Rice Talks explores the importance of cooking and eating in the everyday social life of Hoi An, a properous market town in central Vietnam known for its exceptionally elaborate and sophisticated local cuisine. In a vivid and highly personal account, Nir Avieli takes the reader from the private setting of the extended family meal into the public realm of the festive, extraordinary, and unique. He shows how foodways relate to class relations, gender roles, religious practices, cosmology, ethnicity, and even local and national politics. This evocative study departs from conventional anthropological research on food by stressing the rich meanings, generative capacities, and potential subversion embedded in foodways and eating.
Nir Avieli is Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ben Gurion University in Israel.
Preface Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Deciphering the Hoianese Meal 2. The Social Dynamics of the Home Meal 3. Local Specialties-Local Identity 4. Feasting with the Dead and the Living 5. Wedding Feasts: From Culinary Scenarios to Gastro-anomie 6. Food and Identity in Hoianese Community Festivals 7. Rice-cakes and Candied Oranges: Culinary Symbolism in the Big Vietnamese Festivals Conclusion: Food and Culture Interconnections Epilogue: Doing Fieldwork in Hoi An Glossary Notes References Index