People Are Calling For The Word ‘Curry’ To Be Cancelled Over Colonialism Roots

by : Cameron Frew on : 09 Aug 2021 08:56
People Are Calling For The Word 'Curry' To Be Cancelled Over Colonialism Rootsthe_curry_inn/Instagram/curryhousebristol

Food bloggers are calling for the word ‘curry’ to be cancelled, amid claims it’s rooted in British colonialism. 

Curries are a dinnertime staple all across the UK, whether you’re making your own, rustling up a microwaveable packet or ordering a set meal from your local takeaway.


Earlier this year, Chaheti Bansal, 27, posted a video to Instagram arguing for people to ‘cancel the word curry’, which racked up more than 3.6 million views.

‘There’s a saying that the food in India changes every 100km and yet we’re still using this umbrella term popularised by white people who couldn’t be bothered to learn the actual names of our dishes. But we can still unlearn,’ she said.

‘Curry shouldn’t be all that you think about when you think about South Asian food,’ Bansal told NBC News.


Fellow food blogger Nisha Vedi Pawar also spoke about people telling her, ‘Your food must be really spicy. It must be stinky. It’s curry.’ Her response, ‘What the hell is curry?’

'Curry' may stem from British colonialism. (Pexels)Pexels

According to Ilyse Morgenstein Furest, an associate religious studies professor at the University of Vermont, the word ‘curry’ doesn’t actually exist in any South Asian language. ‘Curry is one of these words that most historians attribute to the British bad ear,’ she said, echoing the concerns of those who believe its catch-all use does more harm than good.

‘There’s a long history of imagining what we would call Indian food as exotic and sought after… and that lack of temperance, in our food, or in our emotionality, is a problem. That’s one of the things that is rooted in white, Christian supremacy,’ Morgenstein Furest added.


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Cameron Frew

Entertainment Editor at UNILAD. 2001: A Space Odyssey is the best film ever made, and Warrior is better than Rocky. That's all you need to know.

Topics: Food, Now, Racism


NBC News
  1. NBC News

    Cancel 'curry'? Why South Asian American chefs say it's time for the word to go