We’re all savvy to Azealia Banks’s recent stint bashing not only Zayn Malik, but the UK music game on a whole. She was swiftly knocked off her headline slot at Born & Bred (big up Rinse/ Born & Bred team) and eventually had to issue an apology to Zayn, and more specifically, curry.
Now, as a British Indian, after visiting my parents and having some good homely food (no lie, Shanti’s cooking would win hands-down in a fight against Gordon Ramsey’s), I often apologise when greeting my friends with a “sorry, I smell like a curry pot”. But as of today, those words shan’t cross my lips. Sounds like I’m not the only one, the Twitter hashtag #curryscentedbitch took hold of the South Asian scene globally in response to the slur.
I just had to get the word from satirical artist Maria Qamar otherwise known as @hatecopy on Instagram. As a Pakistani Canadian, she had to have some thoughts on all these burning roti’s right? – “The situation with Azealia was triggering for me, as it probably was for other Desis as well. I’m a little too emotional for my own good, so my initial reaction was to walk away from my computer and to keep from tearing up. Being talked down to about things regarding your race, culture and tradition that is, at the same time looked upon as inspiration by the same person is hurtful, enraging, and leaves us questioning ourselves. Why are we always made to feel ashamed of our cuisine? Or our way of dress? What was she trying to achieve by calling someone “Punjab?” Does she understand that she’s offended, like, a billion brown people and blacklisted herself from every Indian restaurant across the globe?”
“I feel the hashtag was retaliating with the right intentions; to take something meant to be negative and to turn it into a message of love and acceptance. It reminded me of that show ‘Hey, Arnold!’, in which Helga would spend her entire days being an asshole to Arnold but in fact was intensely in love with him. I have no doubt AB’s got a shrine of our favourite little bhai, Zayn, somewhere in her closet, too.”
— Maria. (@Hatecopy) May 11, 2016
This, is an ode to curry.
Although Azealia’s apology didn’t come across so sincere (with her still mildly defending her outburst), bizarrely of all, was her personal apology to curry, as she wrote; “I personally really enjoy curry and cook with it often. I feel compelled to clear the air with curry itself because that’s a bridge I don’t want to burn.”
Azealia, I may not be with you on much but I’m with you on that one. A life without curry is, well, not much of a life. But bizarrely it doesn’t end there, this week Channel 4 News reported a new kind of curry campaign. Get this, Tory MP Priti Patel seems to have a shared sentiment with Azealia as she stated, “The future of curry in this country is at risk because our membership in the European Union renders us powerless to control our borders.”
Yes. You did read that correctly, apparently our beloved British curry industry is under threat! But before we all flock to our local Indian Takeaway let’s look into this a bit more…
With just 3 weeks before the June 23rd BREXIT vote, this is the new and latest argument being made by the Vote Leave campaign as to why we should leave the European Union. Priti and fellow campaigners suggested that due to restrictions on visas, professional migrants coming from Commonwealth countries (such as Indian chefs) are being turned away to allow migrants from the EU to enter the country. Now given the recent refugee crisis at the European borders, seems like a strange time to be talking up the merits of immigration when it comes to curry, but not so for a refugee. With earlier claims this week that David Cameron had joined Tinder to flirt with the youth vote, this is just yet another bizarre twist in the political landscape of Britain that has us pining for something a little more smarter in this debate. How stir curry can you get?
The EU debate has seemingly skipped over issues that will affect the younger generation, and although their idea to keep us in the loop is a lost cause, don’t let that put you off your right to vote. Make an informed decision, whether you’re wondering if leaving the EU will have an impact on the music and creative sector or if you’re simply worried it will cause mishaps for your yearly trip to Ibiza, just do your research. The vote does unfortunately for some fall during Glastonbury festivities, and so, if you are one of the thousands flocking to the music festival, make sure you get your postal vote in early.
But in the meantime, hurry to your local curry house, order a very British Chicken Tandoori and wash it down with a beer in ode to curry – but don’t worry, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.