8 Tell All Signs You're A Kenyan-Indian

8 Tell All Signs You're A Kenyan-Indian

Our Kenyan motto: eat mogo, drink tusker, and hakuna matata.
11645
views

Kenya, the most mesmerizing place on Earth, is my family's home. The 1910s marked the decade in which my great-grandparents packed their belongings in India and headed 3,100 miles west to Kenya. Since then, our story has been inextricably linked with both cultures, and to identify with only one would be to miss out on one-half of our book. These are a few things that make Kenyan-Indians unique individuals.

1. We love our Mogo.

Mogo, or cassava as the Brits like to call it, is a God-sent food. There is no other food that will make your taste buds dance and have your serotonin levels high in the sky as much as mogo. Kenyan-Indians will venture all the way from Nairobi to Mombasa's famous lighthouse just to eat this super-food. And the best part is, it's very portable! No need for plates or cutlery. You can just pick it up in your hands and indulge as you walk along Mombasa's beautiful beaches. Also, the making of mogo is an art in itself. Hearing the charcoal sporadically crackle, watching the streetman squeeze the lime, and waiting for pili-pili to be added as the finishing touch, will all make you crave mogo even more. I'm already counting down the days until I return to the lighthouse where I first discovered mogo.

2. Our Swahili-infused dialect

You remember Timon and Pumbaa saying Hakuna Matata? Yep, that's Swahili. Ever since I was able to talk, I've been speaking a mix between Swahili and Gujarati. This naturally means that a language conflict between my non-Kenyan Guju friends is inevitable. The second I say "sufuria" (pot) or "ndizi" (banana), I get a blank face or confused expression as a response. Only then do I realize that I've spoken in Swahili, so I quickly revert to the corresponding Gujarati words "tapela" and "keda."

3. The Oshwal Center is the "happening" spot.

All Kenyan-Indians know that the Oshwal Center is where every event takes place and where all Indians congregate. Got a wedding coming up? Oshwal Center. Got an anniversary party? Oshwal Center. Got a birthday? Oshwal Center. Someone was born? Oshwal Center. Someone died? Oshwal Center. Needless to say, the Oshwal Center is a trendy spot for all Kenyan-Indians.

4. Tusker isn't just our go-to beer. It's also our go-to shirt.

In our eyes, Tusker is the world's best lager. Eating mogo? Have it with Tusker and your meal will become even more delicious than it already is. But it isn't just the beer that we are fans of. All Kenyan-Indians have that one baggy Tusker shirt that we wear in and out of the house. It is our immediate way of telling people that we are Kenyan without saying a word. One time my dad even made a friend because they were both wearing the exact same Tusker shirt on the same day and in the same location. Since then, he tries wearing it even more often.

5. We all know Diamond Plaza is THE place to munch on Maru Na Bhajiyas.

Every morning we thank God for blessing this earth with Mr. Maru. The dish that he made famous, referred to as Maru's Bhajiyas, is something that all Kenyan-Indians love and know how to make. These delicately marinated potato chips are something that I crave at least once a month and always beg my mom to make. Let's just say I don't know a world without Maru's Bhajiyas.

6. We all have that one relative who graduated from Jamhuri High School.

Jamhuri High seems to be the school that most Kenyan-Indians graduate from. It's where my parents met and fell in love, and it's where they both made friends that have lasted a lifetime. Jamhuri isn't just a school, it's a community. In fact, my parents still keep up with their former peers on a lively Whatsapp group made up of the Jamhuri High Class of 1981.

7. We always throw down at Koroga festivals.

Kenyan-Indians know how to party, and the Koroga festival is just one prime example. It's where you kick back, relax, and barbecue with all your friends. It's also a good opportunity to catch up on the Afro-beats you haven't heard in a while. If there is one social gathering that all Kenyans look forward to, it's definitely Koroga.

8. We love telling people we're from Kenya.

Similar to how vegans can't sit in a room for 10 minutes without professing their veganism, Kenyan-Indians have to tell people that they are from Kenya. We take pride in our heritage, and who could blame us? Kenya is the land of the Lion King, the country in which Prince William proposed to Kate, and the birthplace of President Obama's father. Kenya is the most beautiful place on earth, and we're the first ones to admit it.

Next time you ask a Kenyan-Indian where they are from, expect nothing less than a ten minute response. We will describe in detail how our ancestors came from India, how our parents were born in Kenya, and how we somehow ended up in either England, America, or Australia. Even though our explanation may take a while, I promise it is worth knowing our story.

