talking with your mouth full.
> mike
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Received on Sat Nov 29 10:37:54 2008

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