Eating Together: Food, Space, and Identity in Malaysia and by Jean Duruz

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By Jean Duruz

Accepting the problem of rethinking connections of meals, house and identification inside daily areas of “public” consuming in Malaysia and Singapore, the authors input road stalls, hawker facilities, markets, cafes, eating places, “food streets,” and “ethnic” neighborhoods to provide a broader photo of the which means of consuming in public areas. The ebook creates a robust experience of the methods diverse humans dwell, devour, paintings, and chill out jointly, and lines negotiations and lodgings in those dynamics. The motif of rojak (Malay, that means “mixture”), including Ien Ang’s evocative “together-in-difference,” permits the research to maneuver past the immediacy of road consuming with its moments of trade and remembering. eventually, the e-book strains the political tensions of “different” humans dwelling jointly, and the quest for domestic and id in a global at the circulate. all of the chapters designates a special area for exploring those cultures of “mixedness” and their contradictions—whether those contain “old” and “new” kinds of sociality, struggles over meanings of position, or frissons of delight and threat in consuming “differently.” easily positioned, Eating Together is set figuring out advanced types of multiculturalism in Malaysia and Singapore in the course of the brain, tongue, nostril, and eyes.

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Not only our earlier example of Old Town Ipoh but also chains like Ya Kun Kaya Toast and Killiney Kopitiam embody this shift, as they battle to wrest a share of the market from American coffee chains like Starbucks and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (see chapter 2). Yet, more than simply presenting an ensemble of familiar tastes, these local food spaces represent a density of social practices, based on nostalgia, memory, movements 16 INTRODUCTION across the globe, and layers of cultural meaning—from the past, in the present.

In order to elaborate on this argument, we have found that Bliss Cua Lim’s Translating Time: Cinema, the Fantastic, and Temporal Critique is helpful. Lim’s arguments readily capture a sense of time’s mobility, multidimensionality, and capacity to haunt. Drawing on Bergson, Chakrabarty, and Fabian to develop a critique of the assumption of time as linear, homogeneous, and empty, Lim searches Filipino films for ghosts—heterogeneous temporalities where the past and present intermingle, and where “ghostly” time is not considered anachronistic.

Meanwhile Jean, as an Anglo-Celtic Australian, had her curiosity aroused by the popularity of the Peranakan dish laksa in her hometown of Adelaide, Australia. Mapping the movements of laksa from Kedah, Malaysia, and Singapore to Adelaide, Jean then followed the laksa trail back to Singapore to its hawker centers and to the neighborhood of Katong, the ancestral home of Singapore’s Peranakan communities. 53 In our book’s first five chapters, these are the literal spaces that we embrace: the kopitiam, the mamak stall, the hawker center, the “yuppie” coffee shop, and the “mixed” ethnic neighborhood.

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