Check Retail Stores' phone number. Wish List Welcome! Sign in New customer? Start here. View Cart 0 Your Shopping Cart is empty. If you already have an account, sign in. Where the heart is: cinema and civic life in Singapore more. Where the Heart is: cinema and civic life in Singapore more. The Politics of Reformasi: independent filmmakers re-imagine citizenship in Malaysian Gods and Project 15Malaysia more. Imagining hybrid cosmopolitan Malaysia through Chinese kung fu comedies: Nasi Lemak 2.
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Tumbuh dan hidupkan berbagai festival,pelihara sinematek agar bangsa ini tidak kehilangan sejarah peradabannya. Buku ini membantu utk mengetahui keberadaan film indonesia sekarang. Different actors "speak" in different mediums - from legislation, reports, speeches, photographs, magazine articles, and awards - but these varied forms can work in tandem. If we think of these disparate sources not as lone acts of communication but as forms of culinary infrastructure, we can see how ideas about hawkers have fared, as well as served ideological, economic, and nationalist functions.
For Pilcher , culinary infrastructure includes both material components traditional infrastructure like roads, ports, and technologies and embodied expressions of knowledge recipes, cooking practices, health regulations and extends to "knowledge infrastructure of media and social networks that create and transfer cultural meanings about food" p. As I have argued elsewhere Tarulevicz, , p. Thinking about both popular and official hawker knowledge usefully illustrates how they are formed, and highlights some of the cultural work they do.
The figure of the hawkerpreneur provides us with a pertinent example of the extension of culinary infrastructure into the realm of ideology. Singapore is a small, densely populated island nation connected by a causeway to Johore in Malaysia. The population of five million, including transient foreign workers, occupies just km2 mi2. Singapore is multi-religious and multiracial; a Chinese majority 76 percent coexists with Malay 15 percent , Indian 8 percent , and in the words of the state, "Other" 1 percent minority communities.
Identity is further complicated by categories, such as Peranakan and Eurasian. Since official designations of race have been determined by state categories used in the National Registration Identity Cards, regardless of lived experience Velayutham, Those complex networks also created flows in labor and demand for cheap food to feed workers, many of whom had no access to cooking facilities, or to the labor of family members to cook for them. That demand was met by hawkers, itinerant street vendors selling simple meals, cooked and uncooked foods, snacks, and beverages Warren, Hawkers and hawker food, played a critical role in building the economy of Singapore.
While celebrated today in contemporary Singapore as preserving a national cuisine and culture, hawkers have undergone multiple reinventions and have been viewed historically as both a necessity and a problem. Both a necessity and a nuisance, hawkers were an unruly industry to administer, unclean, and perceived to be prone to breaking regulations in pursuit of profit. The first attempts at regulating street food had limited success, and the period Hawker 1. Hawkers produced waste and were classed by their occupation. As the psychoanalyst Dominique Laporte notes, waste must be regulated for fear of disease and social contamination.
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Public health and attempts at regulation of bodies and spaces has long been central to the colonial project. Singapore, an important free port, was a transit zone. Hawkers, moving through these transient populations, were at the center of anxiety about the spread of disease. As a port city, Singapore was particularly vulnerable. It was not just a node in an imperial network; it was part of other networks, including important religious and cultural flows in the Indian Ocean.
For Willis , the management of bodies during the Hajj highlights the deep connection between control of bodies and colonialism. Travel from Southeast Asia to Mecca during the Hajj posed, as Tagliacozzo notes, specific public health concerns. For colonial officialdom, street food hawkers, connected to these varied nodes, were a discursive problem of disorder and dirt. For Chakrabarty , discourse about public health and hygiene is connected to modernity because "it is the language not only of imperialist officials but of modernist nationalists as well" p.
In Singapore, both colonial and postcolonial officials have used regulations about public health and hygiene as a way of bringing order to disorder.
The regulation of hawkers can be understood as part of broader attempts of ordering and cleaning the city and the citizenry. A range of private and mercantile groups, acting in tandem with these public interests, were looking to shape street food in various ways. In October , a riot involving hawkers, particularly cooked-food vendors, broke out in Singapore.
The police had been officiously enforcing regulations, introduced in , intended to improve sanitary conditions and the flow of traffic by preventing congregation of hawkers and spontaneous night-markets. Snowden, expressed his opinion "that the police did oppress these hawkers" Colonial Office, , p. In his report, Mr.
Irving, Assistant Colonial Secretary, described the notice issued by the Inspector General in English and Chinese, and distributed by Chinese constables :. Notice is hereby given that it is not the intention of the Government to interfere with people selling things in the street except with reference to men setting up stalls in the public thoroughfares and causing obstruction. If any considers that he has been ill-treated by the Police, and will lay the complaint before the Inspector General the matter will be enquired into.
Colonial Office, , p. Significant here is the use of the phrase "the Government. Specifically questioned on this issue, Irving was at pains to clarify that his actions, including supporting the issuing of the notice and calling out the military, were "on the part of the Executive, as a representative of the Executive, at the request of the Inspector General, and on the advice of the other Officers of the Government" Colonial Office, , p.
