Tuesday December 11, 2018
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Curry Walla in Temple Town: The Restaurant serves Indian Cuisine in Angkor Wat, Cambodia

The pure vegetarian restaurant which serves the flavored kadhi chawal in the temple town is something of surprise

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Kadhi Chawal. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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  • The people of Indian-origin who live in Cambodia haven’t forgotten their homeland or its delicious recipes
  • The pure vegetarian restaurant named Curry Walla began in June 2006 
  • There is a  total of 5 Indian chefs, 54 Cambodians and 2 Philippines between the four restaurants

The interactions between India and Cambodia date back to 400 AD. Not only in its external forms does it picture India but even the ideals of ethics and morality are shaped by Indian philosophy. There have been migrations to Cambodia, resulting in the exchange of customs and adaptation of many forms, including that of food. The people of Indian-origin who live in Cambodia haven’t forgotten their homeland or its delicious recipes.

Amarjeet Singh the young co- owner of Curry Walla which is situated in Siam Reap, famous for the Angkor Wat – a 12th-century Hindu-Buddhist temple complex, said to be the largest religious monument in the world, talks to Shyamola Khanna of The Indian Diaspora Website.

This pure vegetarian restaurant which serves the flavored kadhi chawal in the temple town is something of a surprise. Curry Walla began in June 2006. It was started by Amarjeet and his cousin Inderjeet in partnership with a long term Cambodian resident Ranjit Singh and Vijay from Singapore. March 2008 saw the opening of Curry Walla 2 which was recently renamed Namaste. Adjacent to Curry Walla is a Cambodian restaurant by a Khmer Chef. Namaste Spa 1 & 2, and ChopstiX which serves Chinese food was started in 2013. Shyamola Khanna says that it is very popular in the city because she says that every time she   went   in for a meal, it was always full.

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An Indian Diaspora article states that Amarjeet is part owner with his cousin Inderjeet and Ranjit who has been living in Angkor Wat since 1996. Inderjeet came in 2001 and Amarjeet came in 2006.

“Now I have been here almost 9 years and 7 months. We are doing pretty well. It is a small and peaceful city and the Cambodian people are warm and friendly. We are quite happy with the city life here,” says Amarjeet to The Indian Diaspora Website.

Amarjeet got married with a Cambodian girl named Sem Srey Pheak around 2 years ago with the blessings of both the Cambodian and the Punjabi families. Although language is a barrier, both families are very comfortable with each other, he says.
Amarjeet says, “I can’t see my mother learning the local language!”

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Image Source : theindiandiaspora
Image Source : theindiandiaspora.com

Talking about his ties with Punjab and his life over there, he says “Of course I do miss Punjab every day, for the seasons, the various festivals, friends, and relatives. At present half of my family is living here, some are in Punjab and some in the US. So we are looking forward to a suitable time when we can have a family gathering sometime in the future.”

With a total of 5 Indian chefs, 54 Cambodians and 2 Philippines between the four restaurants, Amarjeet supervisors the restaurants and makes an effort to be present in all the four places. His  partners and elder sister and brother-in-law also play a part in its running, mentioned theindiandiaspora.com article.

Apart from restaurants, there are various other establishments that strengthen the “Indian ties” with Cambodia. Raj, a third generation Punjabi from Delhi runs the Asian Crafts Centre in Angkor Wat. The centre is a sprawling showroom with all kinds of artifacts from India. The Indian Diaspora article says that his grandfather was the first one who ventured out to Cambodia and set up the business. Raj, who has a degree in gemology, says that he would like to go back to work with gems in India.

prepared by Ajay Krishna of NewsGram. Twitter : @ajkrish14

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  • Antara

    This is simply amazing! Promotion and celebration of Indian cuisine!

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Hindus In Delhi Push For A Temple On The Ruins Of a Mosque

The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

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Supporters of Vishwa Hindu Parishad gather during a rally in New Delhi, Dec. 9, 2018. The group gathered thousands of supporters to demand the construction of a Hindu temple on a site where a mosque was attacked, demolished in 1992. VOA

Tens of thousands of hardline Hindu protesters marched in New Delhi on Sunday, calling for a grand temple to be built on the ruins of a destroyed mosque in a flashpoint Indian city.

Trident-waving devotees clad in saffron filled a huge parade ground in the Indian capital under tight security, where speakers warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi they would not let up until the temple was sanctioned.

Some of Modi’s supporters feel the Hindu nationalist leader has not done enough to raise a shrine at a site in Ayodhya, a city believed by many to be the birthplace of the deity Ram.

The site was home to a medieval mosque for 460 years until Hindu zealots tore it down in 1992, kicking off riots across India that left thousands dead, most of them Muslims.

Its future has been tied up in courts for decades but some hardliners want Modi, who is seeking reelection in 2019, to push parliament to guarantee the temple by law.

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“The gathering here is telling you that Hindus won’t sit back until the temple is built, and our wishes are respected,” said Champat Rai, the leader of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) group that organized the protest.

Demonstrators chanting “Praise be to Ram” packed the Ramlila Maidan, a vast ground capable of holding more than 50,000 people, and filled the surrounding streets.

Some carried maces and tridents — weapons traditionally wielded by Hindu gods — and traveled great distances by train and bus to reach the rally.

“We have come here to protect our religion and Hindu pride. We want a temple for our Lord Ram,” Hitesh Bharadwaj, a teacher from Delhi’s satellite city Noida, told AFP.

The hardline VHP has applied pressure on Modi in recent weeks, staging a huge show of force in Ayodhya itself last month.

Hindu, Mosque
Photo credit: theguardian.com

A close ally of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the group is spearheading a push to raise the Ram temple, and is calling for more protests as the premier prepares to go to the polls by May.

The BJP was on the margins until the 1980s when its top leaders, including Modi, backed a growing movement for the construction of the Ram temple.

Its advocates want parliament to introduce a law bypassing legal hurdles blocking the temple before Modi’s term ends.

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The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

“We don’t care about the courts. A grand temple will be constructed in 2019,” Sushil Chawdhary, a VHP leader, told AFP. (VOA)