Sunday, June 13, 2010

Why Nyonya don’t use chopstick

First of all, I want to said, I am still really confusing about Baba and Nyonya. It really seem to be a dying culture, because of old Nyonya are get old, new Nyonya are not so traditional, and lot question that answer that are still remind unknown.

There are article saying they are mostly Muslim, and some said they are Chinese beliefs. And even news about are they Muslim or non-muslim. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/1/24/nation/13197630&sec=nation But this is not what I am interesting in, the thing that I really fell interesting is how they having meal.

The Baba are male that come from China that use chopstick all the time and Nyonya are local Malays that use right hand when they are having meal. Chinese man that time should be the most powerful person in the family that controls almost everything. Why it end up using right hand? All their tableware seems to be so Chinese but there is one thing that is missing from all the tableware, the chopstick. Where are the chopsticks? Do I ask the tour guide, she explain that the Nyonya cook some spice food and it seems fun to have meal with hand, so end up Baba use hand to eat the food. I feel like is a answer but not really enough to explain why, so I do some research and come out with some reason.

Reason 1:

Woman cook while man work outside.

Most Nyonya are good at cooking because they stay at home making meal and kuih. Kitchen is control by woman, and like tour guide said, their food are mostly Malay style, so it’s kind of feel better to taste it using their way.

Reason 2:

Woman take care of child

Since Nyonya get married when they while quite young, they usually have lot of kids. Who take care of them? The wife for sure. They teach them to speak, teach them manner, and also how to eat. Children have been taught using hand to have meal, so they give up the use of chopstick.

Reason 3:

It tastes better?

I meet a Baba when we buy some traditional kuih alone the street of Malacca. He is the seller of the kuih stand. I ask he do he use chopstick normally, and he answer he use fork and spoon. It just tastes better. So I ask again, do he use hand to have meal, he said his father used to use hand in the past. I think is like Malay, some of them are also using fork and spoon nowadays.

Reason 4:

Maximize (放大化)

This is also the reason that kills this culture, maximize. People love to maximize things. Nyonya might use hand to eat, it shows the mixture between Malay and Chinese, but do every Nyonya use hand to eat? It is really hard to find it, everyone is saying that Nyonya use hand to eat, then end up, every Nyonya use hand to eat. What about the rest that use chopstick. It is not only about chopstick. This maximize make Nyonya not so Nyonya. This is killing traditional culture.

There is a funny facts that all the tableware that been show in the museum, there are only bowl for soup but no bowl for rice, because they use plate and hand to have meal.

So this is what I want to share. Thank for reading.

27 comments:

  1. Pen and ink is wits plough. .................................................................                           

    ReplyDelete
  2. 如此動感的blog!!!.................................................................                           

    ReplyDelete
  3. 偶爾上來逛逛,下次不知是否還有緣再進來,先祝您平安順利!!!............................................................

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  4. 愛,拆開來是心和受兩個字。用心去接受對方的一切,用心去愛對方的所有。......................................................................

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  5. 在莫非定律中有項笨蛋定律:「一個組織中的笨蛋,恆大於等於三分之二。」..................................................

    ReplyDelete