By Nicole Tarulevicz
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Extra resources for Eating Her Curries and Kway: A Cultural History of Food in Singapore
42 Singapore is often described as a soft authoritarian state. It is democratic, but in a limited way. It is still a place where dissent, particularly that of a political nature, can get people in trouble. It is socially conservative by global standards. It is a place where the assumption of modern-therefore-Western should be questioned. That said, the government makes numerous attempts to make Singapore seem “cool” in a recognizably global way. ” The establishment in 1994 of the first Food Festival and in 1997 of the International Food Summit represent sustained efforts at connecting Singapore to a global food culture via tourism, television programming, and magazine articles.
From the early colonial period onward, the ordering of space and place has been a priority that has been demonstrated at the bureaucratic, regulatory, and physical levels. In the past 200 years Singapore has been multiply and radically remade. Technological innovation has been one of the mechanisms by which order is achieved. Singapore’s engagement with the global economy, be that the economy of the British Empire or of the twenty-first-century world of food security fears, has been relentless, and food has been central to the process.
Chap ter 2 self-consciously embrace a sophisticated and dynamic multiculturalism, one that simultaneously reifies and transcends Westernized notions of what is local and what is global. At times, cosmopolitanism is used as a synonym for the middle class and is contrasted with the term heartlander, which denotes an “ordinary Singaporean” who is less sophisticated than a cosmopolitan Singaporean. 36 The port facilitated the cosmopolitanism of the past via the movement of goods, people, and ideas, and the ongoing commitment to this movement has fostered a continuation of cosmopolitanism, even if it has only recently been named as such.