Some like their sambal sweet, some like it spicy.
Some like their rice starchy and moist, some like their rice in loose grains.
Some like their burgers with chili sauce, some like it with mustard.
Some prefer chicken, some prefer beef.
Some feel pleasure with extreme spiciness, some feel pain.
That’s the beauty of being Malaysian. We don’t have to like the same food, but we always find ourselves dining at the same table. Whether the unity is materialized through compromise or a shared love, the unity is just as strong. There will be smiles, there will be happy bellies, there will be good conversation, and there will be intentions to gather again.
Unity should never be about dictating a common direction. It should be about sharing the same path even when we’re all headed in different directions. Though we may or may not practice unity as a community in general, it remains a fundamental Malaysian culture. After all, it is at the dinner table that we are at our most elementary.
Despite the many disheartening incidents that we frequently hear on the news or see happening in our lives, our culture as Malaysians at the dinner table stands as a testament that we are indeed capable of unity.
It’s true, it is our food that defines us as Malaysians, in more ways than we might think.