That's a pot of chicken curry which includes tao pok and potatoes made by my Lioness on my request (click the picture to bloat it). Curry is a spicy local dish that comes in many varied forms well-loved and enjoyed by every race here. Curry is absolutely one of my favourite dishes even though it wasn't invented by my race but I'm mighty glad the Indians did. My tastebuds can testify to that, Slurp!
There is no official 'Curry Day'. But today is the day when lots of my fellow countrymen here on home ground as well as overseas deliberately cook or buy the dish for consumption. The reason? To make a statement which you can read about here.
The true story of the incident that sparked off this nation-wide event happened like this in a nut shell: A family of PRCs staying in a HDB flat was turned off by the smell of curry whenever their local Indian neighbours cooked the dish. So they lodged a complain and their case was mediated, resulting in the Indian family agreeing that they will only cook curry when their PRC neighbours are not at home. The details of the incident are found here.
That family originally from China telling the local Indians not to cook curry, which is a LOCAL dish that has become a cultural thing shared by the true blue races here as one united people, would be akin to them going to North Korea and telling the people there to stop eating Kimchi.
There is a saying: 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do.' Within the context of this incident, this means that that PRC family ought to assimilate themselves with the local culture, traditions and even cuisine since they have decided to settle down here.
Granted, I'm sure they have a genuine aversion to the smell of curry but it just so happens that every house and apartment here comes with windows and doors that one can close to prevent undesirable momentary outside elements from making their way into the house. It wasn't even like the Indian family tried to force curry down their throats.
And when it comes to living in a HDB apartment, one has to have a certain level of tolerance for one's neighbours since everyone is just staying side-by-side or opposite one another. I really think that if you are a new citizen, telling your local-born neighbours to stop cooking local dishes that may even be older than you are is just plain rude.
So this is why we are eating curry today. It isn't just an act of enjoying the food, it's a concerted effort to protect the multi-racial nation's culture, tradition and identity shared or accepted and tolerated by every race here.
Since we allow people from foreign lands to come to our own land, it is only mutual courtesy if our guests are willing to live with our ways of life, especially if they have chosen to settle down among us.
Like I've said, we provide windows and doors in our homes here to block out outside elements we do not like. One of my neighbours used to cook belachan once in awhile. When you cook belachan, your immediate vicinity will be permeated with the smell. Whenever that happened, I'd just close my windows, no biggie. It only lasted for less than an hour each time. I can live with that.
And the process of cooking curry is just a momentary thing as well; it doesn't even last as long as it would take for some people to figure out that every different corner of the universe doesn't revolve around them with themselves as the central focal point of attention.
- De Lion Speaks