Forks in Southeast Asia: Evidence of Cultural Middle-grounding in Colonial ContextsA presentation by Jakob Daraban
Hybridization of CultureWho has agency?
This acknowledges marginalized groups' actions within colonial systems as having agency instead of mere reactions to colonial administrations (Deloria 2006: 16).
Social Status and the Fork
Introduction of the Fork to French Indochina
French Fork Etiquette
Cambodian Fork Etiquette
Called សម (saam) in Khmer, but សម also means many other words, such as សម sɑɑm 1 n (table) fork; trident, three-pronged fishing spear 2a n training, exercise(s). 2b v to rehearse (3) sɑm 1 adj to be appropriate (to), proper, becoming; decent; suitable, meeting the requirements (of) (4) sɑm, saʔmaʔ- 1a v to fit, go well with. 1b adj to be identical, similar, like; equal (5) sɑm 1 adj to be excellent, beautiful, handsome; luxurious (6) sɑɑm 1 adj to be wilted, faded 7a conj as a result, on account of, since; then. 7b adv accordingly, undoubtedly, obviously 8 v to repair, fix (SEAlang.net/khmer)
Signs of cultural hybridization?
Interview - Kheang Leang
My first interview was with Kheang Leang, my Khmer language professor. From my interview with him I learned that he believes the biggest usage for a fork is to keep food on the plate, however the usefulness of that is mitigated by the fact that many dishes in Cambodia are served in bowls, which naturally hold food in. The interview reinforced the travel article with the usage of the fork in the left hand and spoon in the right hand, however the interview revealed that flipping that wouldn't be a "big deal". Some resterants will not give you a fork unless you ask for one, and in a majority of instances food is eaten with chop sticks and a spoon - for example noodles and soups. Although there is no penalty for using the fork, Kheang sees the spoon as the main eating utensil.
Interview - Pheanusa Ty
Interview - Iyounan An
Cambodian table manners, a travelfish.org article
Interviews with Kheang Leang, Iyounan An, and Pheanusa Ty
Deloria, Philip J. "What Is the Middle Ground, Anyway?" William and Mary Quarterly63, no. 1 (2006): 15. doi:10.2307/3491723.
Vionis, Athanasios K., Jeroen Poblome, Bea De Cupere, and Marc Waelkens. "A Middle–Late Byzantine Pottery Assemblage from Sagalassos: Typo-Chronology and Sociocultural Interpretation." Hesperia79, no. 3 (2010): 423-64. doi:10.2972/hesp.79.3.423.
SEAlang.net/Khmer - Khmer dictionary