9 December 2021

“Explore, Exchange, Experience!” UKM’s Virtual Global Café: International Food Culture 2021

AUN Writer Team
Above: Wanda Zan Yulia introducing Pempek, a traditional Indonesian fish cake delicacy

By Aira Mae Olivar, AUN Intern

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) launched its Virtual Global Café: International Food Culture 2021 with the theme “Explore, Exchange, Experience!” on 19 November 2021. The event was organized by the UKM Global Buddies, a youth organization under UKM. The event was attended by more than a hundred college and university students from India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia.

The event kicked off with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Abdul Latiff Ahmad giving his welcome remarks. In his speech, he imparted his wisdom on how food connects cultures from across countries. After the speech was a “Guess the Songs Challenge” game where participants guess songs sung by robotic audio. The game was  well-received by the participants. Next up was the presentation, which also incorporated a “Guess the Food” game challenge. 

A total of four presenters from Malaysia participated in the event. The first is Rafeka Mohd Fauzi who presented the famous breakfast delicacy of Malaysia, Nasi Lemak. Rukhsaar Malek and Azra Nasa introduced some more Malaysian foods like Teh Tarik (Pulled Tea) and Pisang Goreng. Finally, Sonea Janoh focused on d Hinava, a combination of fish, lime juice, onion, garlic, and chili all eaten raw.

The next country was Indonesia, presented by Wanda Zan Yulia who introduced Pempek , a traditional Indonesian fish cake delicacy from South Sumatra, as well as Kerak Telor and Klepon, both glutinous-rice based meals with the latter including palm sugar as well.

The Philippines was represented by Antoinette Argonza. Aside from sharing a recent fad of the Filipino youth in reversing the spelling of words, she also presented the budget-friendly Silog Meals, an abbreviation of Sinangag and Itlog (Fried Rice and Eggs). It is often added with a different ingredient, creating variants like Tapsilog which is e, fried rice, eggs, and marinated beef. 

From India, Vivi Sharma introduced Rava Dosa and Garlic Naan. The former is made from different kinds of flour such as Rava flour, rice flour, and all-purpose flour and is widely known in Southern India provinces. Meanwhile, Arabic-influenced Garlic Naan is famous in Northern Indian states.

The audience were very active in noting various similarities among the presented countries. Dr. Tanah Unjah gave the closing remarks to the event, expressing gratitude to the participants who came to experience and learn more about ASEAN culture and beyond.