Cover Image Credit: Maya Dodhia

Popular Right Now

8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
58516
views

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

If You Went To Elementary School In The Early 2000s, These 20 Things Will Bring You Back

We may have grown up with technology, but our childhoods were a much simpler time.

4272
views

Early 2000's kids grew up in a special period of time; during the rapid rise of modern technology. Many of us went through elementary school without smartboards and not having any sort of computer at home, then graduated high school only six years later with an iPhone in our pockets and not having opened a book in who knows how long. Enjoy some early 2000's nostalgia from a simpler time.

1. Class pictures

https://giphy.com/gifs/southparkgifs-3o6Ztmbv7k7I5spoIw

Do these still exist? Probably, but as a lifetime lover of fashion this was easily one of my most favorite days of the school year.

2. Carpet squares

https://giphy.com/gifs/RlBtYmW0BGUHS

There was always that one lucky class who brought them to assemblies and put everyone else's sore butts to shame.

3. Color-coded behavior cards

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSbh9sehNA4

Let's be honest: the threat of a call home kept most of us from ever turning our cards past yellow.

4. Red Ribbon Week

https://giphy.com/gifs/snl-seth-rogen-nasim-pedrad-fqLcYob89OyIg

Ah, the good old days...back when theme days and scary drug factoids actually scared us off.

5. Scooter boards

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOPNXjZ2BhY

No explanation necessary.

6. FitnessGram Pacer Test

https://giphy.com/gifs/splat-nicksplat-doug-xT1R9DPYQt60VHs4tW

It might be a meme now, but for us early 2000's kids it was just a part of our yearly gym class curriculum.

7. Square pizza

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LI7EL37OxmQ

These greasy pieces of cardboard made for the best lunch day of the week, hands down.

8. Snacks for kids' birthdays.

https://giphy.com/gifs/snacks-YiSZXjrh5PtQs

Nowadays elementary schools are more careful about allergies. Odds are if you went to elementary school fifteen years ago or before, it was a sin if a classmate didn't bring cupcakes or brownies for their birthday. Once you saw them walk in with that Tupperware container...it's all you could think about all day.

9. Book markers

https://giphy.com/gifs/chuber-arthur-library-card-3o85xpxuULZ1Svqizu

Back when young pupils used ~real books~ for learning and for fun, these thin pieces of plastic were crucial for keeping the Dewey decimal system intact.

10. Wall pencil sharpeners

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qljAQFu9E6g

For real pencils! Unless you were a cool kid and had mechanical pencils.

11. Magic Tree House, Junie B. Jones, and The Teacher from the Black Lagoon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2uZ-JE1N4Y

Some of the most popular books for kids at the time, not only did we read them in our free time but if we had a "cool" teacher they'd read them to us in class.

12. Scholastic book fairs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEfaWww5RfU

What's more exciting than leaving class to visit a pop-up bookstore in your auditorium and buy your very-own brand new, glossy book to take home?

13. Counting blocks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSqGCY_L6CY

As soon as our teachers brought these babies out, the class went wild. How our teachers actually got us to pay attention long enough to teach us anything with these is beyond me.

14. Writing in shaving cream

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM-KbR6lCDE

It's the little things! Kids love getting their hands dirty, and some brave teachers took advantage of that by letting us write in shaving cream on our desks.

15. Cursive guide sheets

https://giphy.com/gifs/q-kH45yesfSvXzi

Back when electronic signatures weren't a thing and you actually needed to know cursive…

16. Kid Pix

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNb0iY5kCcI

The start of all our technology addictions. I guarantee the theme song is still in the recesses of your mind.

17. Dance Mat typing program

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsBbX3jPoBI

It's crazy to think that there was a time when we didn't know how to type. Dance Mat was a favorite during computer class.

18. Schoolhouse Rock!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFroMQlKiag&t=8s

Learning about the US constitution? Grammar? Electricity? If your teacher failed to show you AT LEAST one Schoolhouse Rock video, you sorely missed out. Schoolhouse Rock may have been produced "before our time," but we love the timeless songs, nonetheless.

19. Overhead projectors

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mswO8cf0kw

Before smartboards existed, these were necessary for any visual-heavy lesson. If you were called up to write on the projector slide, it was either the best or worst day of your elementary career.

20. Cool Math Games

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkZmkNmbceA

Plot twist: not actually math games. For some reason everyone thought this was a secret to our teachers.

Related Content

Facebook Comments