The Asian footprint (or perhaps that should read foodprint) is pronounced in Vancouver

by Rashmee

Posted on February 1, 2020


In most of my time in Vancouver, I ate richly and well of the foods of different countries in Asia. The first night was Vietnamese. The second day was Chinese (dim sum) and Japanese (sushi). There was “Indian Chinese” on day three and Indian Punjabi (chole bhature) on day four. And so it went. The … Continue reading “The Asian footprint (or perhaps that should read foodprint) is pronounced in Vancouver”

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British Columbia’s ‘first Indian-Chinese restaurant’ proudly serves up desi fare

by Rashmee

Posted on January 31, 2020


  The sign outside the Green Lettuce, on Kingsway in eastern Vancouver, says it all: “Desi Chinese”. (Look to the far right on the red strip under the yellow shop sign.) Extraordinary, I thought. In India, where all the Chinese food on offer is “Indian Chinese”, they don’t describe it that way. But they’re doing … Continue reading “British Columbia’s ‘first Indian-Chinese restaurant’ proudly serves up desi fare”

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From trade deals to climate change, middle powers are steadying the ship even as Donald Trump is rocking it

by Rashmee

Posted on October 23, 2019 / The National


In the global jungle, is it possible for anyone but the biggest beasts to command all that is within sight — and most of what is not? Do middle powers even matter in a world in which the US is steadily undermining the international institutions it helped build and in which China is in the ascendant? The … Continue reading “From trade deals to climate change, middle powers are steadying the ship even as Donald Trump is rocking it”

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Can a middle power like Canada ever presume to sustain the world order?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 16, 2019


“We’re fading…we lost our UN Security Council seat,” the Canadian diplomat said. He looked mournful. We were talking in the early part of this decade and Canada  had recently (2010) lost its bid for a non-permanent seat on the UNSC.  (For the record, Ottawa lost out to Lisbon and Berlin.) Fast forward to 2019 and … Continue reading “Can a middle power like Canada ever presume to sustain the world order?”

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The shrill debate over Justin Trudeau should leave some people shamefaced

by Rashmee

Posted on September 23, 2019


The furore over Justin Trudeau’s brownface and blackface costumes tells us two things. First, a high bar is set for those who cast themselves as liberal but self-proclaimed conservatives are allowed to be as bigoted as they want. Second, such controversies quickly become hysterical to the point of incoherence. The first point can be understood … Continue reading “The shrill debate over Justin Trudeau should leave some people shamefaced”

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A blow to the Trudeau brand

by Rashmee

Posted on March 7, 2019


Have you been following Justin Trudeau’s decline and impending fall? If not, here’s a thumbnail sketch. After Mr Trudeau, son of former Canadian prime minister, Pierre, was elected in 2015, he became the poster boy for the 21st century. He picked a cabinet that would not have been out of place in a Benetton advertisement … Continue reading “A blow to the Trudeau brand”

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Summitry is best captured in satire - if only so much of it wasn’t so achingly accurate

by Rashmee

Posted on June 12, 2018 / The National


Sometimes summitry is best captured in satire. Ahead of today’s Singapore meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, there was dulcet mood music and nakedly transparent attempts by two volatile, very alpha male leaders to court each other. And then there was the grouchy summit in Canada of the G7 advanced economies. Mr Trump got … Continue reading “Summitry is best captured in satire - if only so much of it wasn’t so achingly accurate”

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Jacinda Ardern. Sebastian Kurz. Emmanuel Macron. Justin Trudeau…roll call of the young

by Rashmee

Posted on October 19, 2017


With Jacinda Ardern’s ascent (by coalition-deal-making on Thursday) to New Zealand’s highest office, that’s four national leaders under the age of 45. Ms Ardern, 37, is feisty and, it has to be said, extraordinarily lucky. She only became leader of New Zealand’s Labour Party in August. She managed to insert herself into the national (and … Continue reading “Jacinda Ardern. Sebastian Kurz. Emmanuel Macron. Justin Trudeau…roll call of the young”

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150th Canada Day in Tunisia was much like their relationship: polite, calm & collected

by Rashmee

Posted on July 3, 2017


So we were at Canada Day in Tunis (it was held on June 29, three days before the actual 150th birthday) and it seemed like a metaphor for the relationship between these two Francophone countries: polite, if a bit bland, but unfailingly good-natured and well-intentioned. As the Canadian Embassy in Tunis documents, the bilateral relationship is … Continue reading “150th Canada Day in Tunisia was much like their relationship: polite, calm & collected”

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Did Emmanuel Macron try to copy Justin Trudeau with his carefully balanced cabinet?

by Rashmee

Posted on May 20, 2017


There were echoes of Canada’s prime minister in the cabinet announced by France’s new president Emmanuel Macron. Both have paid a lot of attention to the symbolic worth of their picks. For Mr Macron, it was about gender equality and career vs rookie politicians. He also had to balance right vs left in the cabinet. … Continue reading “Did Emmanuel Macron try to copy Justin Trudeau with his carefully balanced cabinet?”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK