One of the nice things about New York is its ethnic diversity. There are people from all over the world living here. Due to that, businesses cater to each immigrant group. I find it fun to visit such places, even when I know nothing about their culture.
On Long Island, there is a large community of Indian-Americans and dozens of restaurants that serve them. There are also Indian supermarkets selling raw ingredients for Indian food (e.g., rice, spices, vegetables) and packaged Indian dishes. Today, I visited one of these supermarkets. What a blast! It was like travelling to another country.
All the signs and products were in several languages from that region of the world. I'm familiar with Indian cuisine so I bought several frozen dishes like Malai Kofta, Palak Paneer, Chhole and Samosas. I don't know how to cook these dishes, so heating up frozen ones works perfectly for me. I love "hot pickle" which are various fruits, like lemon and lime, marinated in spicy sauce. I also love mint chutney which is so minty fresh you can't believe your tongue.
While browsing, I saw a rack of Indian magazines. I couldn't read a word of them, but found the pictures fascinating. I bought a magazine that is obviously intended for women. The photos of beautiful models wearing traditional and modern dress are interesting. Femininity and gender-presentation cross cultural boundaries. Some of the pictures are below. What do you think of them?
When I buy women's clothing and products, nobody ever says anything to me. Cashiers just take my money, make change and bag the goods. This time was different. An adorable young Indian-American girl at the cash-register picked up the magazine, looked puzzled and asked me, "This for you?" I said yes. An expression of deep amusement crossed her face. She chuckled and said, "You can read?" I said no and explained I just like to look at the pictures. She blushed and smiled broadly. Our conversation was brief but memorable.
My close friend while growing up came from a traditional east indian family and I loved visiting because her mom always showed me how to cook amazing curry dishes (which I still make to this day) and we used to play dress up in all the fantastic sari's and jewelry her mom had. I love that you buy different magazines for ideas and inspiration and don't just buy the ones you see at the regular checkout (INStyle, Cosmopolitan, etc).ReplyDelete
Honestly, most American women's magazines are boringly the same.Delete
Ally darling! I'm out at a swing dance festival and my phone may die any moment but just wanted to comment on this lovely post after your comment. I was out all nighrwear dancing so I'm sorry haven't read it before. Thanks for your empathy. X xReplyDelete
That last photo looks sooo photoshopped though! Here in Berlin, there are also people from all over the world and I find it so interesting!ReplyDelete
I def think diversity is so great. A great thing about New York. The Iadies are super gorgeous and I love the traditional dress and jewellery. The food, too! Curry is one of my fav dishes ever!ReplyDelete
The images are certainly beautiful. i never realized just how much I miss diversity and multiculturalism. It's probably what I miss most about Canada since moving to Poland....ReplyDelete
i used to be obsessed with bollywood movies....just to look at those beautiful indian women and men, lol. plus they always make good love stories with lots of dancing!ReplyDelete
Lovely post special one ... Love the photos you shared from the magazine.ReplyDelete
Hope your enjoy the meals you purchased.
I just bumped into my Indian friend at the mall with her daughter and the new grand baby!!! Interesting fact ... In Durban, which is on the south coast of South Africa and where my sisters and I were born. we have the largest Indian population outside of India.
Cool. There are immigrants all over the world.Delete
That sounds amazing. I have always adored Indian food and clothing. We had Indian neighbors when I was very, very little and my mom and dad were good friends with them. My brother's best friend for a long time was Indian.ReplyDelete
In my experience, Indian people - women and men alike! are always very excited to share their food and clothing with us. I've had Indian friends who were excited to see how I mixed thrifted kurtas (tunics) with American clothing. I recently ate at an Indian restaurant and the owner was very excited for us to try his dishes and wanted to ensure we were pleased.
My "American" palate is very happy with a lot of Indian foods. I'm jealous you have such a good place to go and pick out authentic things. I have to travel all the way to Nashville to get anything better than the freezer section at the grocery.
Sadly we have a lack of good Korean/Japanese and Indian food in my little town. However Mexican, GOOD Mexican food, can be found all over the place.
All of which says you should come visit!Delete
Wow, you know your stuff! I come from Malaysia originally, a country that has 3 major race - Malay, Chinese and Indian and still, I am an alien to some of these words! NY is truly a liberal and open city embracing all sorts of culture and ethnicity. Kudos!ReplyDelete
It's awesome that you purchased this magazine because it spoke to you and you wanted to admire the images inside. I think a lot about a given culture can be transmitted through images alone and much as with fashion itself, they often prove that there is no limit to different approaches and styles that one can find in different corners of this amazing globe of ours.ReplyDelete
*PS* I think you could rock a sari look big time, Ally!
Thanks, Jessica. I've fantasized about wearing one.Delete
This shop sounds amazing by the way, I love Asian food shops and Oriental.ReplyDelete
Oh I did leave a reply to your comment but here it is anyway:
Ahrgh, lost my reply. I said I am glad that I pulled you out of the doldrums. I am sorry there wasn't more response to your post. Saturdays are sometimes slow for blog comments I tend to find as people are out and about on their weeekends. You made a lovely comment to me a while back that remains in my heart about me leaving thoughtful comments for people. I treasure that and I think of that any time I feel despondent about blogging. You are a very kind blogger and very sincere. xxx
Where I live, Mexican is about as culturally diverse it gets around here. It's super depressing.ReplyDelete
One word -- travel!Delete
I have never picked up an Indian issue of a magazine but I have come across some from Russia. Its interesting how they advertise things, how the clothing is different, even the models !ReplyDelete
My husband was born and raised in India, so those foods look familiar! He uses a lot of boxed mixes when cooking and they are pretty tasty. We have a slew of pickles as well. ... Indians love their condiments.ReplyDelete
My first thought was those photos, especially the last two, look pretty heavily Photoshopped! But how wonderful that you enjoyed visiting this shop, the food (YUM - next time, we're going to the Indian restaurant instead and not waiting for an hour), and looking at a women's magazine from another culture! Most people wouldn't bother to look at it, much less seek out the experience. It's inspirational that you do. Seeing what life and culture are like in various places is vital to being well-rounded, I think.ReplyDelete