The riot was thus considered as a matter of colonial government concern, as opposed to a local police matter. How hawking was central to the riot is less clear. As historian Melissa Macauley has shown, the riots were connected with rural pacification in China. Chinese witnesses to the riot testified that events in Chaozhou underpinned the riot.
Chinese merchants "insisted that the hawkers themselves had played little role in the violence, and that most of the rioters had been samsengs fighting men not hawkers who took advantage of resentment amongst the hawkers" Macauley, , p. For the administrators on the ground, rioting hawkers, whether or not they were hijacked by samsengs , needed to be controlled, as well as pacified.
The system of itinerant hawking, always popular with residents, was unpopular with colonial officials, despite its acknowledged utility. As useful as hawking was, it could undermine public health and was subject to regulation. Diseases, including cholera and typhoid, were particular concerns. Contaminated water used by stalls was a source of water-borne diseases, whether the water was dispersed on the ground or used in mixed drinks.
Diseases also spread through inadequately cleaned hands and utensils. Hawkers were understood to be carriers of gastroenteritis, enteric fever typhoid , dysentery, cholera, and parasitic infections, such as hookworm and roundworm. Food waste from stalls drew insects and rodents, and the tropical conditions of Singapore increased the rate of decay and spread of contamination.
Itinerancy itself was also a problem Tarulevicz, , p. Itinerancy made regulations about cleanliness and attempts to clean public spaces a Sisyphean task. Streets could spontaneously become night markets if enough hawkers congregated. Certain areas would regularly attract these informal night markets. During these periods of occupation, tasks such as street cleaning became more difficult.
Town cleaning laborers consequently avoided these areas. If they did not, they clashed with the hawkers. The legal status of hawking varied, with certain practices such as congregating being a continual source of tension between authorities and the public. Schumpeter identified the process of "creative destruction" as an "essential fact about capitalism" that "incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one" p. In the dying days of the British colonization of Singapore, getting rid of the itinerancy component of hawking was the main objective, the creative destruction.
Eating Together: Food, Space, and Identity in Malaysia and Singapore by Jean Duruz
In destroying the form street food , the cuisine itself was preserved. A key component of this creative destruction shifted the focus from the practice of hawking on to individual hawkers. The strategies for regulation also shifted toward individual embodied strategies, much more akin to other public health strategies. The Hawker Inquiry Commission reflected this shift, noting that "the presence of any hawkers makes it difficult to keep streets clean, but it is chiefly the hawkers of food and drink that do the harm" Hawker Inquiry Commission, , p.
Hawking became a matter of public health, and the commission sought advice from the Municipal Health Department. Out of this consultation, the commission recommended that all hawkers be compulsorily inoculated against typhoid, and that as a condition of holding a license, hawkers be required to submit to a medical inspection by municipal health inspectors. The commission also suggested the introduction of straws to raise the standard of hygiene and recommended they be made available, even if doing so required a subsidy.
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- Eating Together: Food, Space and Identity in Malaysia and Singapore.
In removing a potential point of contact with dirty bodies and equipment, the commission evoked a mechanism for bringing about better health outcomes. The Hawker Inquiry Commission both destroyed and preserved hawking in Singapore.
Special order items
It played a major role in the eradication of itinerant hawkers, although a systematic regulatory regime was not introduced until Singapore was fully independent. The commission also acknowledged the centrality of hawking to the Singaporean way of life, and, as geographer Kong , p. By laying the foundation for moving hawkers into controllable spaces, the commission actually preserved it, albeit in a modified form. In the first decades of Singaporean independence, hawking was transformed from chaotic to ordered, and the itinerant sellers who walked the streets came under increased regulation in indoor spaces.
The first hawker centers were relatively basic, purpose-built structures that had running water, electricity, and a roof, but were open at the sides, pavilion style. Sited predominantly in residential areas and in the city, the centers aimed to replace the services provided by itinerant vendors and housed permanent stalls, as many as These stalls, like their cart predecessors, specialized in specific dishes or cuisines and sold a limited range of items.
Over the years, some hawker centers have become more elaborate spaces or food centers, often integrated with malls Chua, , p. Contemporary hawker and food centers might be recognizable as a cousin of food courts, a tastier and less corporate cousin, but still related. As infrastructure, the transformation from itinerancy to hawker centers required a bureaucracy an army of inspectors , a legal apparatus empowering police and inspectors , and a shift in popular knowledge. Certain gustatory changes accompanied this movement Duruz, , p. Satay cooked indoors, for example, might actually be safer than that cooked at a hawker cart, but the taste and eating experience a sea breeze versus air-conditioning has changed, and satay is now understood as street food even when not cooked or eaten on the street.
