Durban’s Indians Spice up the Cup | sports | Hindustan Times
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Durban’s Indians Spice up the Cup

Durban’s Indian community have firmly embraced the World Cup and lashings of their famed local curry and a deep passion for soccer have added Asian spice to the tournament's warmest venue.

sports Updated: Jul 02, 2010 23:27 IST

Durban’s Indian community have firmly embraced the World Cup and lashings of their famed local curry and a deep passion for soccer have added Asian spice to the tournament's warmest venue.

Half a million strong, Durban's Indians have contributed a clear majority of South African fans at the six matches at the city's Moses Mabhida Stadium so far, as well as a significant presence at the hugely popular beachfront.

“The Indian community has really backed the World Cup,” said Dennis Chetty, peering from behind aromatic mounds of “Durban Masala” and “Mother-In-Law hellfire” in his spice shop in the city's Victoria Street market. “It hasn't done much for the spice business, but actually I've been shocked that it has gone so well. I thought there's be lots of problems with crime and so on.”

With a nine-day lull between the round of 16 match between the Dutch and Slovakia and next week's semi-final, many Durbanites are talking about the World Cup in the past tense this week.

Chetty's fellow-trader Abdullah Mohammad however, says it is a chance to change the perceptions of foreign tourists.

“People thought South Africa was just a jungle but tourists have now seen what it's like and will take positive reports back home and hopefully come back,” he said. World Cup fans have also been able to enjoy the many Indian contributions to culinary culture, not least the unique local snack -- a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry which is called Bunny Chow.