Buying gifts on a budget can be tough, but it's even tougher to show up without a gift. Leave the gift giving to Santa and reach for one of these stocking stuffers that will leave Santa himself in shock because they're all that good!
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The phenomenon of Chicken Tikka
As I sat and had lunch with my colleagues in London, we got into a conversation about British food that I need to try before I leave. Immersed in a conversation about Sunday roasts, mashed potatoes and sausages, I almost fell off my chair when one of my colleagues looked right at me and told me to try chicken tikka masala “the national food of Britain.”
I stared her down with a look of bewilderment until she finally caught on and went on to clarify that though chicken tikka masala was technically South Asian, its popularity in Britain had made it the national food. I went back home and immediately Googled “chicken tikka masala” and was brought into the world of controversy and scandal surrounding a dish that tasted bland and underwhelming.
As I swallowed my chicken tikka masala, I read about how Robin Cook the British foreign secretary in 2001 announced Chicken Tikka Masala(CTM) as “British national dish.” Cook passed CTM for being delicious and achieving the status of British national food “not only because it is the most popular, but because it is a perfect illustration of the way Britain absorbs and adapts external influences.”
*coughs, Brexit, coughs*
The origination of tikka masala is said to have happened in a restaurant in Delhi when a European traveller asked the cook to change his chicken tikka (an actual Indian dish) and make it less dry. Frustrated, the cook stomped into the kitchen, opened a box of Campbell's soup and dumped it onto the spicy chicken tikka and that was the birth of your beloved chicken tikka masala
Tikka masala represents a phenomenon that Indians have been observed to undertake frequently - the molding and fixing of something authentically Indian to fit the taste of Britishers or the Western world in general.
I studied in a private English school, where I was told to speak in English whenever I could. Hindi, my native language, was seen as something you spoke at home or when talking to lower classes. The elite in India conform to this strategy of molding their authentic Indian-self to one that is more Western in order to uphold their class status and identity as someone who is not inferior.
When I came to the states, I conformed to an American lifestyle by dressing a certain way and talking a certain way in order to match the taste of the American elite. My parents warned me against activism or anything else that would make me stand out as a brown woman who did not comply to the bland taste of the white elite of the world. I was told to become their chicken tikka masala.
While Britain differs in the states in the sense that Britain has done a stellar job in “absorbing” Indian culture with numerous South Asian restaurants, stores, chai chains, made in India clothes and whitewashed Indian food, they seem to struggle accepting brown people. (ahem, Brexit)
With a substantial rise against South Asian and brown individuals in Britain, the media refuses to cover stories and give due importance to attacks against brown, specifically Muslim women in Britain. Living in East London, an area well known for acid attacks against South Asian women in London, I am surprised by the lack of safety measures taken by the government in order to protect individuals belonging to the same culture whose food they so thoroughly enjoy.
How can we go about decolonising this phenomenon of chicken tikka masala?
Who doesn't love potatoes!?
Potatoes are great. All these different types of potatoes come from just one single plant: the potato. Let's take a scroll and appreciate the potato and all of its various forms.
1. Baked potato
2. Loaded baked potato
3. Mashed potato
4. French fries
5. Curly fries
6. Waffle fries
7. Steak fries
8. Potato wedges
10. Roasted potatoes
11. Potato chips
12. Potatoes gratin (Scalloped potatoes)
13. Potato skins
14. Tater tots
15. Potato soup
16. Potato salad
17. Cheesy potatoes
18. Sliced potatoes
This is before Modern Country ruined the name.
1. Highwayman (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson)This song written by Jimmy Webb is about a soul which has four incarnations in life. (a highwayman, a sailor, a dam builder, and finally a starship captain) This song is sung by the true greats of country music.
2. Pancho & Lefty (Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard)This song written by Townes Van Zandt
3. Where Do You Want It (Dale Watson)This song was written by Dale Watson about Billy Joe Shaver, a Waco, Texas citizen and country music singer. Billy Joe was in a bar fight outside a Waco, Texas saloon. The other fighter pulled a knife on Billy Joe to which Billy pulled a small derringer from his boot and shot the fighter in the mouth.
4. Mama Tried (Merle Haggard) written by Merle Haggard
This song tells the true story of Merle Haggard and his early days, If you watch the Folsom Prison videos by Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard was an inmate when Johnny sang there.
5. You Never Even Called Me By My Name. (David Allen Coe)
Written by Steve Goodman who dubbed this song "The Perfect Country & Western Song), Steve Goodman later added a verse. David Allen Coe has truly sung one of the best country and western songs!
6. He Stopped Loving Her Today (George Jones)
After a busted career, George Jones was at the bottom of the page for singers. With very little effort, George wrote this song. Upon release, the song hit the music charts and eventually was named "The Greatest Country Song Ever" saving Jones's career.