The regulation of food provision and the remaking of public space can be seen across the food sector. Hawkers, once seen as unseemly, dirty, and visceral, were cleaned up, their hands washed, their cooking equipment inspected and standardized. The places where they plied their trade were eradicated, repurposed or replaced with "ordered" spaces - hawker centers.
In turn, these spaces were increasingly policed, made cleaner and orderly at every turn. Such ordered spaces produce cleaner and safer foods, reinvented for a new era and expectations. The most recent transformation of hawkers relates to their status. Having built up hawkers and hawker centers as quintessential to Singaporean culture, a crisis is now being staged about their future. The problem was articulated as "the street food culture here is in danger of fading into the sunset. Because older hawkers are retiring or passing away, and there is not enough new blood to take their place,".
Hawking is repeatedly represented as being in crisis and common themes emerge around age and desirability of the career. Tan Hsueh Yun, a Straits Times journalist, sums up the crisis and argues that it must evolve in order to survive:. The median age of hawkers here is 59 years […] Scores of them have retired and many more continue to do so every year. Young people make more money blogging or writing listicles about hawker food than they ever will running a hawker stall.
Why slave in a cramped and hot hawker stall when you can make pronouncements on the five best Hokkien mee stalls in Singapore on a laptop? Straits Times, Generational change and expectations about profit and the nature of work are common themes in the hawking crisis. A desire amongst younger hawkers to do new things, such as making fusion foods, also arises; the crisis is in part about keeping the hawker culture traditional but simultaneously allowing it to evolve.
Peter Mok, a new hawker, laments that " Old-style hawkers are dinosaurs, society will evolve and they will no longer be found. The hawker culture will change with the changing tastes of the newer generation" Malay Mail Online, In museum exhibitions and cultural celebrations in media, the vanishing hawker represents a paradoxically strong, if romanticized figure.
To illustrate this, I discuss two examples, a book and an exhibition that also includes a guidebook , which exemplify recent visual representations of hawking. Hawking has never been exclusively male, and the representations of the vanishing hawker are not exclusively male either. They do tend, however, to echo those elements of the Hawker 1. Public expressions include a book, a Facebook page, media coverage, and YouTube interview footage.
The book uses a variety of narrative techniques that represent hawkers as dying and exhausted, with skills and tradition on the verge of being lost, and also shows the struggles of older generations requiring recognition before they vanish. Having inscribed hawking as a vanishing tradition, however, the book works to make space for hawking to be re-inscribed as a site of potential and growth - that is, the nostalgia for its vanishing demise is an essential element in its reinvention.
Singapore hawker food is an integral part of our national identity. It binds Singaporeans from all walks of life and provides shared memories and experiences across generations […] We must be proactive in preserving, protecting and promoting our local food culture. This book seeks to record and celebrate hawkers and stalls with the longest history and heritage, and accord them with recognition and the status of national heritage food. This is indeed a worthy project highlighting valuable work in an area close to all our hearts. National Heritage Board, , p.
Baey is comfortable that private archiving is concomitant with government views and the purpose of this celebration is programmatic: "we need to recognize and respect the dedication of these artisan hawkers. Only then will younger people be motivated and aspire to join this trade" National Heritage Board, , p. The logic is clear - recognition will elevate the status of hawkers and make it appealing to the next generation.
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- Eating Together: Food, Space, and Identity in Malaysia and Singapore.
- Eating Together: Food, Space and Identity in Malaysia and Singapore?
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This builds on a symbolic demarcation between old-style hawkers and the next generation. In part, Not for Sale does cultural work to lock down the old-style hawker. Most obviously, the black and white photography frames the separation between old-style and contemporary, fixing these celebrated hawkers and their stalls in the past. The first chapter "No Regrets" begins in a funereal tone with an image of a locked, wall-mounted medical box, from a now-closed hawker center.
Our subjects told us they have no regrets, doing what they have done for most of their lives The eulogy aspect is further emphasized with a quotation from Saint Augustine: "No eulogy is due to him who simply does his duty and nothing more" National Heritage Board, , p. These hawkers are due a eulogy. They are being celebrated for having done more than their duty and for being extraordinary. But they are relegated to history, their time passed into the past. Following this opening section of the book, are 45 pages of captioned photographs. Portraits of hawkers and their stalls are interspersed with images of culinary objects reiterating the past, such as a full-page photograph of a washed metal pot with strainers entitled: "A pot emptied of its broth" National Heritage Board, , p.
The portraits capture place and people, almost conflating the two, with the stall and the hawker inseparable. Many of the images are bleak, such as the one of Tan Huang Khiang II , framed by hanging meat and looking exhausted in his beef noodles stall. We are told that at age 13, he started helping his father and that before they had a stall they had a pushcart. For Singaporeans, this is a historical narrative.
References to age and slowing down, when read in tandem with the physical signs of tiredness and in black and white cast this as historical. Since most Singaporeans were born after independence post, when itinerant hawking was outlawed , a hawker who began his working life selling food from a pushcart is describing a moment known only through the narrative forms of history. Further references to past practices reinforce the message.