Thursday, 17 October 2013

The Mini Malaysian Night

Salam 1 Malaysia - this is how we usually greet in official government functions and events back home. It is a concept, national campaign introduced by Prime Minister Dato Sri Najib Razak to enhance national unity and harmony.

Of Malaysian food and culture - nothing less of a country filled with rich Asian culture, Malay, Chinese, Indian, Baba Nyonya, and multi ethnicities. I am proud of my country and what it has to offer the warmth, people, beaches, culture and especially- FOOD! Some signature dishes in each states and our 'Mamak' (where I usually hang out to get Indian -  Roti Canai and Teh Tarik).  My other usual favourites are nasi lemak, and sambal udang / sotong ( chilli paste cooked with garlic and prawns or squid).

Since I started school in London a month ago, I have been thinking of home and my favourite dishes especially the Nasi lemak whenever I am hungry (it'd be so good to get some food)! My classmates are multi cultural and we all come from different backgrounds. I am sure we all have a keen interest in learning each other's culture - hence why I chose HULT International Business School.  It would be a great opportunity to start hosting a cultural dinner.

Therefore last Wednesday, I have invited my classmates to dinner at Malaysian restaurant -Pak Awie London in Paddington. I wanted to introduce my Malaysian food  (since they were asking when we could get some rendang and roti canai which some knew of or had before). Some 20 awesome friends came to experience this Malaysian mini night I hosted.

Here's what we had for the night~

 They tasted the cucur udang (fried prawn fitters), chicken satay (skewer grilled meat with peanut sauce) & fried wantan in the starter platter. 

Hungry people waiting for their main dishes - I offered them the Nasi Lemak / Laksa Johor with teh tarik ( pulled tea with condensed milk)

 My classmate Giulia from Milan trying her Laksa Johor (a speciality dish from state of Johor) it is yellow mee with fresh salted fish, seafood, coconut, chillies, ginger, galangal, some other herbs cooked gravy with condiments of (red onion, cucumber, bean sprouts)

 Happy faces getting ready before eating! :)
They were trying the roti canai (paratha bread with curry lentil) that would usually look like this ....

Roti canai with curries, lentil (OMG so hungry by looking at this pic!)

 A picture while Marco (at the end of this table) my Italian friend is saying 'is this all I am eating, I need more food" hahah no I am just exaggerating but he did say he wanted to eat more to me later since Italians do eat a lot and the Laksa Johor wasn't enough he ordered fried rice and chicken. 

 Benedetta and Salvatore my Italians trying the Laksa Johor

  Silja from Germany trying the Laksa Johor

 This is the Nasi Lemak (coconut rice, beef rendang, sambal prawns (chilli paste cooked), fried chicken, fried anchovies, half boiled eggs and cucumber, peanuts.

 While Salvatore trying the "Sago Gula Melaka" the (sago pudding with palm sugar syrup). He said it tastes funny because of the starch and its gooey but he liked the syrup! haha

 This is one of my personal favourite dessert - the ketayap! Its desicated coconut filling and crepe like (green is because of the pandan leaf colouring/flavouring)

 Lama and Chrine my lebanese ladies likes the banana fritters! 

All of us with Malaysian flag infront of Pak Awie (although can't see the flag clearly but I was really proud still and always)

My own experience from introducing my food and culture is that I managed to learn the words in English and experience across cultures how we are different but still remain respectful of each other. It was my experience to introduce how to eat rice with hands, and how some cultures would eat with forks for their rice or wouldn't eat spicy food. I am so proud of them they truly kept an open mind and immersed themselves with the culture. Had so many questions about how it is cooked, what it is made of. I also enjoyed explaining bits of history here and there. Also, the picture of the His Majesty King (Yang Di Pertuan Agong) and Queen on the wall of the restaurants entrance and explained a little bit of the constitutional Monarchy system in the country (glad I knew that! Phew). 

Last but not least, It was my learning experience too and most importantly I am proud that this truly shows that in Malaysia - it is what we are known as the 'truly Asia' country and its values are just multicultural. Hope that I could host another mini night for other classmates (since there are 75 of us in class and other cohorts) and glad to be in the Multicultural Club at HULT that would help to promote and have other cultural dinners hosted by others. That's all for this post folks! Till the next post - on my Spain getaway weekend to Malaga and Granada. Woop woop!

xx your one and only 

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