Padma Laxmi Talked About A Non-Indian Guy Who Took An Objection At His Son Eating Indian Food Because He Thought It Would Be “Too Spicy”. Seriously, What Are These Stereotypes?
People all around the world have these notions about Indians. Our culture, our skin colour, our festivals and especially our cuisine seems to fascinate them but not in a good way. What I mean is, they see us in a very one-dimensional light which gives way to extreme stereotyping. For instance, not all Indians live in slums, practice snake charming and eat super spicy chicken tandoori. I know it’s a little hard to believe but even today, that’s the impression that white people have of us, brown people. Ugh, also, why do we define people by their skin colours again?
Anyway, one of the biggest stereotypes that really irks me is the one about our cuisine. I don’t think people abroad, especially in the USA understand what Indian cuisine really is. Which is honestly surprising since one-third of their population is Indian. Okay, I am just exaggerating but you see my point. According to them, Indian cuisine is just a whole lot of curries that will set your mouth on fire. Which honestly, is some BS. Yes, our food is spicy but that’s because unlike their cuisine that is made up of cheeseburgers, bacon and hotdogs, our dishes have a little something called flavour.
Now, the reason I am talking about this particular Indian stereotype is that Padma Laxmi, recently took to social media to express her displeasure about a non-Indian father who took great offence and objection when an Indian family fed his son some Indian food.
Sorry… what? https://t.co/nXxlvDggLl
— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) August 11, 2020
The father, posted on a blog site saying that his 9-year-old son, Chris went over to his best friend’s house (who is Indian) for dinner. The friend’s parents had prepared a meal of chicken curry, lentils and vegetables. When the father went to pick up the son, the friend’s mother was just telling him about how much Chris enjoyed the food and that’s when objected saying that they should’ve asked him before feeding his son such spicy food.
He wrote, “My son, “Chris,” is 9. A few weeks ago, we decided to open our bubble to include the family of “Neil,” Chris’s best friend. Both of Neil’s parents are doctors, so this seemed like a safe decision. Both parents were born and raised in India. We let Chris have dinner at their place the other night since both boys were having a great time together. When we came to pick up Chris, Neil’s mom recounted to me how much chicken curry and lentils and vegetables Chris ate. I couldn’t believe that they served my son spicy curries without even calling to ask us if that would be OK! I was taken aback and gently mentioned that spicy foods can be hard on small tummies, but it didn’t seem to register. Thankfully Chris didn’t get sick. My wife says to drop it because any conversation will look racial in nature and to only let the boys play at our place. Please help.”
As I said, it’s extremely stereotypical. Did he taste the food and then determine that it was way too spicy? No, he assumed it was. Besides, from his post, it seems like Chris enjoyed the meal and nothing happened to his “small tummy”, so I fail to see this man’s problem. Also, I would just like to add that India has the second-largest population in the world and we have all grown up eating that food and nothing has ever happened to our tummies.
Needless to say, people on twitter took real offence to this. As they should. Although surprisingly, Most of the people who came to the defence of Indian food were firang’s who shared their own memories they have with the cuisine. We are loving this.
Check out their reactions:
Were it not for dinners at my childhood friends house, I would never have known the perfection of a pumpkin curry, dry okra with black mustard seeds or lentils and spinach. At that point in my life everything was fried, or boiled to death.
— Jillian Alcott (@Jcalay) August 11, 2020
Maybe the parents are jealous that their kid finally got to taste food with flavors
— Avraham 😷 Bronstein (@AvBronstein) August 11, 2020
But don’t they know, curry is a gateway food! It could lead poor Chris to dislike home cooking and to be become a risky eater, craving for spicy Mexican, sushi with overdoses of wasabi or Chinese street markets! DEEP-FRIED BATS!!!
— Tralfamadorian🌊 (@EirolltheThird) August 11, 2020
If my son had curry at a friend’s house, my only concern would be “did you send leftovers for me??” 😂❤️
— Jackie Sanders (@JackieSandersNY) August 11, 2020
I wish someone had fed me Indian food without asking when I was nine.
— Christian McIntire (@McintireReal) August 11, 2020
The only danger of introducing Indian food to kids is that it’s so damn good, they may never eat anything else (said by mom who gave toddler sag paneer who is still loving it 15 years later) 😋
— Margaret Hetherman (@hetherman) August 11, 2020
My kids have been eating Indian food since they were 2 or 3. It is still one of their two most requested foods for takeout (other is Thai). Get to know other cultures and new people. It will make you a better person and their food is usually fucking amazing.
— 🌊 Brett 🌊 (@willsocal) August 11, 2020
Not surprising from the “mayonnaise is spicy” crowd; our only recourse is to continue to educate each other.
— ⚜️Rob Anderson for Louisiana (@RobAnderson2018) August 11, 2020
Indian food is more than a cuisine, it’s a feeling. The thing is though that there are people who might not like our food, that’s perfectly okay. But at least don’t generalize and stereotype. Whoever this man is, he needs to know that Indian food is not only delicious but also perfectly healthy. His condescending attitude will not fly. Besides, I think this is about more than “Indian food is spicy”. But I ain’t getting into all that.
Compared to their bland food, our cuisine tastes like, in the words of Monica Geller, little drops of heaven.