The Restaurant Putting India’s Disappearing Tribal Cuisine Back on the Menu

WHEN ARUNA TIRKEY, A MEMBER of Central India’s Oraon indigenous community, walked into her small town’s glossy new department store almost a decade ago, one product made her stop short: a packet of millet. Known locally among the Oraon as madua, millet was a staple in Tirkey’s family when she was growing up. As the influence ofContinue reading “The Restaurant Putting India’s Disappearing Tribal Cuisine Back on the Menu”

The Refugee Women Turning Tastes of Home Into a Food-Delivery Business

WHEN FOOD BECAME SCARCE UNDER Taliban rule, Hoor got creative. Since the Mujahideen conflict, trade between neighbors had been periodically forbidden, rations were portioned out to the privileged, and even growing garden plots could be risky. But years of war had taught her how to find food for her family in a pinch. Hoor snuck groceries underContinue reading “The Refugee Women Turning Tastes of Home Into a Food-Delivery Business”

Eat Like Royalty With This Cookbook From the Emperor Who Built the Taj Mahal

IT WAS THE MID 1600S, and Friar Sebastian Manriquea, a Portuguese priest who had come to visit the Mughal Court, wanted to witness a royal supper. It was a rare sight. The Mughal emperors, who ruled territory across the northern Indian subcontinent, usually didn’t dine with anyone but their wives and concubines. But on this day,Continue reading “Eat Like Royalty With This Cookbook From the Emperor Who Built the Taj Mahal”

This British Colonial Report Offers a Rare Glimpse Into India’s Historic Cannabis Cuisine

THICK, SUGARY, AND CREAMY, RICH with saffron and almonds, bhang thandai is so sweet that at first it’s hard to pinpoint the drink’s secret ingredient. After a sip or two, however, the telltale taste lingers: spicy and slightly musky, it’s the signature whiff of cannabis. After a few minutes, the high comes, dreamy as the rainbow play ofContinue reading “This British Colonial Report Offers a Rare Glimpse Into India’s Historic Cannabis Cuisine”

When Indian Hosts Opened Their Homes to Pakistani Cricket Fans

“YOU HAVEN’T BEEN BORN UNTIL you’ve seen Lahore,” says Kanwaljeet Singh. A resident of the city of Mohali in Punjab, India, Singh is quoting a regional saying. Yet Singh has never seen Lahore. While he’s lived all his life less than 150 miles from the Punjabi cultural and literary center, he’s never been able to crossContinue reading “When Indian Hosts Opened Their Homes to Pakistani Cricket Fans”

Why These Activists Are Protesting Hindu Nationalism in Trump’s America

On Friday, September 7th, six activists from Chicago South Asians for Justice stood up in the middle of the plenary panel of the World Hindu Congress in Chicago to voice their resistance to the Hindu nationalist political movement currently ascendant in India. Chanting “RSS turn around, we don’t want you in our town!,” the activists—mostlyContinue reading “Why These Activists Are Protesting Hindu Nationalism in Trump’s America”

Indian Supreme Court Decriminalizes Queer Sex, and Everyone Celebrates!

HAPPY 377 READ DOWN DAY, EVERYONE! In a rare piece of absolutely fabulous news, on Thursday, September 6, the Indian Supreme Court officially decriminalized homosexuality. Technically, the Court “read down” Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code to exclude consensual sex. Implemented in 1860 under British official Thomas Macauley, Section 377 outlawed “carnal acts against the orderContinue reading “Indian Supreme Court Decriminalizes Queer Sex, and Everyone Celebrates!”

Letting Go of American Exceptionalism, One Harvard-Educated Banker at a Time

It has, as the New York Times reports, been the year of the lynch mob. Amid the increasing hysteria of a blatantly Hindu-supremacist, anti-Muslim, and anti-poor government, mob lynchings have been on the rise in India. Since 2015, reports The Quint, 68 people have been lynched, most of them Muslims or Hindus from oppressed castes. Stoked by vote-hungry politiciansContinue reading “Letting Go of American Exceptionalism, One Harvard-Educated Banker at a Time”

Harsher Punishments Won’t Keep Kids Safe from Sexual Abuse: The Death Penalty in India

When rape makes the headlines in India, talk of hanging begins. Commentators blare from news screens; politicians pledge death. These stories of brutal crime and brutal punishment, all in the name of protecting women and girls, tell us something  important about contemporary Indian responses to rape. They also tell us about a fundamental flaw inContinue reading “Harsher Punishments Won’t Keep Kids Safe from Sexual Abuse: The Death Penalty in India”

As the Future of Climate Change Becomes Daily Reality, Poor Women Feel the Heat

The more privileged residents of the Global North have a strange sense of time. Even as the storms get fiercer and the forest fires burn, climate change is often seen as the reality of a cataclysmic future. At the same time, many Global North people—particularly the rich, the white, and those without much contact beyond moreContinue reading “As the Future of Climate Change Becomes Daily Reality, Poor Women Feel the Heat”