Food is undoubtedly an important aspect in Singapore. From the many hawker centres we have to the high-end restaurants, the Singaporean tastebud has definitely acquired the ability to source out good food wherever it is. We see this from long queues at more famous stalls and learn that many people are willing to travel across the island just to get the tau huay in Geylang, chai tao kuay in Ghim Moh or the wonderful dim sum at Red Star Restaurant located at Chin Swee Road.
If it's anything in this multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious society that we have come to notice, it is that we are the classic example of cultural diffusion. While the main aim of cultural diffusion stems from the want of capital gains, it has brought more colour and added variety to the Singapore landscape that all Singaporeans are far too familiar with. Some may say that our landscape lacks iconicity such that we ought to be known as Singabore rather than Singapore, but if we take a look at our food culture, we know that boring is really far from reality.
The Singaporean food culture speaks of a fusion of cultures from all over the world. From Malay food to Japanese cuisine, Western fast food joints to the typical Chinese restaurants, we have a good mix of delicaices to pick from. This array of choices is representative of cultural diffusion in the local context. Alongside globalization came the entry of different cultures into this small island so it comes as no surprise that in one way or another, we begin emulating certain cultures while ethnocentrism helps us in defining what cultures we do not want. And so, we have decided to take a deeper look at the local food culture and seek to understand why things are the way they are- things we do not usually try to comprehend on an ordinary basis.
Take for example the myth that dinner time is the meal of the day that we associate with socialising, and less so for all other meals. Also, we will take a look at why meal times are events that promote socialising more than other activities like going to the movies or shopping. Our choices of food also reflects our lifestyle and more insights will be given pertaining this issue as well. What we realised is that Singaporeans love their food and appreciate it despite not knowing the many reasons for why our culture is as such. This idea is linked to a sense of place. Subsequently, we will also be looking at hawker centres as a case study, as well as how media affects food culture. (Links are available in the sidebar under "Content".)
-a mix of ingredients and representative of the Singapore food scene with a mix of foods from all cultures.