It was a rainy day. Me and my good friend were having lunch at my new house. I made Tandoori Chicken with Mango Relish. It was delicious.
She looked at me with a smile and said “You are becoming more Indian!“
I smiled back and replied “I am searching for my roots. I am discovering little by little who I am and what makes me happy.“
She then said “I like this new you!“
Martim Moniz is known as the most multi-ethnic neighbourhood in Lisbon. Chinese, Indian, Arabian, African, Ukrainian, Russian, Korean, Portuguese. It was also know as one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods. In the past years the Lisbon City Hall has made a huge effort to change that view. It was a successful effort.
However, people still asked me whether I am afraid of living here by myself.
I am not.
Living in this neighbourhood has helped me embrace my multi-ethnicity. I never consider myself a typical Portuguese girl or even a typical Indian or Mozambican girl. I belong nowhere and everywhere.
But, at least, I am sure. I belong to Martim Moniz.
“What do I most like of living here? The ease of finding the right ingredients.”
Photo taken by Cláudia Mendes in Martim Moniz, Lisboa, Portugal, December 2012. Tofu, Shiitake Mushrooms, Tai Fish Sauce, Miso Paste, Light Soy Sauce, Rice Vinegar, Sesame Seeds, Creamed Coconut and Sesame Oil.