Crowd signs up for curry and culture

Inviting the entire community for dinner is not a problem, reckons Raglan Four Square owner-operator Satnam Bains.

About 500 people have taken him up on his offer of an Indian meal tomorrow night at the car park of the supermarket, and he shrugs off the large figure saying he was expecting about that many in a community of Raglan’s size.

His mum is cooking. “We’re used to it, when we have functions and stuff.

“When I had my wedding, Mum did the cooking.”

In case you are wondering, his “was a love marriage”, and about 750-780 guests attended the wedding.

Satnam, who admits he did have to convince his mother to cook, is holding the free Indian dinner/cultural experience to give back to the community and to share the vibrant culture of his family.

“It gives us a chance to tell a bit about us, where we come from.”

The 25-year-old says he’s found the community to be “really helpful, friendly, made us feel welcome”, since he arrived in July.

He likes that everyone knows everyone. “I like how when you walk up the main street you have a yarn with everyone.”

He’s attempted to surf but hasn’t the time to go out.

“A lot of people have been asking me ‘do you eat curry’, ‘do you know how to make curry’,” says Satnam, who was born and raised in New Zealand but is proud of his roots.

Yes, he does eat curry “but not all the time”. His favourite is chicken, and he doesn’t cook!

The air in the apartment above the supermarket where Satnam lives is thick with the sweet smell of incense and there is what suspiciously looks like a curry bowl on the table.

Satnam’s parents, who moved to New Zealand nearly 30 years ago and live in Auckland, come from Punjab, which “is in the north or the east, you will have to google it”.

According to Google, Punjab is a state in the north of India.

His father, Tara Singh, and mother, Shaminder Kaur, import the beer Vailima from Samoa.

“If you are Punjab and you are a man you are a Singh, if you are a woman you are Kaur,” explains Satnam their different surnames.

He says his mum once made some chicken curry for Duckas Tucka, the food caravan parked up in the Four Square car park, and it was a great hit.

People in Raglan want some authentic Indian food, “something that is fresh”, and he will be stocking “Indian spices and stuff” in the supermarket come July.

On the Friday, Shaminder will start cooking chickpea curry, chicken curry and Indian rice in the apartment at 10am.

“A few people are coming to help,” says Satnam. “My wife will be there.”

Food is not the only Indian experience for Raglan tomorrow night.  There will also a stall where you can buy Indian jewellery or get a henna tattoo. It all kicks off at 7.30pm and runs until 9pm.

Satnam has a couple of pieces of advice for his guests to help things run smoothly.

Don’t park on Bankart St, it will be rammed – or, better yet, walk down. “You will probably need to after eating all the food that will be put on.”

Also, if you can, bring a plastic chair to sit on.

Showers are forecast but Satnam is hoping for fine weather.

“We will make a call in the morning.”

Keep an eye out on the Facebook Raglan Notice Board page in case he has to reschedule.

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