Nieuws - 24 februari 2011

Some don't like it hot


When I came to the Netherlands, my friend invited me to a typical Dutch dinner. It was a long nice procession of courses, including appetizer, main course, dessert, coffee, and after-dinner conversation. That's also when I found that the taste of Dutch meals is quite plain for me, and for most Asian palates.

One night, a friend from Bangladesh invited me and some Dutch friends for a dinner. Our Bangladeshi host asked us to sit cross-legged on the floor, similar to the traditional way we sit in Indonesia. That was when I realized that not everyone can easily sit cross-legged on the floor. One of our Dutch friends had difficulty sitting on the floor because he was not used to it.
Sometimes in Indonesia, we use our right hands to eat  - although now this tradition has been replaced with the use of spoons and forks. That night the host decided to use hands to eat, and this fascinated our Dutch friends. One of them told us a story that his mother would punish him if he ate using only his hands.
Another hilarious thing happened when we ate the meal. Bangladesh foods are spicy, with a lot of spicy ingredients, just like most Asian food. The food wasn't so spicy that night, but the reaction was hilarious. Our Dutch friend took a lot of water during the meal, because the taste was quite spicy for them. But we really enjoyed it. We even made a joke that we would put a lot of spicy ingredients into our friends' meal if they annoyed or teased us, and they would pretend to be scared by this, and apologize.
Sacha Amaruzaman, MSc student of Environmental Science