Society and Identity
Daily life with popular aesthetics as a cultural system is one of the crucial identity emblems. Thereby dietary habits, dance performances, or clothing styles are often used to identify an ethnic group. Ethnic foodway, in particular, creates unique sensory experiences and invokes a memorable sense of taste. Therefore it always plays a role of frontline guard for persistence of ethnicity. In this paper I will explore how the Burmese-Chinese immigrants in Macao develop social networks with the main society, say the Portuguese-shaped former colony, but clearly maintain ethnic identity through food production and its dissemination within the internal community.
Macao was the first and last colony of European powers in East Asia. It was colonized by Portugal over 400 years, and had been a center of East-West cultural exchange since the sixteenth century. The typical cuisine in this particular area presents distinguishing feature of a blend of Portuguese, African, Indian, Southeast Asian, and southern Chinese. The Burmese-Chinese immigrants whereas purposely create distinction between their own food preference and the special color of colony under influences of transnational elements. The Portuguese cuisine is the one being excluded completely. For the Burmese-Chinese food is a key bridge of connecting themselves with their mother country in the Golden Peninsula and the alien impurities are not allowed to permeate in especially for the symbol of colony.