Episode 7

Published on:

9th Feb 2022

Ripples and Tipples: How Partition Changed Indian Food

In 1947, the British finally left India after 300 years of colonial rule. They created many arbitrary borders as they left, the most prominent of which was the line that was to separate India from Pakistan. The aftermath of this divide resulted in the greatest migration in human history, as millions made their way across hundreds of miles in the hope of creating new homes. The impact of this critical event is mirrored in what has become known as Delhi’s food culture, both at home and abroad. The well-known food historian Anoothi Vishal reminds us how partition lives on in India’s capital, while Jonathan Nunn, editor of the shape-shifting newsletter Vittles, shows us how the event created ripples in the imperial city of London. Partition transformed “Indian food,” in both colony and empire, and still shows its effects in new Indian restaurants today.

Bad Table Manners is part of Whetstone Radio Collective. Learn more about Bad Table Manners here.

Find show notes here.

Show artwork for Bad Table Manners

About the Podcast

Bad Table Manners
Bad Table Manners pushes the boundaries of food storytelling in South Asia. Despite a universal love of delicious food, South Asian communities’ narratives and food practices maintain social hierarchies, caste inequalities, and racial and gender discrimination. In spanning both “high” and “low” food cultures, this podcast deconstructs monolithic notions of South Asian or “Indian” food by diving into micro contexts of households, restaurants, neighborhoods, streets and communities. It also reveals how hyper-regional and local culinary expressions are shaped by global gastronomic histories and trends.

Hosted by Delhi-based anthropologist Meher Varma, Bad Table Manners is narrator-driven, ethnographic, and playful. It will take you to the seaside, through bustling markets, and the intimacy of the kitchen table in private homes. It reminds you that when good table manners are tossed, great conversation begins.

Bad Table Manners is part of Whetstone Radio Collective. Whetstone Radio Collective creates storytelling dedicated to food origins and culture, with original content centering the perspectives of global majority populations and diasporas.

You can learn more about this podcast at whetstoneradio.com, on Twitter @whetstoneradio, on TikTok and Instagram @whetstonemedia and subscribe to our Spotify and YouTube channel, Whetstone Media, for more podcast content. You can learn more about all things happening at Whetstone at WhetstoneMedia.com.

About your host

Profile picture for Whetstone Radio

Whetstone Radio

A distinctive series of original podcasts focused on global foodways. We’re bringing you narrative-based audio stories shared through the lens of food anthropology. Empathetic in origin, with cinematic sound, and intimate, curiosity-minded conversation, WRC is like nothing you’ve heard before.