'Papadum': Why Indians Are Miffed with an Australian Song Written for Kids in 2014
"Papadum, papadum, papadum..."
We get that papadum is probably one of India's favourite snacks, but to make a song about it is slightly bizarre. A video that has gone viral on social media shows a bunch of Australians singing the "Papadum" song. There is, however, a South Asian woman in the song joining the group chanting the lyrics - yet, she does not say a word. She smiles painfully throughout and dances awkwardly while holding a papadum.
Everyone else in the video also keeps chanting the word "Papadum" repeatedly. At one point, one of the cast members swings a cricket bat while singing the song in what we guess is a way of representing India's love for cricket.
The song that was written for kids in 2014 to educate them on cultural representation suddenly found a way into desi social media. None of it for good reasons.
Nearly every script I’ve been sent since leaving drama school https://t.co/MLuyWl2yGv— Rahul Kohli (@RahulKohli13) October 22, 2020
Also is the lady in the orange okay? She looks horrified. https://t.co/Du0pq5IsBx— Gurisha (@gurisha_sarna) October 22, 2020
to be clear, this was not the representation i wanted pic.twitter.com/vNswTi0E16— Ashmi (@_ashmip) October 22, 2020
the way she is not blinking someone help her https://t.co/4lAFDTEVD6— আনিকা (@aurmatha) October 23, 2020
The song was written in 2014. It was composed by an Australian musician named Anthony Donald Joseph Field, who is a member of a children’s music group called the Wiggles. Following backlash, Field responded by apologising for being "insensitive" and for adding to stereotypes.
Al, I wrote the song, and directed the clip in 2014 (which was meant as a celebration). It was not my intention to be culturally insensitive to the Indian community, or to add value to ethnic stereotyping. Apologies .— Anthony Field (@Anthony_Wiggle) October 22, 2020
A few months ago, reality show star Kim Kardashian too found herself on the receiving end of criticism for cultural appropriation after she posted a photo of herself dressed in a colour-block grey outfit, consisting of a crop top and a long skirt. Along with it, she sported gold bangles and a gold maang tika.