Nasi Lemak By Any Other Name

I certainly won’t pay $60 for a nasi lemak, but if the nasi lemak stall is good, I would gladly patronise. The thing is, there aren’t that many good nasi lemak stalls out there anymore. The reason? Selling food is considered “low class” in Singapore. All that is in spite of the flak drawn by a social studies book which defined social economic classes in the following terms:

Higher socio-economic class

• Use formal English in daily conversation or at home

• Play sports or tennis at an exclusive country club

• Have regular fine dining at expensive restaurants

• Travel overseas for leisure during school holidays

Lower socio-economic class

• Use Singlish or different dialects in daily conversation or at home

• Play football or basketball in HDB estates

• Eat at hawker centres or at home

• Work part-time jobs during vacation time to meet family basic needs