What started as an internet trend called ‘Mukbang’ has become the source of income for several Indian women.
Mukbang translates to ‘eating broadcast’ where people sit in front of the camera and eat different kinds of food while interacting with the audience. It gained prominence in South Korea in 2010.
Source- Food Plaza's YouTube Channel
Along with becoming a source of income, this helped the women showcase their culture, food, and village life. Mitali Singha Roy, who has a YouTube channel of her own by the name of Food Plaza, told BBC exclusively, “When I got my first income from the videos, it was like a blessing from God. I needed money at that time and it was of immense help.”
Talking about why these videos are successful, professor Sriram Venkatraman, an anthropologist, told BBC ‘It’s typical all over India, it’s almost like women are expected to behave in a certain way. Seeing this kind of videos makes them vicariously live the kind of life that they have not been able to live. Eating, enjoying, and then opening up for the entire world to see how you eat and enjoy. And for men, it’s fascinating, it’s different. They’ve never seen women messing up themselves in public. It’s also about the migration India is facing right now. Looking at this kind of videos rekindles their memories of the village food they end up missing.’
Source- Tamil Foodies' YouTube Channel
However, the videos are not received well by everyone. Some people troll these videos for promoting obesity, women’s appearances, and lack of table manners. Divya Rajkumar, the owner of Tamil Foodies, told BBC, “I realise people who make these comments don’t think much about what they’ve said and since then I have stopped thinking about negative comments.”