Tuesday, May 22, 2007

(what would you do...)

...if you were a minister of Women's Affairs in Indonesia?

My answer last year was "to assure women that their gender difference [to men] is irrelevant when it comes to measuring themselves against men, as women are men are different yet they are equals."

I want to make a difference and contributes substantially into whatever 'good' people around me may need. If holding a ministerial spot is what entails my desire, then I would take it on. The problem with such delegated power/responsibility is the factional politics any civil servant in a ministerial post would be thrown into. I am not keen on participating in factional squabbles when there are things other than vote-chasing to do. I'm not saying that voters' support is unimportant; I just believe that you would do what you're passionate about regardless of how much support you can gather. Well... when there is a will, there is a way.

Since I'm a gourmand and food plays an important part in life, [hypothetically speaking] I would encourage home businesses to harness the climate and create nutritional food of good quality. In specific, that would entail tempeh production. On a lesser note, Fresh & Wild in SoHo sells tempeh (£1.99/cake) but the fermentation is somewhat stunted due to Britain's erratic weather, resulting in dismal-looking tempeh cakes with minimum spores covering their sides. I still crave for the soft and white cakey-looking stuff peddled by tukang sayur on Jakarta's streetsides. In the meantime, I'm getting my soya-based protein fix from nattō, miso soup and soya milk.

I understand that polished white rice is ubiquitous to today's Indonesian diet, thanks to who meneers who elevated its status as "the food to eat everyday". Indonesians' obsession to polished white rice is akin to that of the French's on fresh baguettes. Polished white rice is packed with energy... and nothing much apart from sugar. Also, meats from domesticated stock animals are seen as desirable foodstuffs on the dinner table. I bet my love of red meat *must* have been influenced by this general view that "the meatier the dinner is, the better".

On the other hand, I'm lucky to have parents who provide me with consistent examples of good nutritional habits. My love of vegetables stems from oh-so-boring red bean soup with beef and veg (I tend to fish ALL the tomatoes and carrots.) When I was little, my mum used to make her own soya milk, to which almost no sugar is added. Even today the house remains largely MSG-free and sodium-deprived, although mbak Parni could easily produce a huge chunk of salt from the kitchen if you asked her for it. When I started working at AAB, my workmates were suprised to discover I looked forward to ordering stirfried kangkong and snacked on fried tempeh on lunchtimes, as opposed to spag bol.

My point is, a weekly serving of fish and lean red meat is good for your health, but you can get your protein fix from the so-called kampong foods by which tempeh and tofu are often derogatorily referred to. Mind you, bodybuilders here often jostle for these kampong foods due to their high protein content! Plus, tempeh also increases your immunity. For those living in Indonesia, looking good and feeling great has never been so affordable - just go to your neighbourhood's tukang sayur to get your hands on tempeh and tofu.

Oh my, I'm speaking on behalf of the association of tukang sayur se-Indonesia (if there is one) - if you're not enticed enough to eat tempeh and tofu, buy them to give these peddlers some good, ol' fashioned honest profit!

Finally, back to this post's title... if I were a minister:

I would make good tempeh and promote it to all corners of the world.

I shall be known as the designer with a passion for tempeh. As simple as that.

Here I rest my case ^__^ Have a good day!


the one beneath your hair above your eyebrows said...

maybe you should write the indonesian version of "why french women don't get fat?". could boost our food industry untapped export potential.

johnorford said...

"...if you were a minister of Women's Affairs in Indonesia?"

John's Answer for MI07 [I look real good in high heals :P] ------>

I would resign, and complain about such a condescending bullshit ministry.

I'm a feminist, but every ministry should watch out for women, as should every part of society. It shouldn't be compartmentalised, and specialised.

mukuge said...

@the one: yeah, that's a good idea! thanks for that :))

@john: it's a shame most people still compartmentalise based on gender. I don't like answering the question myself. And yeah, I'm curious to see you in high heels :p

fashionista! said...

good tempeh? great, becoz it is a good one ;). and good thing is it is made from kedelai bukan? promote age delaying process ;)...lam kenal

mukuge said...

@fashionista: iya... low in fat, high in protein, darn cheap AND not sticky like nattō :p tempeh for dinner, anyone?