Little India Change, is something new, something that is different. For our most recent assignment we were asked to enter into a new and different ethnic area of Long Beach. In this assignment I teamed up with two other class members and went to Little India in hopes of gaining a cultural experience. The two classmates I did this assignment with were Seldom and Salina, because all three of us were not familiar with the area Salina brought her friend who had visited Little India multiple times.
The drive from Long Beach in to Artesia, Little Indian’s home farther than I expected. As we approached the center of Little India the typical chain store turned into Indian markets selling unique goods. Once we parked the smell of spices and incense filled the air. The sound of different tongues could be heard and the feeling of being far from Long Beach overcame me. Walking down the street, the shape of stores and signs appeared interesting to me, the roofs were slightly domed and the classic Persian temple shapes appeared on signs.
Indian culture was everywhere. Indian culture is far and few in the North East due to the small numbers of Indian- Americans living there. Although I had been exposed to Indian food and religions I had been immersed in the culture as I did on this trip. The first restaurant we walked into was a bakery and pastry shop. The menu at this restaurant was vegetarian, like many other restaurants in this area. In fact our guide was a vegetarian. When we entered the aromas of saffron, ginger, and curry filled my nose.
I immediately wanted to try sweets and walked up to the front while he others sat at a table and looked over the menu. I asked to try the cashier’s favorite sweet which was Gulag Cajun a cheese based desert sweetened with syrup. As soon as I tried it I asked for four more. Although only half the group liked them I thought they were delicious for my first try at sampling the cuisine. From the bakery we preceded to search for a restaurant for dinner. We ended up at “Shook the Great” a nicer Indian restaurant in the area that our guide had never tried so it was a new experience for all of us.
As soon as we were seated, Seldom immediately ordered some garlic nana, a flat Indian bread. When it came time to order drinks I was excited to see that they offered three different mango drinks. From milkshakes to Lass’s, a yogurt based drink originating in the Punjab region. Next came time to order main courses I ordered chicken donation, a typically a chicken marinated in yogurt and spices before being cooked in a donation oven. Salina ordered the Samos a fried pastry filled with lentils, potatoes, and ground meat.
Seldom ordered Shrimp saga, a curried dish made of mustered and greens such as spinach. Although Salina and I enjoyed or meals, Cello’s looked less than appetizing due to its green color and liquid consistency. For desert everyone took advantage of the mango treats on the menu and ordered the mango ice cream. All in all the trip to Little India was a great experience. Seeing such a culturally diverse place so close to where I live. This trip also gave me a look into how people of other ethnicities eat, shop, and live. I will defiantly take a trip back to little India to