Migrants are always praised for broadening the food we eat. The multicultural cuisine cliché is being put to good use this Wednesday 24 February. This follows the furore caused by violence against Indians living in Australia. Better community relations are being promoted through our restaurants:
Melburnians have always been known as foodies, but now they have a new reason to eat out.
The city's reputation has taken a battering in the last 12 months amid reports surfacing of racially-motivated attacks targeting Indian students.
Fed up with violence and the bad wrap her city was receiving, Mia Northrop decided to embrace Melbourne's love of food in a show of support for the Indian and migrant community.
On February 24, she is encouraging people all over Australia to take part in Vindaloo Against Violence.
There is a dedicated blog, Vindaloo Against Violence:
Dine at your local Indian restaurant on Wednesday 24 February 2010.
This violence threatens all Melburnians’ sense of safety and pride in their home. I want the Melbourne Indian community -and all immigrant communities – to know that they are welcome and entitled to feel safe here.
How cool would it be if Melbourne displayed a show of force by all going out and eating Indian food on a certain night, to embrace and show solidarity with our local Indian community?
There is even a thread at JamieOliver.com.
The FOOTSCRAY FOOD BLOG aims “to illuminate Melbourne's maligned western suburbs and reveal them as the treasure trove they really are.” They have embraced the idea:
Now you may be thinking this is all a bit pat, that it's a lazy, empty gesture towards a serious problem. I disagree! This is a 100% grass-roots movement, started by one woman with no political aspirations or connections, because she was appalled at recent events.
FoodstuffMelb echoes these sentiments:
The debate continues to rage as to whether or not these attacks are racially motivated, however racially motivated or not, one thing is certain, the world’s attention has been turned to Melbourne and questions are being asked about the safety of our streets; particularly for those in our Indian community.
So what are you waiting for? Head on over to their website, register your interests and hopefully together we can all send a powerful message that Melbourne is proud of its Indian community and all that it offers.
There’s a Facebook Event that you can sign up to.
It’s also on twitter, of course, at http://twitter.com/VagainstV. One tweet among myriad positive responses: “a stranger just invited me to a home-cooked Indian meal at their place on 24 Feb. humbled. so glad this event means something to so many.” 1:12 PM Feb 16th from web
If you Google Blogs for this alliterative phrase, there are hundreds of posts. They include many from across the globe, as the idea has spread virally.
Indian online media have taken up the story with gusto:
A Melbourne web designer's Internet campaign to protest attacks against Indian citizens in Australia, “Vindaloo Against Violence”, has turned into a runaway success.
According to reports, more than 10,000 people have signed up on the Internet for Mia Northrop's campaign, some from as far away as New York.
… Dinners will be held in Amsterdam, Thailand, Malaysia and all Australian capital cities.
It’s a refreshing to spread a good news story for a change.
Come on! Join us in a ‘pappadum for peace’, as one wag suggested.