I’d like you to meet Rosita, a new friend from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Last week I was graciously invited to her home along with several other women who share a common bond of heritage and heritage cooking.
You see, Rosita is an internationally acclaimed author with her book, “Kulit Manis: A Taste of Terrenganu’s Heritage.” This historical cookbook won Best in the World from Gourmand Magazine in 2015. It took eight years of “looking back” at her own heritage that gave self-proclaimed housewife, Rosita the courage to write a winner.
From what I understand of Malaysian history, many Chinese came to Malaysia and eventually married into Malay families. Rosita was one of them. She married at the age of 19 and melded two distinct cultures into a family. In Malaysia their special name is Nyonya, with their unique foods and traditions.
Then in her 60’s, Rosita wanted to leave a legacy to her family, especially about food and traditions. Thus began her dream of writing a book. Little did she know it would win international acclaim!
We feasted at Rosita’s house. The tables were laden with foods I had never tasted before. She had cooked all of the special dishes of her heritage for us. It took three days of non-stop cooking—and, yes, she was tired.
Sharing food and a table with Rosita and her friends was quite an honor. Rosita is now working on an updated version of her historical cookbook. She remains amazed at the honors she has received in this endeavor. Because, she says, she’s just a simple housewife.
But we know better, Rosita. You are a star who looked back at your journey and said it needs to be remembered before the past is lost. You took action, and you brought in colleagues to help along the way. You worked hard for eight years to make it a reality.
The fruit of Rosita’s hands is evident in her cooking, her love for strangers (me), her welcoming table, and her drive to share her wisdom. What an honor to know you, Rosita.
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Certified Body Code Practitioner, life coach and energy healer, former non-profit executive with years of experience in caring for and about people and their place in this world. Friend of refugees and immigrants, ally to the addiction recovery community--all with respect, love, and compassion for mutual healing.