Podcast: JETcast Episode 1

The JETcast in the studio: L-R Edoardo Mesiti, Traudy Glasencnik, and Jay Liu. Photo illo: Jay Liu

Get ready to Jet set with the JETcast, keeping you informed on the nitty gritty of life. From suicide to food labelling, television and the potentially immoral act of killing rodents and insects, we have it covered. Join Jay Liu, Edoardo Mesiti and Traudy Glasencnik by listening, and tell us what you think on our Facebook page. We’re ready for anything.

Party leader defends rape in India

Head of right-wing party Shiv Sena’s youth wing, Aaditya Thackeray. Photo: TheYuvaSena/Wikipedia



The extreme right wing political party Shiv Sena has claimed that rape accusations are “good weapons to seek personal revenge”.

Shiv Sena, which is closely allied with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, has defended the Deputy Inspector General of Police Sunil Paraskar after he was accused of raping a Mumbai based model over a three-month period.

The Shiv Sena owned Indian newspaper Saamna reported a party spokesman saying: “After he has served for so many years in the police force, one model now charges rape … in one night he becomes a villain.”

The alleged victim, who cannot be identified, refused to respond to the criticism, saying the matter was before the courts. ”No one should be commenting in sensitive matters like this without knowing all the facts,” she said.

Right wing Indian politicians are notorious for prompting violent uproars and controversies. In one incident, a Shiv Sena MP aggressively force-fed a Muslim man during the fasting holiday of Ramadan because he was unsatisfied with the food at a government canteen. A video of the incident was then posted on YouTube (warning: graphic content).

Indian courts “need to open their eyes” to the prospect of false accusations, Shiv Sena politicians told Saamna. One male politician said: “All the laws in the country favour women, so anyone can slap any charge against anyone.”

Other political parties and women’s rights groups reacted strongly to the party’s statements. In a TV interview for IBN, Uttar Pradesh Congress Leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi demanded an apology from Shiv Sena, and said questioning a rape claim was “against a woman’s dignity”. Women’s activist Abha Singh told Asian News International that Shiv Sena using Saamna to accuse women of attempting to attract attention by falsely accusing a man of rape was wrong and is prohibited under certain laws protecting an alleged victim of rape from character assassination.

However, Aaditya Thackeray the head of Shiv Sena’s youth wing and the son of the party’s chairman, defended the editorial piece in Saamna in a tweet:

Indian sexual assault legislation has come under scrutiny since the 2012 gang rape and beating of a 23-year-old woman on a bus. The victim died from her injuries 13 days after the attack.


Love in the time of rice noodle soup

“They loved each other, but never told each other.” Photo: Wikimedia Commons.



Have you heard about Crossing the Bridge Rice Noodles, which is a famous Chinese Cuisine? This is rice noodles with meat and vegetables, but don’t forget: a big bowl of delicious and hot soup.

Crossing the Bridge Rice Noodles is folk cuisine from Yunnan Province, southwest of China. Yunnan is rich in natural resources and has the largest diversity of plant life in China. But it doesn’t matter where it’s from, because it is delicious, right? Now, I would like to tell you the romantic story behind this dish.

It’s widely-known that Chinese people don’t like to express their thinking directly. Many Chinese have never said “I love you”, or “I need you”, or any such thing. There was a couple who lived in Yunnan province a thousand years ago. They loved each other, but never told each other. The husband hoped to give his family a better living, so he was studying hard for his Imperial exams. The Imperial exams were a kind of exam to select candidates for the state official job, which was almost lifelong occupation. He studied very hard in his academy which lay on a small island with beautiful scenery. His wife delivered hearty lunch every day after she walked a long way and went over a bridge. But lunch had been cool when the husband ate it, because microwave ovens weren’t invented at that time. The wife was so sad. She struggled to find ways to keep lunch warm and delicious like the dishes were just cooked.

One day, the wife got a good idea. She cooked the broth and loaded a big earthen pot with the boiling liquid covered by hot oil to keep the soup hot, and prepared rice noodle for adding in it. Her little son was very naughty, and threw slices of raw meat into the big earthen pot with the broth. She took it out quickly, but she saw the meat had been cooked and it tasted delicious. She was very surprised. She thought, that’s a good way to put other ingredients together. Then she prepared several slices of raw meat and some vegetables for her husband. When she arrived at the island, she put raw meat, vegetable and precooked rice noodle together. The smell spread. All ingredients were just cooked, and the hot soup was eaten. Her husband ate this special lunch with tears in his eyes, then he stood up to bow deeply to her. He was excited to ask her what the name of the dish was. She casually named it ‘Crossing the Bridge Rice Noodles’. From that day, the dish was spread widely. People cook it and love it, but most of them don’t know this romantic story of this cuisine.


Cook Crossing the Bridge Rice Noodles yourself:

  • Hot broth (any broth you like, pork bone or chicken recommended)
  • Raw meat (pork, beef or chicken), sliced paper-thin
  • Vegetables (your choice: spinach, little cabbage leaves etc.)
  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • Tofu skin
  • Thin Chinese rice noodles, cooked

Prepare all above, then put them in the hot broth step by step. First put raw meat, then vegetable and mushrooms, Tofu skin, and finally rice noodles. Done. Easy!

Add sauce for serving such as pepper, salt, chilli, etc. to get your own favourite taste.


Crossing the Bridge soup. Photo: utpala/flickr