Tuesday, May 11, 2010

McChickens = prestige in Pakistan

I'm a bit behind on listening to my podcasts of the always-fascinating CBC Radio One foreign-affairs show "Dispatches," so I just heard an intriguing report from late March about the class differences in fast food in Pakistan.

Western tourists (myself included) are often convinced that one way to get into the "authentic" culture of a place is to eat cheap fast food: noodles from tiny kiosks, fritters from roadside stands, that sort of thing.

But when "Dispatches" correspondent Natasha Fatah went to Karachi, she found out that the local elites wouldn't be caught dead eating a kabab from an open-air grill. So are they flocking to white-tablecloth French restaurants instead? Nope. They boost their prestige with a trip to McDonald's or KFC.

Check out the Dispatches website for the full report (search on "Are You a Burger or a Bun Kabab?" from the March 25/28 broadcast).

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