Accepting the challenge of rethinking connections of food, space, and identity within everyday spaces of public eating in Malaysia and Singapore, Jean Duruz and Gaik Cheng Khoo enter street stalls, hawker centers, markets, cafes, restaurants, food streets, and ethnic neighborhoods to offer a broader picture of the meaning of eating in public places. This book creates a strong sense of the ways different people live, eat, work, and relax together, and it also traces negotiations and accommodations in these dynamics. Ultimately, the book traces the political tensions of different people living together, and the search for home and identity in a world on the move. Simply put, Eating Together is about understanding complex forms of multiculturalism in Malaysia and Singapore through the mind, tongue, nose, and eyes.
Richly imagined and analyzed, Jean Duruz and Gaik Cheng Khoo explore what public eating spaces can tell us about contemporary nostalgia, cosmopolitanism, and localism. Eating Together takes us into the heart of the tastes, smells, sounds, and sights of public commonality in Singapore and Malaysia.
-- David Sutton, Southern Illinois University
This book is a testament to the possibility of bringing together rich, sensuous writing with a sensible politics of eating-together-in-difference that avoids the dual traps of easy sentimentalism about palatal multiculturalism and cynicism about cross-cultural exchanges. That is a remarkable achievement that opens many sensory, ethical, and critical possibilities.
-- Krishnendu Ray, associate professor; chair, Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, New York University
This book astutely maps the ways in which the rich sedimentation of local culinary habits modify commodified globalization.
-- Sneja Gunew, FRSC, Professor of English and Women's and Gender Studies
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