Cul­ture and cui­sine

> Ber­jaya Univer­sity Col­lege pro­motes cul­tural aware­ness via Baba Ny­onya ex­hi­bi­tion

The Sun (Malaysia) - - MEDIA & MARKETING -

T Op­re­serve the food cul­ture, it is said that one must first un­der­stand the root of the cul­ture. Hence, the Ber­jaya Univer­sity Col­lege, in its ef­forts to pro­mote cul­tural aware­ness among its stu­dents and the public, delved into the Per­anakan Baba Ny­onya com­mu­nity to learn and share its find­ings.

The Baba Ny­onya com­mu­nity en­joy a unique cul­tural her­itage in terms of food, clothes, ar­chi­tec­ture, lan­guage, craft and cus­toms. In­for­ma­tion gleaned from en­gag­ing with this com­mu­nity led to a col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Per­anakan Baba Ny­onya As­so­ci­a­tion Kuala Lumpur and Se­lan­gor (PPBNKLS), in which an ex­hi­bi­tion ti­tled: “Ex­plor­ing Eth­nic Diver­sity: Baba and Ny­onya through the Lens of Cul­ture” was held at the col­lege’s city cam­pus be­tween March 8 and 9. The event was co­or­di­nated by the school of hu­man­i­ties and so­cial sci­ences di­vi­sion un­der the lib­eral arts fac­ulty of the col­lege.

Visi­tors to the ex­hi­bi­tion got to learn about the Baba Ny­onya lan­guage, de­sign of their clothes and shoes, ar­chi­tec­ture of their houses, de­tails of spe­cific house­hold items, as well as some of their favourite games and food.

Stu­dents man­ning the ex­hi­bi­tion booths even came in tra­di­tional Ny­onya at­tire while those pur­su­ing the col­lege’s Culi­nary Arts and Her­itage Cuisines pro­gramme took the op­por­tu­nity to show off their culi­nary skills by pre­par­ing Baba Ny­onya food for guests to try.

Some members of the PPBNKLS were kind enough to bring au­then­tic home­made “Ny­onya Kap­i­tan chicken curry” and “Ayam Buah Keluak” for the stu­dents to try.

CEO and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Ber­jaya’s Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Sdn Bhd Mae Ho ( pix, in green) was present to for­mally de­clare the ex­hi­bi­tion open.

“The univer­sity’s de­sire is to in­flu­ence our young gen­er­a­tion of to­day, to have a deep un­der­stand­ing and ap­pre­ci­a­tion of our au­then­tic cui­sine and to pre­serve our cul­ture and tra­di­tion of food her­itage. Food al­ways brings peo­ple to­gether. Noth­ing bridges cul­ture as well as food,” she said.

Ho also shared how pleased she was about the event on the whole.

“This event pro­vides an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity for us to learn more about the Baba Ny­onya cul­ture. It also brings the op­por­tu­nity to taste pop­u­lar dishes and kuih.”

Ber­jaya Univer­sity Col­lege has a Fac­ulty of Culi­nary Arts that of­fers a Diploma in Her­itage Cui­sine. The pro­gramme gives stu­dents the op­por­tu­nity to mas­ter lo­cal her­itage cui­sine, which Ho be­lieves should be in­tro­duced to the world.

PPBNKLS pres­i­dent Cedric Tan ( on Ho’s right) said that the event was part of the as­so­ci­a­tion’s ob­jec­tive. “We look for­ward to col­lab­o­ra­tions such as this with Ber­jaya Univer­sity Col­lege, to en­cour­age youth of to­day to learn and ap­pre­ci­ate the tra­di­tions and cus­toms of our fore­fa­thers.”

Tan also de­liv­ered a talk on the Baba Ny­onya cul­ture, sym­bol­ism of its food, the lan­guage and more.

On the whole, the ex­hi­bi­tion is said to res­onate with the con­tent of Ber­jaya Univer­sity Col­lege’s Eth­nic Re­la­tions course, a com­pul­sory sub­ject for all Malaysian univer­sity stu­dents. Con­tents are also aligned with the Malaysia Ed­u­ca­tion Blue­print 2015-2025.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit the Ber­jaya Univer­sity Col­lege web­site.

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