Tag

identity

Browsing

What a country’s national dish tells us about cultural identity

Does your country have a national dish? It is rumoured the government of India is set to announce the country’s official national food — Khichdi — at an upcoming international food event. This news has caused quite a debate on social media. Why would there be the need to do something like this now? Kaichdi can be found in different parts of India all with varying recipes. However, the dish is simple and considered a staple mean in the country.

Khichdi is an interesting choice for India. Westerner’s would probably expect it to be something like butter chicken or anything with tandoori, because these are the most popular dishes associated with the country. Khichdi is a wet stew made using lentils, rice, and spices, with some regions adding meat. The dish is well-known in India itself and almost every region of the country has a different version of the dish. And yet, Twitter experienced a firestorm from angry food lovers, with many tweeting their opinion on the possibility of this dish being slated as a national dish. What this debate is showing us is that there is a significant importance between a nation’s identity and food.

Originating from Southern India, this dish is considered easy to make, humble, and one of the first dishes that babies can be introduced to. India’s Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, clarifies that the recognition of Khichdi is happening because it will be put on record at the World Food India event, which is set to take place in the country’s capital. Because of this event and all the attention that Khichdi is getting, this makes the dish a sort of unofficial representation of Indian food. Because of its simplicity, there will be a world record attempt to cook 800 kilos of the dish.

With all the funny tweets aside, the most interesting part about the Khichdi debate makes me wonder about what really qualifies as a national dish for some countries? A national dish is an important title because it is a country’s food-related identity, speaking to that countries culture. Not everyone is going to universally love a food and some may be more popular than others. Women’s Post decided to research some other popular ‘national dishes.’ These may or may not cause another debate.

England- Fish & Chips

China- Fried rice

Jamaica- Jerk Chicken

Italy- Pizza

Phillipines- Adobo

Guyana- Pepperpot

Chile- Empanada

Vietnam- Pho

Japan- Sushi

Canada- Poutine, Butter Tarts, Nanaimo Bars…

United States- Hamburgers, Hot Dogs,….. Apple Pie, Chicken Wings ???? Literally everything

While this list can have many additions, there were some easy picks and some much harder, every country is diverse and mixed with different cultures so deciding on one staple dish is more of a difficult choice.

Let us know in the comments below where you are from and what you consider your country’s national dish.

 

Danica Roem first transgender person elected as Virginia lawmaker

It was a historic moment in the United States last night as key areas in political history were marked. Of the many “firsts” in this election, the most inspirational was Democrat Danica Roem, who is now the first openly transgender person to be elected a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Roem was elected over outspoken state lawmaker Robert G Marshall, who has held the house seat since 1992. Marshall previously refused to debate Roem and repeatedly used the wrong gender pronouns when referencing her campaign. Marshall was criticized for his social policy by Roem and often faced controversial issues amongst his own Republican statesmen. Known for his homophobic remarks, Marshall supported restricted bathrooms for transgender people.

Roem openly addressed her gender during her campaign and was open about her transition and the therapy she underwent when she was 28. In an interview with the Associated Press earlier this year, Roem highlighted the fact that politics should be inclusive of all.

” No matter what you look like, where you come from, how you worship or who you love, if you have good public policy ideas, if you’re qualified for office, you have every right to bring your ideas to the table.”

Roem beat Marshall by nine percentage points and out-raised Marshall during the campaign, collecting almost $500,000, with a lot of support coming from the LGBT community. While Roem had a strong social media presence and went door to door in the community discussing her platform, Marshall kept his schedule private, instead issuing advertisements attacking Roem’s transgender identity.

Roem referred to Marshall as a mirror of Trump and criticized him on his unwillingness to deal with social issues. When Roem won, many community supporters compared the victory to that of Barack Obama. It is even more inspirational considering the political climate of the United States, where a government exists that is hell bent on refusing basic rights to people within the LGBTQ community.

There were a few other historic wins during Tuesday’s election:

  • Andrea Jenkins won a seat in Minneapolis City Council to represent Ward 8. Jenkins is the city’s first openly transgender woman of colour.
  • In New Jersey, Ravinder Bhalla was elected as as the first Sikh Mayor in that state.
  • Jenny Durkan is the first openly lesbian mayor of Seattle.
  • Michelle Kaufusi is the first female mayor in the City of Provo in Utah.
  • Vi Lyes is the first black woman to be elected the mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • Kathy Tran is the first Asian-American woman to be elected to Virginia House of Delegates.
  • Zachary DeWolf is the first openly gay school board member in Seattle.
  • Melvin Carter III was elected the first black mayor of St Paul in Minnesota.

Let us know your thoughts below.

Be a rebel: don’t try to change yourself in the New Year

So many people set unattainable goals for New Years. I often hear ‘I’m going to lose x-amount of weight and go to the gym every day’ or ‘I will obtain my dream job and become rich and famous’. Most people tend to pigeon-hole ourselves into unattainable goals carefully concealed as ‘New Year’s Resolutions’. Instead, why not abandon ship on the resolution boat to hell and commit to loving yourself just as you are?

The constant need for change and validation is a long-time tradition that goes back to the days of early capitalism. We can thank our early 1950’s grandparents for our deeply rooted love of the newest and shiniest next-best-thing. Whether it was buying a new car or working towards getting the bigger house, we were taught as western children to always strive for great material happiness. With the social media craze that has erupted and overtaken our lives, society has fortunately strayed from the material obsession with houses and cars, but a darker horse has emerged.  In the present day, the newest cool shiny thing is the commodity of a person’s identity and how they present themselves on a daily basis in our tech-dependant world.

On Facebook and Instagram, do you have enough photos with friends in them? Where are your yummy food photos that must be taken at hip restaurants (make sure to use a rateable app on your smartphone)? Do not forget your cute puppy photos, preferably with a pug sitting on your sexy boyfriend’s six pack.

Back to New Year’s resolutions. Due to the fact that we are literally commodifying our identities on a variety of intensely open social media outlets, New Year’s resolutions are no longer only a cute suggestion. Instead, they have become necessary in order to publically demonstrate that you are always striving to be better (with the hope of getting more ‘likes’ of course). So with that knowledge in mind, I say screw it! Abandon that four point agenda on how you will find your dream job, husband, dog, and white picket fence in the span of 12 months (when you really know four of those months will be spend crying (in private of course) over having failed to find any of the above). It is time to abandon your self-hating commitment to loss a ton of weight and dedicate yourself solely to exercising at the expense of all other pleasures.

On New Year’s Day, in an effort to be a rebel and abandon all New Year’s resolutions I vow to wake up (hungover no doubt) and look myself in the mirror to say, ‘hey, I love you girl’. Once we set aside our false expectations and fake online identities, it becomes apparent that we are all works in progress. I kind of suck sometimes. I fail to get to the gym on my lazy days, I have been caught eating more than one cookie after midnight and clothes do end up on my bedroom floor. But at the end of the day, I remember to commend myself for getting up and brushing my teeth earlier that day. I am growing and so are you. Love all the idiotic moments we will inextricably find ourselves in along the way.

New Year’s resolutions or not, I will continue to be somewhere between my very best and worst, living my life to the fullest and with my camera phone tucked away.