Defining Ethnicity With Food

In the New York Times' City section this weekend, Swaranjit Singh, a 55-year-old real estate broker and Bellerose resident who's running for City Council, defined ethnicity by the food people eat. The Times writes:

If he could unite voters of South Asian ancestry, or, as he referred to them, “roti-eating people,” and get them to turn out at the polls, he predicted, he would unseat Councilman David Weprin in September’s Democratic primary.

“Pizza-eating people have representation,” Mr. Singh said. “Burger-eating people have representation. Bagel-eating people have representation. But roti has no representation.”

This unique way of breaking down voting demorgraphics appeared in an article about a 70-year-old ice cream stand poised to become a Days Inn hotel in the Bellerose neighborhood of Queens. Bellerose has experienced an influx of immigrants from South Asia in recent years, making up nearly a third of the neighborhood’s population, and with that comes a certain degree of change and ethnic tension.

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