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Contents: On the Table: Pathways between Food Studies and Food Writing (Issue 52)

Contents: On the Table: Pathways between Food Studies and Food Writing (Issue 52)

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Contributors

Contributors

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Guest-Editorial – On the Table: Pathways between Food Studies and Food Writing

By Somrita Urni Ganguly
Food is science. Food is art. Food is economics. Food is sociology, politics, and anthropology. Food is poetry, drama, culture, and identity. Indeed, as Amit Chaudhuri points out in the opening lines of his poem ‘Sweet Shop,’ from his 2019 anthology of verses Sweet Shop (Penguin Random House), food encompasses an entire universe in itself.

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Rabelesiana

By Cristina Peri Rossi
She would drink my menstrual blood
with a few drops of liquor
and a pinch of cinnamon.

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Hushed Husks

By Sufia Khatoon
I feel the impulse of life leaving my body –
first the heart
then the shadow of love from the nucleus of the skin peeling the husks.

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炒面 | chāu-mèing | chow mein | চাউমিন

By Somrita Urni Ganguly
In Calcutta, chowmein was ubiquitous in the '90s in urban Bengali households./ Through a strange semantic change, the word was shortened to chow: the stir-friedness of the mein gaining precedence over the meinness of the mein in the foreign tongue.

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A Review: Chandramohan S’s “Beef Poem”

By Appu Jacob John
He is an Indian English Dalit poet who is known for his outspoken poetry. “Beef Poem” tells us of the subaltern entity of a beef-eater. The poem is divided into fourteen stanzas or sections. Each section is a haiku on beef and how it represents the modern days of subaltern reality.

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Chicken Khirmich Pilaf: Recreating A Lost Bengali Dish, And My Memories Of My Kitchen

By Manjari Chowdhury & Somrita Urni Ganguly
Much later, I realized that if I do really want to know about my Bengali culinary roots I must do what I believe the only way to gather knowledge, that is read books. What I discovered has left me brimming with pride: in Bengal women were publishing their own cookbooks at a time when women’s rights and women’s emancipation were unheard of in most parts of the world.

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Inherited Recipes: Memories of Albina’s Lithuanian-American Kitchen

By Kathleen Rose Kahn & Justin Eli Kahn
Albina was proud of her Lithuanian-American heritage and her recipes are a testimony to that. She married into a Polish-American family, and together the family tried to assimilate into American culture and society. However, the three recipes that I share with you – comfort food for me – harks back to their strong East-European roots.

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Strange Fruit: Or, to be Dalit, and Eat

By Rahee Punyashloka
Today, the Dalit culinaire faces a curious paradox. On the one hand, she feels like she has to discard practices from a past life. On the other hand, the alternative often means the pressure to gentrify her taste-buds to suit an order of things that she feels is out of place. All her life she has had to negotiate with this double-edge, hiding her own culinary identity as she navigates the new-found urban-public spaces, often, at a great cost.

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Deceiving the Aam Aadmi: Sting Operations on Food Adulteration

By Diksha Narang
The food of the marketplace, in these news pieces, is described as deceptively shiny and inviting, but also dangerous. In such a reportage on the issue of adulteration, the food supply is problematized as potentially poisonous rather than being nourishing. To decipher the dividing line between poison and nourishment, the news media position the need for hypervigilance.

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Too Gay an Oreo!: The Cultural Connotations of Queer(ing) Food

By Anil Pradhan
The socio-cultural connotations of both the identification between food and ‘queer’-ness and the subsequent objection to such transgressive relations point out to the crucial importance of food as/ in sexual politics. The controversy ensured that Oreo was inducted into the hall of fame of ‘Gay Food.’ But what is ‘Gay Food’? And how does this relational politics play a crucial role in sustaining and/ or resisting non-heteronormative sexualities in the socio-cultural schema of culinary associations?

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Culture in my Curry: Food as a Site for Communication, Translation, and Cosmopolitanism

By Gaurav Kumar
This paper will consider food as a site of cultural complexity to analyse the ways in which certain comestibles, cuisines, names or prohibitions become sites for communication, translation or cosmopolitanism. The literary text at the focal point of this analysis will be Richard C. Morais’ The Hundred-Foot Journey, which narrates the story of Hassan Haji, a Muslim chef, born and raised in Bombay, but compelled, through the course of the novel, to make sense of the people and cuisines of London, Lumiere, and Paris.

