Abhijit Alka Anil

AKA Eternal Happiness

Om hvordan indiske mattradisjoner varierer, basert på kaste, klasse, religion og regioner.

Abhijit Alka Anil - Mat og meg - Memoar

Oslo 4. januar 2022: Abhijit forteller om kastesystemet i India, om patriarkalske tradisjoner og om mat fra hele India.

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Intervju med Abhijit Alka Anil, også kjent som Eternal Happiness i Oslo, Norge om den mangfoldige indiske matkulturen. Abhijit forteller om det å vokse opp i en spesiell kaste, forkaste den kasten, og nå identifisere seg kun med den menneskelige kasten. Han forteller om det å vokse opp og ønske å hjelpe moren sin å lage mat og rydde, men ikke få lov på grunn av det patriarkalske systemet som ikke tillater gutter å lage mat. Han forteller om å reise over hele India som fotojournalist og se hvordan matkulturer endrer seg drastisk fra landsby til landsby. Han forteller også om å flytte til Norge med kona si og fortsette å forberede tradisjonelle indiske matretter samtidig som han utforsket ulike Europeiske kjøkken - med ulikt resultat. Abhijit poengterer at matkultur i India er direkte linket til ens sosiale, politiske og religiøse posisjon i samfunnet.

Intervjuer er Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor.

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00:00: Introduction, Abhijit Alka Anil, Oslo.

00:50: Born and grew up in Mumbai, India, travelled a lot.

01:33: Very traditional patriarchal household, mother and grandmother cooked vegetarian food.

03:14: Amul is India's largest milk corporation, revolutionized dairy industry. The milk that is chosen is based on caste. Everything connected to social, political and economical status.

05:30: Denounced his caste, has no surname.

06:40 In India shopping at street markets in the 80's, now there are more grocery stores street markets.

07:50: The street food in India is very diverse, within 75-100 km the taste of food will change, 6 languages spoken in Mumbai city.

11:30: 6-7 different types of chutneys served in home growing up, can make 3-4 now.

12:30: Every Sunday family cooked South Indian dishes, 6 South Indian states, coming from a strict religious background it was customary to eat chapati, rice, salad.

14:49: Growing up, nothing is ever "too spicy" for children, corporal punishment was normal and used to make children eat. Now that is changing.

17:24: Can make chapatis here in Oslo but not precisely which is rooted in strict patriarchal rules, used to help mother with cleaning which was frowned upon.

20:17: Wife comes from strict non-vegetarian family, closeted non-vegetarian friends in India, strict tools for each dietary restriction, cook Indian food at home together.

24:24: Favorite restaurant in Oslo is Punjab Tandoori, Indian food is generalized in the Western world, there are varieties of Indian foods across the entire country that are very specific.

27:42: The preparation of tea changes from village to village in India. There is tea with salt or sugar. You are judged on what you eat socially and politically. Food is entrance to caste.

30:46: Spice and variety is one part of Indian food. It's easier to put the entire country inside of a box.

33:10: Since moving to Norway three years ago, he and his wife have not engaged much in Norwegian cuisines. The only food he is likes cinnamon buns. Bread is not a part of Indian culture and it is difficult to digest.

36:00: Mumbai street breakfast gives many different kinds of food and is filling for several hours.

38:38: As a photojournalist, has travelled to the least visited places. In western culture, if you are vegetarian then you may eat fish or egg and you specify. In Indian culture, it is taboo to eat fish or egg if you are vegetarian. But in some high-caste Indian cultures next to the sea, fish is an essential part of their diet. Hindu religion prays to the cow and gives thanks for milk.