Indians from Durban are special creatures with some very distinct practices. Many of us arrived in South Africa as indentured labourers while others came to the sunny shores as traders. The community which makes up the largest Indian diaspora have our own culture which shines through in everyday life. The Daily Vox rounds up some of the most Durban Indian things ever.
To other Indians, a nagara is a drum. In South Africa, it is a form of entertainment – usually at prayers, wedding functions and birthday parties – where men dress in traditional Indian female clothing and dance to heavy drum beats. Make sure to book your nagara band way in advance – they’re hot stuff.
2. Turning salt
Got a pimple or do you feel the flu coming on? It is probably because someone “put eyes” on you. When someone casts an evil (jealous) eye on you, and you’re Indian, your mother is going to make you stand at the doorway and turn a handful of salt around you. When she’s done you have to spit in her hand. But not all mothers roll like that, thankfully.
3. Golden Pearl
Indians seem to have a fascination with being light skinned because our minds have not yet been decolonised. Every facial product for Indian skin tells you how light your skin would be after a few uses. The most infamous face cream is Golden Pearl, a step up from our grandmother’s generation where they used Snow White skin cream to bleach their skin.
4. Highway Sheila
So the urban legend goes that a man was driving on Durban’s Higginson Highway late at night when he was stopped by a woman who needed a lift home. He dropped her off at home but she forgot her jacket in the car. When he went to return it the following day, he was told that Sheila had died several years before. Everyone has their own version of the story. But one thing remains, if you are driving alone at night, don’t pick anyone up. Especially if they’re in a white dress. And they look like a ghost.
5. Using ice cream containers for everything other than ice cream
Ginger is and one of the main spices used in Indian food, so when there’s a sale on ginger at the fruit and veg store, be damn sure that you’re coming home with a few kilos. To make life easier, we grind it up with garlic at the same time and put into 2L ice cream containers for later consumption. The tricky part is trying to find the ice cream after these tubs have been loose in the deep freezer.
6. Rat bite
We all had that cousin who had his hair cut by his father who had no idea what he was doing. The result is chunks of hair missing or an uneven style. It’s called a rat bite because it looks like a rat got to you and nibbled your head when you were sleeping.
What have we missed on our list? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @thedailyvox!