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The Indus Valley Civilisation is an enigma, but it has contributed a lot to our understanding of the Indian culture. With passing years, we have become more scientifically and archaeologically capable, and that has helped us discover new aspects of this 4000-year-old civilisation, giving us fresh insights into our history. And, food habits provide one of the most tangible ways to understand our past as well as our present.
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Sesame's appearance belies its rich history and deep links to our culture. But, it is one of those foods that surprise you and make you see them in new light once you discover the story behind them.
Growing up in India, I never met or heard about Indians with African lineages. Then in 2005 I watched a dance performance by the Sidi Goma, a group of musicians from an African Indian community, and I was astonished and mesmerised. Since then I've discovered that India's African roots are much older than the Siddis, and are not only evident in numerous other communities, but percolate through direct descent in the blood of at least 600 million Indians.