Of Bubur Lambuk, Pufferfish & Raya
We are excited for Raya!
Today marks the last day of the month of Ramadan. This month has been of special significance as Ramadan is a time of introspection for us. While we prepare for Raya and look forward to our families dressing up in our festive garb and enjoying a sumptuous spread, we’d like to take the time to share some thoughts.
Earlier this month, we held our Bubur Lambuk Ikan Tenggiri distribution drive at Mother Dough Bakery in the spirit of Ramadan. It has become a yearly tradition for us to head to the market in the morning as a family, spend the day churning out bowls of our homely recipe, and distribute them to everyone before iftar commences. We look forward to this event each year as this is the time we get to meet the Orang Pulau/Laut community members and the people who have been supporting our work.
Despite being a free distribution, we were humbled by the generosity and kind donations. Because of that, we organised another Bubur distribution a week later near our home in Jurong West. For that, we thank you.
It was lovely to reunite with old and new faces during the Bubur distribution. We hope that everyone enjoyed our family’s treasured dish this Ramadan.
Sharing a little thing or two about our culture
Recently, social media channels were abuzz with the news of the unfortunate passing of two elderly individuals in Malaysia after the consumption of pufferfish, which the couple had purchased from an errant seller on Facebook.
While we are dismayed by this tragedy, we’d like to take this time to address a few matters:
We recognise that some laws are important to negate issues such as this.
We firmly believe that sellers should be held responsible for the sale of a potentially lethal product such as pufferfish. However, we do not agree that pufferfish should be sold by and to anyone except for certified merchants and handlers.
Public awareness and education are essential.
While pufferfish may be widely known to be poisonous, this fact may not be known to all. We encourage everyone to check their source of food supplies and not to purchase from unlicensed merchants.
We are calling for the recognition of heritage food of Singapore’s Orang Pulau/Laut community.
Pufferfish has been consumed by our community for a very long time. Like us, many other coastal communities, such as the Riau islanders and the Orang Bajau have found ingenious methods and learned skills in preparing and removing the poison from pufferfish.
While the public consumption of pufferfish in Singapore is solely sold through Japanese restaurants as fugu, we call for the recognition of pufferfish as our heritage food that requires knowledge, experience and expertise.
To know more, see our post below or read the opinions we shared on Today Online.
Sharing and learning as we grow
In the past couple of months, we’ve also been leading tours and had the pleasure of sharing more about what we do with the students at various schools. We are often left inspired by the inquisitive young minds with their feedback and questions that they have during these intimate sessions. It’s refreshing to hear the topics of displacement and cultural loss being discussed among our youths – as most of us have the privilege of living in a modernised city like Singapore.
These efforts underscore some of the objectives that we have set: to share our narratives among young individuals about our culture through education and awareness building. With that said, we’d like to thank the teachers who are daring and kind to seek out lesser-known stories that made up Singapore’s history. We appreciate every opportunity to share our work in your classrooms.
We’re looking for institutions and organisations in the same vein and virtue who would like to support or work alongside us to amplify our cultural and conservation efforts. We’d love to talk to you as a fellow ally to champion our causes and be part of our advocacy journey.
Reach out via email@example.com to say hello!
In celebration of Hari Raya…
As we welcome the month of Raya, we are excited to share that The Black Sampan (that’s also us) will be hosting a little gathering. Atap Assembly is back!
Over some ketupat and rendang, we’d like to discuss the topic of Hari Raya beyond the perspective of culture but through the lens of sustainability and religion. Joining us are the people leading FiTree, Farah and Shafiah, and Meryem, a Chinese-Muslim revert and co-founder of TAKVA.
Happening on Wednesday, 3 May, 7.30pm to 9.30pm at The Black Sampan. If you’d like to join us, reserve a spot here on Eventbrite, and we’ll see you soon!
Thank you, and have a Selamat Hari Raya to all our Muslim friends! :)