Aziz Ansari and I have a lot in common. We both love pasta, live in NYC, tell jokes for a living (me in advertising) and felt like foreigners in India. A few days ago T: The New York Times Style Magazine sent me the above video about Aziz’s trip to Trivandrum. Having just finished my second...
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Knights of the Raj NYC is an immersive peek into the history of NYC curry cuisine. To understand why this is a fascinating visit to Brooklyn’s MOFAD that will feed your mind as well as your stomach, we need to back up to the origins of the Knights of the Raj and the curry uprise in Britain. The “Knights” started as an homage to those who are responsible for bringing curry to Britain in the first place, the Bangledeshis. aka, the East Pakistanis or British Indian Muslims, depending on what year you are focused on when discussing the topic. A short history of India seems necessary. The British Raj, as Britain was known, occupied India between 1858 and 1947 until “partition” emancipated India and Pakistan from British rule. The handy work of Brit Cyril Radcliffe drew new borders with the goal of dividing Pakistan and India so that the Muslim and Hindu populations were not disturbed. FAIL on Cyril’s part. Known as the Radcliffe line, this ridiculous re-bordering made a split country of Pakistan creating two wings, east and west, with India in the middle. This also caused 14 million Muslims and Hindus to flee across new borders when they discovered they were in the wrong country. This duo of Pakistans only lasted until 1971 when a revolution in East Pakistan due to civil disobedience led to the war of independence resulting in the new state of Bangladesh. Whew, ok…That brings us back to Banglideshis migrating from their newly formed country that was experiencing famine, poverty and military coups to Britain. Along with this they obviously brought their food and curry started to make its way into the British culture as an exotic dish. Fast forward to modern day and Britains national dish declared curry and rice, you can image the impact the Knights of the Raj have had in a short 50 years. With 30,000 Indian restaurants in the UK, The Knights stories start with the first Bangladeshis settling in Birmingham and spreading across Britain. Curated by artist Mohammad Ali The Knights of the Raj NYC is a continuation of the British story and Bangladeshis landing in New York. Included in the visit are Immersive Arts Experiences, Walk-In Diorama, Live Performances, and a Three-Course Sampler Menu of Bangladeshi Street Foods and British-Style Curries. July 20th – August 5th from 6:30 to 9:30 pm in Brooklyn, NY