Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Two days ago I was cooking in the kitchen along with a French girl who has been born in India but has been in France since she was 5. She has a Tamil origin. As we were cooking our talks came to a point where we were discussing the spicy nature of Indian food as we were adding different spices to the food. At that moment she said something about a fact which I had also thought about it previously.

The fact is, although India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have a huge population but they are never successful in sports. In Olympics or any other games we don't see them gaining the top rankings. She was telling me that this might be because of the food. They eat a lot of spicy food which is not so good for health. This might be partly true but not the whole truth. I like spicy food and Indian food, so I prefer finding another explanation. While playing cricket I found out that this sport is extremely slow and every time only two people are really involved in the game and even then those two are not giving themselves too much trouble to run as fast as they can. At the other hand, I've noticed that Indian people are very peaceful people. They hate to get themselves into any fight or trouble. No wonder that the philosophy of Non-violence (ahimsa) was first began in India and was demonstrated by Gandhi. I have come to realize that Indians and all people living in subcontinent are generally peaceful people. So blaming all this over spicy food might not be a good excuse. I like to see it the other way: They are so calm and tranquil that in order to make themselves more active and challenging they tend to eat very spicy foods!

This idea might be completely wrong but I still like to search for a good explanation for this.

In my last post about Azeri culture of having the girls run away, there were some questions. Some things are so obviously traditionalized that we in Iran most of the time don't notice them. For example in the time of marriage, permission of father is necessary for the girl but the boys can marry without needing permission. This is not just a law but also part of Iranian and Islamic tradition. Recently there have been women who are fighting to change these kinds of laws but even among the women not everyone agrees with the change of law. There is still a lot of time needed to change these traditions. To be honest, it still works in Iran but everything might change in the future. Like the fact that until some time ago having a girl friend or boyfriend among boys and girls was not totally accepted but today a high percentage of boys and girls in urban areas freely have these kinds of relations.


KL said...

Recent medical research have suggest that spicy foods (Indian spices like coriander, cumin, ginger, garlic, tumeric, and lots of herb type spices that Indians use) are very good for your health - in fact, lots of reports like these are often published (not only in medical journals) but also in BBC. They are especially good for fighting cancer; and perhaps that's one of the reasons why India hardly has any cancer while there is much POLLUTION in Air, Water, food, everywhere.

Indians are horrible in sport because of their vegetarian food habit - can you imagine running a marathon, or any of those physical sports on all those Indian vegetable curry, bread (naan, roti) and lentil soup without any meat or other things to make protein for your muscles!!!!!???

Ok, I'm still waiting for your recipes :):)..

KL said...

Oh! I forgot to mention that Indian food consumed in homes are usually not that spicey - perhaps 1 or 2 different spices are used. Whatever you eat in Indian restaurants are typical north Indian food and they are cooked in that way either in restaurants or in special occassions, but rarely in homes. However, if people like spicy food they can cook it in that way :).