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Food Bloggers Are Trying To Cancel The Word ‘Curry’ Because It’s Rooted In British Colonialism

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Food Bloggers Are Trying To Cancel The Word ‘Curry’ Because It’s Rooted In British Colonialism

There are calls to ban the word 'curry' over its links to British colonialism.

Following the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement across the world last year, many people were questioning every day places, names and things that are problematic.

It led to statues being toppled, and areas and products changing their names if they had any link to colonialism, slavery or oppression.

It seems like the latest target is a dish that is eaten by millions of people a day.

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Food bloggers believe it's time to call out the word curry for its links to British colonialism.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Chaheti Bansal posted a viral video that has been viewed more than three million times and dives into the heart of the issue.

"There's a saying that the food in India changes every 100km and yet we're still using this umbrella term popularised by white people who couldn't be bothered to learn the actual names of our dishes," the 27-year-old said.

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She added that there are loads of different words to describe a dish that involves meat or vegetables, rice and a sauce, however most people just lump it altogether under curry.

University of Vermont associate religious studies professor, Ilyse Morgenstein Furest, explained how British rule in South Asia contributed to using curry as an umbrella term.

"The word curry does not exist in any South Asian language to my knowledge," she said.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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The regional expert said British colonisers could've misheard the Tamil word 'kari' and thought it was the same thing as curry.

She said that, in addition to the 'power structures' that were in place during colonisation, cemented curry as the overarching term use for all sorts of dishes.

"There's a long history of imagining what we would call Indian food as exotic and sought after...and that lack of temperance, in our food, or in our emotionality, is a problem. That's one of the things that is rooted in white, Christian supremacy,' she said.

Another food blogger, Nisha Vedi Pawar said people would always ask if her curries are spicy because of the misconceived idea they were all similar.

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Her response was summed up as: "What the hell is curry?"

She doesn't think curry should be 'cancelled' as a word because it's too rooted in cultural norms now, however it's worth having a think about what food you're eating and find out its technical name.

There are many different names for dishes in South Asia, however they all seemingly get lumped together as curry.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Food, News

Stewart Perrie
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