I apologize in advance for any confusion/exclusion, but my term “Asia” in this post refers mostly to South East Asia. If you are from that region of the world, or have a cultural heritage or even just friends from that region, you most definitely know that food and eating is a big part of social life. As I like to frame it, eating is a hobby – and that’s perhaps where my “eating is a hobby” lifestyle and my interest to try different food places and recommend them came about.
The community before the individual
When eating at home or outside, it is common to order multiple dishes and share them among the group members. That culture of sharing is not only a great way to express a sense of community, while sharing the food, but also a great way to try different foods at once! You’d be surprised how quickly one can get full from having small portions of different things!
Food is the source of life
One thing that struck me while living in Singapore was the opening hours of the hawker centers. They would be open as early at 6 am, for people to grab breakfast – rice, chicken, noodles -, throughout the day for people to stop by for lunch or snacks, and late at night; I recall grabbing my usual, roti pratha with curry at 3 am after a night out and a lot of food stalls were still open! This just emphasizes the great food culture. In most places people meet for drinks, or a coffee. In South East Asia, people meet for food.
Eating is also, like in Africa, a welcoming gesture. In addition, it’s also a social activity, to hang out or catch up with friends, similarly to African or Middle Eastern cultures.
Speaking of the Middle East…Care for some Middle Eastern Cuisine? Click here to read the next article in this series as we take a peek into the Middle Eastern food culture!
Enjoyed this article?
Don’t forget to subscribe to stay in the know and join the conversations on Social Media (links in sidebar)!