My earliest recollection of when I started recognizing such attitude was at home as a teenager. We had neighbors who were from a southern part of Kerala and they had an infant son who like regular children his age would babble short sentences and reply to totally ridiculous questions that elders often ask children, like “Where is your nose?”. The problem is that he spoke a different version of Malayalam. On a few occasions I found my mom talk about this to other Palghat Malayalee women and laugh about it. All this ridicule happened because the child was growing up learning his native dialect. I forced my mom from correcting him and over the years she has given up this behavior. Incidentally as I grew older and reached college I realized that the Malayalam spoken by people in Palghat is far worse with its mixture of Tamil words and a completely off-key accent as opposed to the majority.
Let’s face it, no one is unique and people who respect this are ones I now appreciate. In this regard, the one area I see people extremely touchy about is in the area of food habits. I know people who pack precooked, ready to eat Indian dishes on journeys abroad because they just can’t adjust to anything else but their ethnic cuisine. This mindset often stems from the belief that all other dishes are paper mash in comparison to their own. I had a tough time in
I had read an article in the Hindu many years ago regarding the evolution of Indian cuisine, and thanks to the net I was able to locate them. (I have provided links to the same at the end of this blog). The articles are with references to the books written by the late Dr. K. Thammu Achaya once a leading food and nutrition expert. I wouldn’t want to repeat what is written there, but he goes on to clarify how things we think are unique and Indian are not Indian at all. Here is a teaser for you – Did you know IDLY is not Indian? Rajma Chawal? Rajma is not Indian, hell rice is believed to have been brought in from
I love travelling. I love travelling to places that are not on the radars of regular tourists and so last September I travelled to the land of horses in Central Asia –
Samosa is not Indian. So the next time you see someone who boasts about his Indian inheritance try taking time off to burst his bubble for today in the global village that we live in, he could prove to be an embarrassment.