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 of…

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 under…

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,…

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 cross…

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—mostly…

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 order…

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 politicians…