Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Did anyone go for the free biryani?

In a not-so-subtle response to the Education Ministry’s guidelines on ‘how to spot gays’, a new enterprising Indian restaurant in the Klang Valley has taken the unusual step of offering free food for those who fit under the ministry’s controversial ‘guidelines.’

Fierce Curry House, a restaurant operating in Bangsar, yesterday launched a campaign on its Facebook page, declaring that the first 15 male customers who show up at their premises on September 16 dressed according to the ministry’s guidelines for gay men will be entitled to free biryani.

“The first 15 guys who show up in a tight-ish, light-coloured V-neck tee and carrying a man bag or man purse will get a free chicken or mutton biryani,” their Facebook post stated.

The post also showed two images; one of flamboyant Real Madrid midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo dressed in a tight, light pink collared polo shirt carrying a man-purse; and the other of actor Zach Galifianakis, garbed in a t-shirt with a sling bag.

The headline for the picture cheekily stated: ‘Only one of these guys is getting a free biryani’.

Both Ronaldo and Galifianakis are heterosexual.

The campaign is believed to be a humorous poke at the Education Ministry’s recent unveiling of the ‘how to spot homosexuals’ guidelines.

Sin Chew Daily this week reported that the ministry had endorsed the guide as an aid to parents and teachers. It was reported that the guidelines were introduced during a seminar in Penang on September 11.

The event, titled ‘Parenting in addressing the issues of LGBTs (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders), was reportedly officiated by

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Puad Zarkashi.

The guidelines’ ‘symptoms’ for gays were: Muscular body and a fondness for showing off the body by wearing clothing, such as by wearing V-necks and sleeveless tops; a preference for tight and bright coloured clothe; an inclination to be attracted to men; and a tendency to carry big handbags, similar to the kinds used by women.

For lesbians, the guidelines stated: Showing attraction to women; distancing themselves from women other than their girlfriends; a preference for hanging out, sleeping and dining with women; and absence of feelings for men.

The news has since become the brunt of criticism from civil liberties representatives, who claimed that it was discriminatory and could lead to ‘witch-hunting’. Other have labelled the guidelines as ‘ridiculous’ and claimed that it will harm Malaysia’s image as a liberal-thinking country.

The ministry has since denied endorsing the ‘early symptoms’ guidelines. In a statement yesterday, it stated: “We wish to inform that we have not approved or endorsed to any parties to provide or issue the guidelines for distribution in schools.

“It is important to stress that it was issued by concerned quarters,” it said.

The ministry, however, said it is looking into the issue described as “social ills” and is constantly providing guidelines to prevent students from “engaging in such activities”.

Herukh Jethwani, owner of Fierce Curry House, told Malaysian Digest that the reason behind their campaign was to tap into the social buzz surrounding the issue.

“It’s just our way of addressing the matter. And response to the campaign has been tremendous. We’ve had to extend the promotion to include 25 people now,” he quipped.

Meanwhile, Facebook users have applauded Fierce Curry House’s promotional efforts. Facebook user Clarence Agod wrote on their wall: “I’ve never heard of you guys til now ... And I love you already!”

Kavidha Natarajan wrote: “Whoever thought of this marketing campaign is a genius and should be promoted immediately.”

Laviinia Dhana stated: “Well done, Fierce Curry owners! Awesome way to respond to such silly guidelines. Look forward to the pictures.”

As of Press time, the restaurant’s posting had been shared almost 900 times and received more than 600 ‘likes’.
[Source: MD]

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