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For decades, South Africans aspiring to make the perfect biryani have turned to Indian Delights, the best selling cookbook produced by Zuleikha Mayat and the Women´s Cultural Group. This is the story of the women behind the recipes; it is an account that brings to life the changing, gendered worlds of Muslim women in 20th century Durban.

Through a blend of scholarly rigour and compelling biography, this book reveals how a group of women, who were formally excluded from both political and customary power, nevertheless forged a vibrant citizenship and public life for themselves. In the midst of unfolding global and local transformation apartheid, feminism, doctrinal shifts in Islam the members of the Womens Cultural Group were themselves agents of change, not only within the local communities that benefited from their proficient and varied labours, but in the making of South African modernity.

Academic historians Goolam Vahed and Thembisa Waetjen have constructed a multilayered narrative that captures the spirit and housewifey appeal of their subjects. A fascinating read for anyone interested in local history, gender identity, and Islam in the Indian-Ocean region.

Product information

Format : 210mm x 148mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 416
ISBN 10 : 0-7969-2336-1
ISBN 13 : 978-07969-2336-3
Publish Year : 2010
Rights : World Rights

Preface

  1. THE CHOW-CHOW PICKLE JAR
  2. STEPPING OUT
  3. INDIAN DELIGHTS
  4. FAHMIDAS WORLDS
  5. IQRAA
  6. BAKE, JUMBLE AND TRUST
  7. IN THE FAMILY OF HUMANITY
  8. HAVEN OF OUR DREAMS
CONCLUSION

Notes
Glossary
References
Index

Goolam Vahed and Thembisa Waetjen are colleagues in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban and their collaborative research has appeared in journal articles and the book Dear Ahmedbai, Dear Zuleikhabehn: The Letters of Ahmed Kathrada and Zuleikha Mayat, 19791989.

Waetjen writes about gender and culture in South African politics with articles in journals such as Theory and Society, Ethnic and Racial Studies and Theoria. She is the author of Workers and Warriors: Masculinity and the Struggle for Nation in South Africa (2006).

Vahed has published extensively on the history of Islam / Indians in South Africa, and the role of sport and culture in South African society including several the co-authored and co-edited books, such as Blacks in Whites: A Century of Sporting Struggles in KwaZulu-Natal, 18802002; The Making of a Social Reformer: Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa, 18931914; Empire & Cricket: The South African Experience 18841914; Monty Naicker: Between Reason and Treason; and Inside Indian Indenture: A South African Story, 18601914.

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