The singer and rapper was born in the Caribbean and often performs with a variety of different accents. Fans frequently wonder, is Nick Minaj of Indian descent?
Nicki Minaj is partially Indian. Her parents were from Trinidad and Tobago, but her father traces his ancestry to Indian descent.
Nicki Minaj’s Indian Ethnicity
Nicki Minaj, whose real name is Onika Tanya Maraj, traces her Indian descent from her father, Robert Maraj. Robert is Indo-Trinidan while Nicki’s mother, Carol Maraj, is of Afro-Trinidan descent.
Nicki opened up about her Indian heritage on the TV show American Idol Season 12 in 2013. She said, “My real last name is Maraj. My father is half-Indian and makes the best chicken curry in the world.”
Nicki still maintains her Indian culture, even though she distanced herself from her abusive father. In 2014 she said that she likes to make chicken curry using the same recipe he taught her years ago.
Nicki shared footage of her chicken curry in progress while showing fans her 2017 Thanksgiving feast. The star made an impressive array of dishes, including a dish of chicken curry still cooking on the stove in her video:
Nicki Donates to an Indian Village
Nicki impressed fans when she revealed her quiet altruism in 2017. The singer had been donating to a rural Indian village for years and took to Instagram to share the result of her charity:
She explained that her pastor connected her with this unnamed village in India. Nicki was able to help the villagers build a computer center, tailoring institute, reading program, and two new water wells.
Nicki’s post revealed her generosity as well as her mature worldview. She acknowledged that too many people complain about the little things in life, all while people in villages like this one did not have access to clean water.
Nicki made another post sharing how proud she was of her “sisters in India.” She explained that the villagers were motivated to learn technology all on their own.
Nicki simply supplied the tools and equipment that the Indian villagers requested. Her benefactors had the drive to learn new technology and were able to improve their community with machinery and computers thanks to Nicki’s help.
Nicki’s Beats Helped Indian Activism
Nicki does her part to help struggling communities in India, but her music also takes on a life of its own and plays a role in the activism of other leaders. The Indian rapper Sofia Ashraf borrowed Nicki’s beat to promote her demand for corporate responsibility.
Sofia rapped over the beat of Nicki Minaj’s hit song “Anaconda.” Sofia changed the words to demand that the corporate giant Unilever clean up their mercury pollution and compensate the Indian workers they harmed.
Sofia’s rap earned global attention, and even received a retweet from Nicki Minaj herself. Nicki was impressed with the young activist’s work and Tweeted “wow” in response.
Nicki’s Indian Fashion
Nicki Minaj has an interesting ethnic background and she brings together even more cultures in her diverse art. She is known for her eclectic and unique style, which sometimes references her Indian descent as well as other cultures from around the world.
One of Nicki’s most iconic outfits, her 2010 American Music Awards look, was created by the Indian designer Manish Arora. Manish was named the Best Indian Fashion Designer in 2006 and has displayed his works in prominent fashion shows and museums around the world.
Manish Arora is known for using bright colors as well as traditional Indian beading and embroidery. The dress he created for Nicki embodies his style perfectly, and he even used his favorite colors, pink and gold, to compliment the detailed design.
Nicki shows her Indian connection in many ways. Although she is a global celebrity, she occasionally shows her Indian roots through her charity, cooking, and fashion.