Forbidden from the heart: Flexible food taboos, ambiguous culinary transgressions, and cultural intimacy in Hoi An, Vietnam

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Kiêng k, literally “forbidden [from the] heart”, is the term used in Vietnam when referring to taboos, yet the sense of complete prohibition associated with taboos in Western cultures is incompatible with Vietnamese food cosmology. Based on ethnographic research conducted in the central Vietnamese town of Hoi An since the late 1990s, this chapter follows the consumption of two kinds of meats that are publically condemned but may be consumed in specific contexts: he-goat meat (thıt dê) and “jungle” meat (thıt rùng). These meats are served in food venues that specialize in alcohol and are associated with excessive drinking, extreme masculinity, and illicit social relations. Michael Herzfeld’s notion of Cultural Intimacy is applied so as to explain the ambivalence and resulting anxieties, and their alleviation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFood Anxiety in Globalising Vietnam
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages77-103
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9789811307430
ISBN (Print)9789811307423
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (all)
  • Medicine (all)

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