1. Which ethnicity do you belong to?
I am Indian and Sri Lankan by ethnicity. I was not born in this region because I was born in the Southeast Asian peninsula. My great grandparents from both sides were from both Southern India and Sri Lanka.
2. Which food represents your ethnicity?
This is call a thali on a banana leaf. The rice is really important and sometimes you can request for biryani rice ( which is eaten and well loved by South Asian countries , its diaspora and regions like Iraqi Kurdistan) instead of the white rice. There are sauces, curries, vegetables, sweets and if you ordered a non – vegetarian thali you could even get fish, mutton, and chicken in small bowls. The common vegetables I normally witnessed being prepared are pumpkin, chickpeas, cauliflower, potatoes, lady fingers and brinjals . The common feature of a thali is a lentil sauce call “sambar” , as well as a pepper-ish , almost tangy sauce call the “rasam” which is consumed last. The sweet is usually eaten at the very end of the meal. India has an ancient tradition of serving food on banana leaves hence even at some traditional weddings I have attended, people would be served food on banana leaves in a great hall.
3. Which ethnic language are you perfect in?
I am not perfect in any to be honest when it comes to ethnic languages. I can speak, read and write Tamil தமிழ் ( both a South Indian and Sri Lankan language ) in the more traditional form. I can speak Sinhalese හෙළ ( a Sri Lankan language only) moderately well though my literacy skills are not up to par. I used to be able to converse really well in Bengali বাংলা ( an Indian language spoken in the eastern parts) but right now , it needs some work. A language is after all like a muscle and you have to keep using it or else you would lose it.
4. Do you have an ethnic name?
My ethnic name is Anita and it is my middle name. Anita means full of grace or the gracious one in Sanskrit.
5. Which phrase of your ethnic language is your favourite?
I think the hilarious expressions when you call on god when something bad happens. I don’t know it just sounds so hilarious and I use it sometimes to make my friends laugh to instill some humor. I barely use it in private.
அடக் கடவுளே!/ Adak kadavule / Oh God!
அய்யகோ / Ayyago / An expression of ” Oh no”
தெய்வமை! / Deivamai / Deity!
6. Is there a national or cultural dress?
We have so many attires and outfits. It is honestly amazing when I think about it. However, there is one that seems to be the shining star when it comes to attires and that is the traditional saree. I personally love traditional sarees so much, and I can’t even hide it . Out of all the various costumes, attires and skirts, it is my absolute favorite and the traditional saree is worn all over the Indian Subcontinent.
7. Which specific hairstyle or jewellery represents your culture?
I would say adding flowers and accessories to the hair in this fashion.
8. Which drink represent your ethnicity?
Chai / Tea. Honestly, I don’t think I can survive without tea.
9. Which ethnic food do you like the most?
They are samosas and they are more like a snack as it is accompanied with chai / tea and they are well loved all over the Indian Subcontinent. I am so glad I know how to make these! They are usually filled with potatoes, chickpeas and sometimes even meat.
10. Which sport represents your ethnicity?
It is has to be cricket. It is an extremely well loved sport , if I might be so bold to add of the whole Indian Subcontinent. I, however, am obsessed with football and do not know much about cricket unfortunately.
11. Which ethnic song do you often listen?
I like listening to both Carnatic and Hindustani instrumentals ( traditional Indian music) . I am not into any pop songs. I love the sounds of the sitar.
12. What is the traditional culture to greet someone?
Namaste , Namaskār or Namaskāram (the last two being more formal), with both palms firmly pressed together pointing upwards.
Translation from Sanskrit : “Nama” (to bow), “As” (I), and “Te” (you) – I bow to you.
13. Which three ancient traditions that are still part of your culture.
3) The classical dance forms
14. Do you have any historical places that project the past of your ancestors?
Plenty. A good example would be the Batu Caves in Malaysia.
*I do not own these pictures and if you do and would like me to credit them, please feel free to let me know anytime.
15. Name a color or shade that represents your culture
I think we are a rainbow because we are literally are so colorful. However, if I had to choose one, it would be yellow. Yellow or saffron is a very holy color and is used tremendously in so many traditions.
Well, that’s all from me for this ethnicity tag! Do feel free to share your thoughts or some really cool and amazing things from your culture and if you are up for it, even attempt these questions yourself and post it! Thank you for reading this post and I wish you a lovely weekend ahead! Namaste!
Questions have been adapted and inspired from: