Fostering a Sense of Conjoint Fate One Teh Tarik at a Time

loading Ooi Kee Beng.

Not many peoples in the world discuss what they want for dinner while eating lunch. Malaysians do, and we like to laugh about that fact – taking it to mean that we are down-to-earth, we are immediate and caring, and we distrust abstract matters. We also greet each other by smilingly asking if we have eaten: “Dah makan tak?” or “Jiak pah aboi?” or “Seik pao mei?” or “Saaptingalaa?”, sometimes rubbing our belly to accentuate the seriousness of the question. And as has been volunteered by many anthropologists, including Distinguished Professor Shamsul Amri Baharuddin of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Institute of Ethnic Studies ...

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