Petit déjeuner en blanc (Breakfast in white)
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Bean curd, or tau huay in the Chinese Hokkien and Teochew dialects, is a popular breakfast food in East Asia, but also enjoyed as a snack throughout the day till very late night.
Tau Huay made the news in Singapore recently when the French picnic event, Diner en blance, was held in Asia for the first time. The event entailed participants paying money to bring their own food for a picnic, dressed in white, with white tables, linen, cutlery etc.
A food blogger who was invited to a preview of the event suggested 12 white foods - including tau huay - that might be appropriate for such a picnic. In response, the event organisers asked him to remove the blog, saying that local foods were not encouraged at the picnic. The blogger and a few other guests were also "disinvited" to the event, the organisers citing lack of space due to good response.
Expectedly, this caused outrage, especially on Facebook. The organisers subsequently "clarified" that they welcomed local foods, just that they discouraged "fast food".
Sorry. Damage done. Amidst the fiasco, the FB page of Diner en Blanc had to be removed because it was overwhelmed with criticisms and condemnations, slamming the organisers and the French for being "atas" - a Malay word that literally means "above" but, in this context, is a local slang for "snobbish".
The PR company for the event resigned, citing disagreements even before the "no local foods" fiasco.
Still, about 800 people turned up for the eventual picnic. Well, there are "atas" people in every community.And they mustn't let the $88 they paid go to waste.
BTW: The **** or rooster is a popular motif in Chinese porcelain. I included it at the last minute because some Malaysian friends have been enjoying much "talk **** sing song" over a series of **** photos :)
Also by Richard Seah
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