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Delicious Fictions: Reading Food in Literature

By Nimisha Sinha
Food has a fascinating ability to transform itself completely: its materiality is always in flux, continually changing until it is embodied and eventually discarded. Each stage of this change holds distinct interpretive peculiarity, and studying the complex networks of food can allow us to locate it in relation to other modalities of power.

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Zahra Foundation, and Food as Community Service: A Report

By Taiyaba Ali
Zahra Café and Restaurant opened its first outlet in August 2018, the second one came up in the very next month, and by November they were able to open the door of their third and the biggest venture. While the café is Saif and Javed’s brainchild, their childhood friends and fellow students at the University – Shaghil Iqbal and Fahad Masood Farooqui – joined Zahra’s core team and now all four manage the Café as well as its charity initiatives. The instant popularity of their food made them a local favourite and helped them generate more funds for the iftar distribution drive in the slums of Batla House, Madanpur Khadar, and also the Rohingya refugee camps in Kalindi Kunj and Shram Vihar. Since 2017, the Zahra Foundation has been helping nearly 500 families each year during the month of Ramzan.

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Contents – Rohingya Refugees: Identity, Citizenship, and Human Rights (Issue 51)

Contents – Rohingya Refugees: Identity, Citizenship, and Human Rights (Issue 51)

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Contributors

Contributors

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Guest-Editorial – Rohingya Refugees: Identity, Citizenship, and Human Rights

By Chapparban Sajaudeen
The  articles contained in this issue of Café Dissensus from different countries and scholars from diverse disciplines address various issues related to the Rohingya as a community and refugee group. I hope this issue will redress the question of scholarly silence around the Rohingyas in India, a “sensitive” issue, and inspire many others  to research on this topic, thereby removing our misconceptions about the refugees in general and the Rohingya refugees in particular. 

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A Linguistic Anthropology to Rohingya Identity

By Abdullah Al Yusuf
The use of linguistic anthropology, archaeology and epigraphy promises better chances of establishing the well-deserved claim of Rohingyas being the earliest inhabitants of Arakan. While the specific word ‘Rohingya’ may not have appeared in the earliest traceable artifacts, the language used by Rohingya ancestors, and by others to define them, can be traced back to the second millennium BCE.

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Contravention of Rohingya Refugees’ Human Rights in Myanmar

By Daruge Shayad Nasirsab
Since the 1970s, a number of crackdowns on the Rohingya in the Rakhine state has forced hundreds of thousands to flee to neighboring Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries. During such crackdowns, refugees have often reported rape, torture, arson and murder by Myanmar security forces.

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Rohingya Refugees in Hyderabad: Socio-Economic and Educational Conditions

By Ishrat Jahan
Most women in refugee camps are widowed, pregnant or have just delivered babies in government hospitals. Since they are stateless (without citizenship) and without economic means, they have free of cost C-section in government hospitals. After that they need more health care and nutritious food. The health and sanitation of these women are often neglected because of various politically-motivated reasons.

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‘Rohingyas, India is not for you’: An Examination of the Political Debates on Rohingya Refugees in India

By Vineeth Mathoor & Sunil Kumar PM
For the contemporary Indian government, backed by the RSS and various Hindu Right wing groups, the Rohingya refugee issue is more political and cultural than humanitarian. Moreover, we need to realize that India is ruled by either BJP or BJP-led NDA governments at the center and the majority of Indian states. These governments promote the Hindu culture of their choice and create a stereotyped image of Hinduism.

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The Vulnerability of the Rohingya Refugees

By Heisnam Olivia Devi
Myanmar soldiers used Rohingya women as sex tools during the armed conflict simply because they belong to the Rohingya Muslim community. Since the Myanmar government denies them citizenship, they are vulnerable to harassment and torture by the Myanmar soldiers.

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Deportation of Rohingya Refugees, Indian Law and Politics of Hospitality

By Hemaadri Singh Rana
The politics of hospitality, i.e., the politics of inclusion/exclusion of refugee groups and variations in their treatment, is grounded in the manner in which the state identifies refugees. The usage of the concepts of ‘self’ and ‘other’ with reference to citizens and refugees/aliens respectively categorizes refugees as a group of homogenous ‘other’.

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Politics of Statelessness and Citizenship: Rohingya Lives in the Shadows

By Kaveri Urmi
We would have been killed in Burma; therefore, we decided to flee. We first sneaked into Bangladesh… later, entered India, in the hope to have a better life. I paid Rs. 15000 to a broker at Cox Bazaar to cross the Bangladesh-India border by a car, and later reached Kolkata … and, I again paid Rs. 4000 to reach Delhi via train.

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