Indonesian Dinner Parties

I've been on Mastodon. Quite a bit. Somehow, over there I've started continued doing what I was doing on Twitter: talk about food. But not just talk about food. I've been reminiscing about the food culture that I left, and how much I miss it. I realize now that growing up in Southeast Asia and living in a few parts of it and seeing almost all of it repeatedly (except East Timor, which is not at all), I've experienced a wealth of people, foods, food culture, and general deliciousness that I'm learning now is rather unique.

Back in that part of the world, it was just food. Not Asian food. Not Southeast Asian food. Just food. So in Othering myself by being an immigrant, I've had a lot of time and opportunity to really think about what this means.

Today, I said on Mastodon:

i think about this when i go to dinner parties and people are like 'this dish was delicious' and the host is like 'oh i'll send you the recipe it's super easy it only takes 20 min!' and that's something that is fine


in indonesia or singapore the conversation would be 'this was delicious' 'yeah it's my great grandmother's recipe it took 50 hours to cook and i'm never going to give you the recipe' and everyone is like 'thank you for sharing it with me i quake in this complexity'

Like everything on social media, part exaggeration, part truth.

This was, in particular, a comment on the difference in food culture that I see. Many people prioritize simplicity and convenience where I now live, which is quite different from where I grew up and where I lived.

A photo of a person hovering over a large banana leaf full of Indonesian food with many colors

I have more thoughts on this from the resulting discussion. Most of it is about labor, ingredients, and food ways, but also, damn I miss that nasi and I miss those dinner parties.

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