Black man in Chatsworth: 10 Things I’ve realised about Indians.
January 21, 2015
All I had known before moving to Chatsworth was diversity. When I therefore announced my move to Chatsworth,my friends and Chuck Norris would look at me with reservation and ask if I was sure about my decision. Truth be told, I hadn’t done much research about the area but when I moved it finally made sense. Thanks to Apartheid, Chatsworth was designated as an Indian Settlement. Race has never really been a big deal for me but for the first time in my life, I was in the “minority group” and as a result more conscious of my skin tone. It’s been an interesting year and I’ve come to realise a few things.
1) Don’t be alarmed, every other person in Chatsworth has gold or silver plated teeth. Young and old alike. I am of the opinion that this goes hand in hand with a strong Hip Hop influence. In the beginning this used to frustrate me, but I soon learnt that character is not defined by silver or gold teeth as these will soon fade away. Ha ha,jokes.
2) Indian Culture in Chatsworth dictates that old school R’n’B music is cool. I’ve often found myself listening and bobbing my head to “Return of the Mac” and Jagged Edge in a taxi full of Indian people. Singing: “If you are sexy and you know it,clap your hands!”
Well if no one else will clap, I will.
3) In Indian Culture spices are taken very seriously.Supermarkets like Pick’n’Pay and Checkers in Chatsworth, have overwhelmingly long spice aisles. Here you will find both grounded and ungrounded spices .The list includes :leaves;seedpods;jira;masala; somf;cinnamon sticks ,the works!When you attempt to cook your first Mutton Biryani,I strongly advise you to buy a ready packed spice mix,or alternatively you can ask Aunty Maya to mix the spices for you to your preference.
4) When ordering Nandos in Chatsworth, the flavour Lemon and Herb is a myth. The benchmark flavour is Mild. Hot and extra Hot follow suit. No ladies and gentlemen,this is not a stereotype,it’s true.
5) Indians will go out of their way to be generous. When I first moved into my bachelor pad, I came back home after work to find that my house had been broken into . My landlord had put a fridge,a two plate stove and an iron in my kitchen. Not to mention the curtains that had been put up. I was grateful because my transition into living alone was made that much easier.
6) “Indian time” is on par with,if not worse than “African time.” I was amped for men’s camp and had been told to be ready by 6 pm sharp,I got picked up at 8pm.
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