Ta Pau

The bringing home of prepared food from a kopitiam, restaurant, or cafe is a cornerstone of Malaysian culture. The Ta Pau folio takes this practice as a launching pad for honest conversation among Malaysians about national identity, race, religion, class, gender, and other underpinnings of food amid the country’s changing political climate.

Dialect Talks Back
By SueKi Yee, Ann Lee, and Anne Louis

it was such a big no-no that I had this impression of dialects 方方言言 being like swear words, or haram

Codeswitching Home
By Preeta Samarasan, Marion F. D’Cruz, Su-Feh Lee

This involves modulating my voice and accent so that I sound more Malay. It’s like having to work for my right to eat there.

The Vulnerability of Mistrust
By Ivy Josiah, Jahabar Sadiq, and Yee Heng Yeh

We are becoming hardened. I sense a hardness in the so-called liberal circles, artist circles, activist circles.

Food, Fingers, and What (Not) To Touch
By Carmen Nge, Joseph Gonzales, and Natasha Krishnan

having grown up using utensils she will never understand the comfort it brings: someone forming little mounds of rice that are pushed by the thumb into your mouth

Ta Pau: Conversations on Food and Politics in Malaysia
By Preeta Samarasan, Foo May Lyn, and the Transpacific Literary Project

The questions of who can eat what, and where, and with whom, are facts of Malaysian life, negotiated daily and often subconsciously.

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