After a shocking curry-related bullying incident, chefs took to social media to clear curry’s good name.

The praises of Japanese school lunches are sung around the world: they are healthy, well-balanced, and colorful to look at, and one of the most popular dishes in school lunch repertoire is that old classic: curry.

Sadly, school lunch curry has suffered an image crisis this month. At Higashi Suma Elementary School in Kobe Prefecture, four teachers were identified in a leaked video where they held down a junior teacher and forced him to eat extremely hot curry from the school kitchen — no easy task even when done under one’s own agency. The four senior teachers responsible are currently on leave from their positions, but the incident has shocked the school and its students.

As a response, the school is taking some measures to address the upsetting video. The room where the video was shot will be remodeled, and an apology from the four teachers who committed the bullying was read out to staff. Curry was also temporarily taken off of the school menu, perhaps because the teachers were worried kids might feel as traumatized by a full plate of curry as the poor junior teacher.

On hearing word of this proposed ban, Japan’s curry experts — namely, chefs running Indian and Nepalese curry restaurants — banded together to take a stand.

“Please forgive school lunch curry.”

“Please help school lunch curry.”

“School lunch curry is not to blame.”

Interestingly, all three of these examples are located not in Kobe but Numazu, about a four hour drive away. A Twitter user spotted these emotional pleas to support school-time spice and created a collection.

“Efforts from the Indian restaurants to support curry at school lunch.”

These impassioned defenses galvanized into a battle cry, neatly summarized in a hashtag: #kareenitsumiwanai or “Curry did nothing wrong”. Curry cooks and fans alike stuffed the tag with bagfuls of praise and heaping spoonfuls of tasty photos, with many noting that suspending curry from the menus may actually make children’s aversion to it worse.

“School lunch curry is tasty, too! Curry did nothing wrong!”

Sources reporting on the bullying incident appear to imply that the school’s decision to remove curry from their menu is only temporary, and could be intended more as a placatory measure for parents than a permanent ban. Regardless, the hashtag has brought plenty of smiles to people’s faces, and is definitely helping to raise awareness of curry as a tasty meal rather than an implement of torture.

“Here’s my post for today! In accordance with the “#CurryDidNothingWrong trend, I made parakeet curry! Curry is so healing. See you again next week!”

“I love Indian curry, Nepalese curry, and Japanese curry.”

While the curry bullying incident remains under supervision, today’s hashtag reminds us to point our blame squarely on the bullies who choose to use curry for nefarious purposes rather than the curry itself. Food is something to be respected, not tampered with!

Source: Livedoor News/Biglobe News, TV Asahi, Hachima Kikou
Top image: Flickr/uka0310

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