An Indian family in Singapore has agreed not to cook curry when their newly arrived neighbors from China are at home after the latter complained to authorities about the smell of curry. To show solidarity to all Singaporeans who love curry, which is after all a national dish, a “Cook A Pot of Curry Day” event was organized last Sunday, August 21. The Facebook page of the event had a confirmed attendance of more than 60,000. Below are some online reactions.
Jamie Huang is proud of the ‘curry’ unity last Sunday:
In any case, whilst our current government worries about integrating foreigners in the local fabric, I think we ought to take some time to be proud of, and be happy about the fault lines we have already bridged and achieved through the Curry Incident.
Singaporeans are united at last! What in the world could be negative about that?
SpeakSpokeWriteWrote believes that the success of the event has proven that Singaporeans can “come together and fight a cause, civilly and creatively”:
More than just a meal however, this event has made Singaporeans feel like Singaporeans. There is something deliciously simple to do together, and still make a statement. It gives me hope that we are more similar than we think and that given the right stimulus, we can come together and fight a cause, civilly and creatively.
Dee Kay Dot As Gee Mobile hopes the event will remind everybody to be more tolerant towards other cultures:
Today is Cook A Pot of Curry Day. Are you cooking curry now?
I wonder if this will become an annual event. Something like Racial Harmony Day or Total Defence Day. “Cook A Pot of Curry Day” can be a day to remind everyone to be more tolerant towards other culture, religion and race. Living in a small multi-racial and multi-cultural country like Singapore, we really need to be more sensitive towards each other.
So whether you are cooking a real pot of curry or cooking imaginary curry (like me), let’s remember that we are cooking curry today to remind ourselves to be more tolerant towards one another.
Eastcoastlife had a curry party with friends:
It's curry party at my house. My foreign guests were treated to vegetable curry, chicken curry and fish curry. I bought mini French loaves, make pratas and cooked a big pot of white rice to go with the curries.
Today, more than 60,000 people (some from all corners of the globe) have indicated on Facebook that they will cook and share a pot of curry or eat curry. Singaporeans hope the newly arrived citizens will appreciate curry and also embrace the cultures of the various ethnic groups here.
Chee Wai's Random Musing participated in the event in solidarity as a global citizen:
Many of those doing the same will probably be doing it for many different reasons. For my part, I will be expressing myself as a global citizen. I will allow the smell to waft out through the back patio door. If my neighbors do not like it, they will talk to me about it and I will engage them, as mature adults should. For me, it will be a non-issue, after all I do not take Panang as a staple and even if I do, I'm sure we can come to amicable solutions.
Ng E-Jay is not satisfied with the efforts of the government to promote racial harmony in Singapore:
I believe that given our history as a nation of immigrants, Singaporeans from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds have learnt over the generations to coexist harmoniously and peacefully.
Do the newcomers to our land, the foreigners that we welcome to our shores, share these same ideals too?
It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that foreigners who come to live and work here respect our local traditions and customs and appreciate our way of life.
Tolerance and understanding cannot be a one-way process. It must be a shared journey, a common path forged between Singaporeans, foreigners and the government. However, the government has yet to show it is keen on sharing this journey with Singaporeans.
seksi matashutyrmouf questions the mediation process of the government when neighbors lodge a complaint:
Why didn't they look out for the interests of the community? Why didn't they advice and warn the mainlander newcomer about the kind of flak that they were going to receive when they stop people from cooking curry? How did they not see that this would be interpreted as a cowboy newcomer muscling his way through the rights of a minority? Is the mediation narrowly defined as a mediation between 2 parties, or is there a 3rd party, the community / nation, whose input is being conveniently ignored?
Desiree Lim warns against the other forms of racism in society:
In this inflated moment of solidarity, the explicit racism I have seen Singaporean Chinese exhibit towards Indians (where curry is sometimes invoked as a slur!), local or not, is conveniently forgotten.
What if the situation were reversed – to involve a Singaporean family complaining about strong smells emanating from the flat of newly-arrived Indian immigrants? Dare we assert that we would have protected the rights of these Indians with equal fervour, seeing as the bulk of complaints about foreigners seem to revolve around their personal habits?