Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Malaysia plans tea party in space

Malaysia will send its first astronaut into space aboard a Russian rocket next year and attempt for the first time to make the nation's favorite hot drink, teh tarik, in space.

"The physics experiment is to see what happens to teh tarik in space," Haniff Omar, head of Malaysia's astronaut selection program, told reporters in all seriousness on Monday after two Malaysian men were short-listed to make the trip.

Malaysians pour boiling-hot milky tea swiftly and repeatedly from one vessel held high in one hand into another(seen in the photo) held low, producing a distinctive layer of froth. This is called teh tarik or the pulled tea.

Making it in space would bring one of Malaysia's favourite tradition to the attention of a worldwide audience.

Pulling this off would be tricky in space where unlike the gravity-bound earth, no gravity exists in space. Whatever the outcome, the humble teh tarik would have risen to astronomical heights.

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