"While eating is a universal experience, for Singaporeans it carries strong everyday and national connotations. The popular Singaporean-English phrase "Die die must try" is not so much hyperbole as it is a reflection of the lengths that Singaporeans will go to find great dishes. In Eating the Nation, Tarulevicz argues that in a society that has undergone substational change in a relatively short amount of time, food serves Singaporeans as a poignant connection to the ever-changing past. Eating, the how and the what, has provided a unifying experience for a diverse society; a metaphor for multiracialism and recognizable national symbols for a fledgling state. Using food as a category of analysis, and analyzing a variety of sources that range from cookbooks to architectural and city plans, Tarulevicz gives the reader a thematic history of this unusual country, which was colonized by the British and run as a port within Malaya, but which is without a substantial pre-colonial history. In doing so, Tarulevicz moves away from the predominately political and economic focus of other historians of Singapore, and provides an important alternative reading of Singaporean society"--
University of Illinois Press,
Includes bibliographical references and index.