INDIGENOUS FOOD PLANT KNOWLEDGE IN MALAYSIA: CHANGE AND CONTINUITY IN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
- Date : 1 August 2013 Venue : TR4/ Unimas
- Time : 10 A.M.
- Speaker : Dr. Ulrich Teucher, Program for Culture and Human Development Department of Psychology, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
All are welcome
Indigenous Food Plant knowledge in Malaysia: Change and Continuity in Human Development
Dr. Ulrich Teucher, Program for Culture and Human Development, Department of Psychology, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
Indigenous peoples in Malaysia and elsewhere have seen dramatic changes in very short time, often upending the continuities of their cultural traditions. Arguably, food knowledge is one of our central cultural identifications (Balick 1996). However, as Malaysia has been becoming a newly industrializing country, its indigenous peoples have been losing, often along with their ancestral lands, their knowledge of food plants and the associated cultural knowledge, social and gendered practices, and sacred rituals. Yet, responses are mixed: while many argue for the preservation of traditional knowledge in cultural centres and educational programs, others view the changes as a regrettable but perhaps inevitable part of joining mainstream society. Now, however, the preservation of local, indigenous food knowledge has become crucial as the world is facing a global food crisis, due to the exponential growth of the world population, the loss of bio- and food diversity, and traditional food knowledge. Understanding the challenges and facilitators in maintaining traditional food knowledge can help to better negotiate change and continuity in the course of human development and achieve food security. This research is art of a collaborative pilot project, currently in progress in Bau District, Sarawak.
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Dr. Ulrich Teucher is an associate professor in the Program for Culture and Human Development, Department of Psychology, at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. His research interests, funded by CFI, SHRF, and SSHRC, ground in the representations and meanings of human crises, whether as part of serious illness, or transitions in cultural identity, among Canadian indigenous peoples and in Malaysia’s indigenous food plant knowledge. Dr. Teucher is currently collaborating with Dr. Alexander ak Sayok, IBEC, UNIMAS on a pilot project to document transitions in local indigenous food plant knowledges.