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The Fiji Indian Chutney Generation: The Cultural spread between Fiji and Australia

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Chutney, an Indian side dish made with zest, brings flavour to bland Indian dishes such as rice and dhal, while tickling delight to the senses. The term, used as a metaphor in Chutney Generations, the world's first exhibition tracing the complex Fiji Indian identity in a visible expression, staged at the Liverpool Museum in Sydney, Australia, is applicable to Fiji Indian migrants across the globe that savours the product and lives the word. In the processes of migration and globalisation identities fuse, cultures, dreams, ideals, ideologies, histories and the present merge and crush, in a way similar to the process of making chutney, where ingredients are blended to the point where there is no single identity; thus a new generation of humankind is created. This paper presents chutney as a paste of civilisation and a new concept to identity creation where strongly felt inclinations to retain cultures, histories and identities are neutralized in the fusion of ideas, ideals and dreams. It also engages in the chutnification of the Australian-Fiji-Indian community across three physical spaces India, Fiji and Australia, recording their past, present and aspirations of their future, through their lifestyles and treasured collections. Migration and globalisation have opened new possibilities for chutney, beyond the familiar ingredients and tastes. The community is complex and contradictory, being Indian, Fijian, Australian and global citizens, all at the same time.
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Keywords: Australian; Bollywood; Chutney; Fijian; Indian; blending; creation; culture; dreams; expression; fusion; hopes; identity; loss; migration; yearnings

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Western Sydney, Australia.

Publication date: 2007-06-07

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  • The International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics is committed to analyzing the politics of communication(s) and cultural processes. It addresses cultural politics in their local, international and global dimensions, recognizing equally the importance of issues defined by their specific cultural geography and those that traverse cultures and nations.
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