More From Alder's Ledge

April 29, 2013

Bizarre Benefit

Hoosiers Fighting For The Rohingya
(part of the Screamers series)

(Yeah, my graphic artist made a spelling error...)

If you have ever watched the Travel Channel then chances are you have seen the show Bizarre Foods. It is one of my favorite shows and has inspired me to try the foods that the host samples from around the world. So much so that I rarely pass up an oddity in the supermarket anymore. And yeah, that means that if there happens to be a place selling edible insects... I've probably ordered, purchased, and sampled everything they have.

But the combining of this passion with the work Alder's Ledge does was a long process. I rarely find that people who are willing to listen to me when I talk about genocide are up for eating afterward. And the people willing to eat my not so bizarre dishes rarely want to talk about genocide while eating. So the thought of combining the two has been hard to decide upon.

So why is Alder's Ledge putting the two together? It allows us to offer a "hook" that draws in the listeners'. After all, how many people do you know who would pass up free food? Thus giving us the opportunity to scream.

But before we explain the Bizarre Foods aspect I should explain screaming once again.

A screamer is a person who has witnessed or learned about a genocide and therefore finds him or herself incapable of remaining silent about the tragedy they now know about. This screamer goes out into the world around them and attempts to tell others in anyway they can so that hopefully the information spreads. Like a spark in a dry field of grass... the screamer starts a fire in their own community. Their screams build up the flames of outrage and, with any luck, create a movement to stop the injustice that we know as genocide.

Alder's Ledge is attempting to draw in the world around us here in central Indiana and spread the word about the Rohingya Genocide. Through our interactions with the community around us we have started a small group of screamers. And through the author's own bullheadedness, we are driving the message home as best we can.

Yet the topic of genocide seems to be difficult at best to broach with new audiences. And then there is the underlying prejudices that sadly exist when you bring up Muslims here in Indiana. Combining the two creates an uphill battle that we are struggling to fight. That is why we are approaching the struggle in a way that we personally know Hoosiers cannot resist... through their stomachs.

Now Indiana people are not generally believed to be adventurous eaters. There are three or four typical dishes that Hoosiers refuse to modify or abolish all together. However it has been my experience that there are just enough foodies in this state (there most likely more restaurants in Indy than bookstores, libraries, and schools combined) to expand the audience to which we can spread our message. And when you factor in the ones who just come to watch their friends eat "icky" stuff... well the audience keeps getting bigger.

The only problem is that Alder's Ledge is not an organization in the traditional sense. We are just a bunch of misfits from all sorts of backgrounds. Some of us don't even live here in Indiana. So the move to set out as an organized front and spread our message in this manner depends on one thing... volunteers.

Alder's Ledge is currently looking for people in the area surrounding Indianapolis that would be willing to host a Bizarre Foods Night to Benefit the Rohingya of Burma. We should first point out that we do not collect any form of currency ourselves. We only give you the information so that you can then donate yourself to Partners Relief and Development.

These events should be considered for church and religious groups, educational organizations and facilities, and companies in the general area. We need churches, synagogues, mosque, school leaders, and any other groups interested to help support us. Without the help of the community we will continue to fight this fight the way we have been... through social media, this blog, and my personal favorite... one on one, face to face.

If you or your organization is interested please leave a message below. Note that messages are moderated and so they will most likely not be posted. But we will get back to you as soon as possible. Want to put together something like this with your friends and family and become a screamer? Inquire by leaving a message below, I will personally get back to you as quickly as I can.

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