Being Malaysians: Is Food a Reliable Medium to Hold us Together?


Remember in our article published just a few months ago entitled Good Old Days, I brought up the question – “Is food a reliable medium to hold us together?”. If you look at our article timeline, it’s the first article of the series to catapult the rest of the stories about our Malaysian society.

This article is a continuation to the series about our Malaysian society. I see the need to know our social background in order to better understand how the food of each colour contributes to the Malaysian flavours of today. The objective in the entire series is to find the answer to the question above. You’ll understand later why the image below is used for this article.

Image from http://skybluemelleymey.blogspot.com_Mee Mamak

Digging for Answers in the Recipes

Quite frankly, at times I could sense as though I am treading on thin ice when touching on the issues of our society which comprises of an array of colours. Ever wondered why things turned out this way and is there someone taking us for a roller coaster ride?

Every colour is beautiful in their way but it can result in a less desirable outcome if matched inappropriately, while the level of acceptance varies. The key question here is how to get the right mix acceptable by most, isn’t it right? But the reality is, things aren’t as simple as they seem.

That is why all the more we need a platform for us to relate to each other; which may hope to lead us in finding further answers to deeper questions of ourselves, such as “Have we grew up from the 13 May 1969 incident? Are we, a society of many colours, mature enough to embrace the future by letting go this past?”

Living Up as Fresh and Raw Ingredients

Here is a round up of the series regarding our Malaysian society as we explore our social background in a foodie perspective:
Malay Cuisine by Rasa Magazine
Exploring India – Food Trip
An Undiscovered Gourmet World within our Backyard
Exploring China – A Culinary Adventure

New Found Sets of Tableware?

With the influx of immigrants over the years, especially from lesser-developed countries, it is rather natural to witness intermarriages and settling of immigrants generations in this country as they like any other human beings having a sole purpose in life, “cari makan” for survival sake. I do wonder at times on how will be our Malaysians’ culinary scenery be, in the next 20-30 years?

Cooking Style and Method Matters

With the country’s management continuous backing for uneven landscape and colour scheme in the political scene, the future does not look much certain for these immigrants and us, Malaysians.

Misusing the tools of colours and faith to rule in this era seems to be a dangerous ploy, while I can hear the ticking sound of the time-bomb grows louder as the day’s passes. It’s liken as watching a child playing with fire as s/he does not understand the meaning of the word “danger”. Perhaps Danger Mouse can show us. 😉

With this quote in mind “with great power comes great responsibility” (Voltaire), I hope they know what they are doing as the lives of this nation are hanging in the balance.

Viola, a New Dish: The Malaysian Culinary World is Born

To sum up what I’ve mentioned thus far from this article and the previous ones, I would say food is a good representation of a culture.

The way I look at it, if we want food to be a common denominator, we should at least start by getting to know our own fellow Malaysians of the east and vice versa. At least getting our facts right on who we are and what we eat are the most basic level, right?

Hopefully the initiatives to understand the social background of the people within our backyard and their origin will be helpful to enhance our ties together. Perhaps we should re-look into the political scenic with maturity in minds, as our history is carved by it.

This whole breakdown is what makes us a society of who we are today and drawing out the fusion flavours of our Malaysian culture is what we should do. The video below is a good depiction of our Malaysian culture of today. It’s has a flair of comedic twist but the message is meaningful to us, Malaysians.

I know I am rather late to showcase Malaysia Day related stuff in this year-end month but do realize that my intention is just to serve as a reminder to us Malaysians since 2013 is coming to a close.

The video struck me to the core of being a Malaysian and to live in this little world that I care about. It may sound cheesy but I rather see it as a feeling of enjoying a sumptuous meal of comfort food. 🙂

If you’re unfamiliar on how “Mee Mamak” looks like, the image above (at the start of this article) is the dish the chef is talking about in the video you’ve just watched. Also there are a few Malay words that he keeps repeating, “bumiputera” is a Malaysian term to describe the Malay race and other indigenous peoples of Southeast Asia, and used particularly in Malaysia, “dan lain-lain” means etc, “sambal” is chili-based sauce and “pedas” means spicy.

Food Tasting and the Verdict

I have no definite answer to this question, “Is food a reliable medium to hold us together?” as it takes time to determine whether or not food is a reliable medium to hold us together but one thing for sure is that based on the video in the “Good Old Days” article, it showed that all it takes is a good deed to snow ball the spirit of community.

Food can be one of the medium used to bring us together. Relying on food alone to hold us together is not enough but it is a good start to share something in common together.

The Dining Journey Ends

As I dance my way to the last page of this series, just take your time to ponder on what was said. Remember, it’s merely a personal viewpoint and with utter sincerity and respect, the idea of this series has no ill-intent to cause any disharmony to any person, party or entity.

With it, I shall officially close this chapter of the book about Malaysia …… for now.

Sidebar: About our Malaysia Day
Malaysia 50 years since formation
Malaysia Day is just a day… appreciates the passion, generosity and contribution of others in the world of culinary. Therefore we wish to emphasize that many of the contents seen in our articles are sourced from the world wide web for the purpose of creating awareness only. Kudos to those who put so much effort to produce such wonderful contents. Thank you.

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