7. Coal Miner's Daughter (Loretta Lynn) Written by Loretta Lynn
This song tells the true story of her growing up in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky. Her father struggled to pay bills with a coal miner's salary. The song was eventually used in a movie with Loretta Lynn as the main star.
8. Sixteen Tons (Tenessee Ernie Ford) Written by Merle Travis
Ford made this song popular with his rendition. Making progress on the charts, and selling over twenty million copies. This tells the story of the miners, and their struggles of getting paid in company script, instead of U.S. currency.
I can't help my birthday!
In every friend group or squad there is the baby of the group. This is the youngest one and usually you can tell because they are more carefree and they are not sure what is going on. They are usually the lightweight because all of their friends can be like moms sometimes. Here are some ways to know if you are the baby of the friend group.
Your friends take care of your medical needs.
They bring you soup take your temperature and more. They get the splinter out of your foot and they have a whole pharmacy ready for your use. They make sure to let your teachers and other people in your life know what kind of sickness you have so that they can also worry about you. They know your medical history and what kinds of medicine you can and cannot have. They know all of your favorite comfort foods and how to make you feel better.
Your friends were doing adult things way before you.
Your friends were driving way before you even thought about it. They had their own debit cards and wrote a check while you probably still had a piggy bank. They probably did a lot of things by themselves like grocery shopping before you. Lucky you though because they can give you all sorts of advice on everything!media.rbl.ms
Your friends are very protective.
Your friends will take so much from other people, but when they see people giving it to you they go into protective mode. They will have your back no matter what. They protect you from people and experiences. They stand up for you and listen to your needs. They will go to the end of the earth looking ridiculous just to make sure you are okay.media.rbl.ms
Your friends act like your mom.
They pick you up and drop you off at your events. They give you wise advice. They let you know when you are about to do something stupid. They help you with daily activities whether if it is making a stressful phone call or shopping. They make sure you get all your meals in the day and send you encouraging texts. They keep you in line, well at least they try. Every new person in your life has to be approved by them, and you have a code word that can get you out of any situation.
You are so loved.
You have a whole group of people looking out for you and cheering you on. You have people who will take care of your and give you tough love when you need it. You know you will always have people there to help you with anything. They spoil you with guidance, their food, and all of their possessions because you are the baby. They let you be the silly tag along and you will always love being the baby.
So are you the baby of the friend group? It's nothing to be ashamed of, in fact it should be celebrated!
You're going to be just fine
She sat us down in her room the day that we all returned from Fall Break. "I have to tell you guys something," she said. She told us that she was transferring after the first semester. She was changing her major and she was going to be more comfortable and have more opportunities to learn and grow at her new college. I was happy for her because I knew that she was struggling to figure out what she wanted to change her major to, but that small, selfish part of me did not want her to leave. I am not naive to the fact that I most likely will have a couple more friends transfer somewhere along the line before we graduate. Goodbyes to friends that transfer will always be bitter-sweet, but sometimes it is hard to know exactly what to say to someone who is transferring. Below are 6 important things to say to someone who is taking the a different path in their college journey.
1. Thank you
It has been awesome getting to know you. Thank you for choosing us as your friends, Thank you for adding so much humor to the friend group. Thank you for late nights spent laughing and watching Netflix. Thank you for not being afraid to be yourself.
2. Good luck
Good luck navigating your new campus. Good luck with your new roommate. Good luck with your new classes and professors. Good luck making friends and finding your place.
One second thought- you don’t need luck. You got this.
3. Keep in touch
This is not goodbye forever. You will always be a member of the GroupMe. I will continue to update you and tell you all about our adventures and I expect the same from you.
4. You didn’t make a mistake
There are far too many transfer students that believe that they made a mistake by choosing the initial college. You did not make a mistake. Please do not leave believing that you did make a mistake. You were admitted and you successfully navigated the mounds of paperwork that we had to fill out. You packed your belongings and moved to this college. You were meant to come here and it is okay that you were not meant to stay.
5. I will always have your back
You are going to make new friends at your new college but please never forget that I am whenever you need me.
6. I hope you find what you’re looking for
You deserve so much in this life and though you have hit a few songs in the road, do not give up. I hope you find your place in this world and become a person who is going to help fix this broken world.
Take on this next chapter of your life knowing that it was meant to be. Know that we’re always here when you need us. thank you for a fantastic first semester, We’ll keep the memories locked away and we will be sure to look back at them some day. You are going to do amazing things at your new college. Go forth and be awesome. You got this.
1. Brittany Morgan,National Writer's Society
2. Radhi,SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign