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Staging a National Dish: The Social Relevance of Nasi Lemak in Malaysia

Abstract : This article examines the social construction process of nasi lemak as a national dish in Malaysia. Considering its institutional valorisation, especially in the Theld of tourism, the study attempts to understand the social imaginaries related to the dish as well as its practical status in the day-to-day food habits using empirical data from the Malaysian Food Barometer (MFB) study. The Malaysian historical and social context is also taken into consideration in elucidating institutional actions on nasi lemak. Findings reveal that the emblematic status of nasi lemak is not only supported by institutional actions, but also by social imaginaries and practices. The paper also highlights the importance of commensality and consumption contexts around national dishes such as nasi lemak. Finally, it points out the social ‘relevance’- using UNESCOs’ notion — of some emblematic dishes especially in multicultural contexts and in particular, Malaysia
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Submitted on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 11:26:48 AM
Last modification on : Monday, July 4, 2022 - 9:45:38 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-03276582, version 1


Laurence Tibère, Elise Mognard, Cyrille Laporte, Marcella Alloysius, Jean-Pierre Poulain. Staging a National Dish: The Social Relevance of Nasi Lemak in Malaysia. Asia-Pacific Journal of Innovation in Hospitality and Tourism (APJIHT), 2019. ⟨hal-03276582⟩



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