Blog visitor Shila Kaur introduces the slow food moment in Penang to us:
I think Datuk Anwar (Fazal) has written a beautiful essay on an aspect of Penang’s rich cultural heritage – its foods – street and otherwise – and the contributions of its residents, local and immigrant, to this richness.
I think we must not and cannot deny the multiple roles that recent migrants play in the economic and social fabric of Penang and that their contributions have been immense.
After all many of us ‘locals’ are decendents of migrants…. and Penang’s geography, history and rich social fabric draws the best. It is the immigrant who contributed to the richness of our cuisine, be it street food or otherwise through the marrying of cultural taste and food practices.
There is no other place like Penang anywhere in the world and we have alot to be proud of. Let us continue to create and preserve this precious space that is Penang – that still allows for freedom of expression – through our street-artisanal markets, our civil society organizations and personal activism.
Some Penangites are already celebrating our food heritage through the Slow Food Movement, a global movement that honours traditional food practices and ecologically sustainable food production, a counter to fast food which is destroying cultural diversity and promoting food homogeneity.
Slow Food@Penang aims to preserve our local food heritage, provide a space – an oasis for fooders to meet, discuss and celebrate local foods and to represent Penang at global events through the showcasing of food preparation practices that honours this heritage and promotes its rich food culture.
We also aim to make Slow Food@Penang a truly vibrant movement, by being as inclusive as possible – by respecting the contributions of the immigrant – past and recent – in making Penang’s food culture what it is. (By the way Datuk Anwar is a founding member of Slow Food@Penang.)