my white friend just whatsapped me "In the last year I've taught myself to cook several pakistani dishes like Daal, Nihari, Aloo Gohst and Falooda (yum)."
hahahaha he might just trigger a new IndoPak war
— Zach Zavid (@ZacharyLatif) October 11, 2018
I should have added “woke white friend” but I found this to be so hilarious. I mentioned that he should just say “Indo-Mughlai” or “Indo-Pakistani” though from my understanding Nihari, Aloo Ghosht and Falood have definite Turanian influences. Daal of course is a staple food but depends on what type of Daal; Haleem is certainly ours.
Much as I love my woke white friends (they find my persistent Toryism to be hilarious) I don’t approve of their use of the term desi as in this recent tweet:
Is Mrs Batra a reasonable name for a London desi woman in her thirties?
— Ben Aaronovitch (@Ben_Aaronovitch) October 7, 2018
It’s like asking if Stanislaw is a suitable Eastern European name. @DAaronovitch question scared as to what character he is writing up lollll
— Zach Zavid (@ZacharyLatif) October 7, 2018
A “London desi woman” doesn’t exist and using it (to paraphrase King Khan, “not even wrong”) just suggests “trying to be woke” without understanding anything at all. There are at least 5 different desi communities in our great city Londonistan (Pakistani, Sikh, Gujju, Tamil and miscellaneous); BatPakistani, Sikh, Gujju, Tamil and miscellaneousra being a Hindu Punjabi name (also Khatri Sikh surname but they aren’t really here in Britain more in Delhi) would be just out of place.
It seems Aaronovitch has googled the name and I wouldn’t mind but if you can’t “write what you know” at least “know what you write.” There is so much “particularity” to the Londonstani/desi experience that it can’t be generically represented (he essentially wants to write about a brown housewife with an exotic surname to tantalise his readers and that’s appropriating).