Lupita Nyong'o's moving speeches, the Dark is Beautiful campaign in India, and Anita Majumdar's play, Same Same But Different, have me in a different frame of mind as we approach International Women's Day. I'm not just thinking about women's rights and battles. I'm thinking about what it means to be a woman of colour in Canada.
I have tragically dry skin in cold weather, so dry skin cells flake off and clog my pores and I break out more than usual. Indian brides apply turmeric paste to make their skin glow as well as deter any blemishes for their special day. Turmeric has anti-bacterial qualities that are great at combating acne, hyper-pigmentation, eczema and dark marks. Plus this mask's bright yellow colour makes your face literally look like sunshine when you have it on!
One day, Shauna Singh Baldwin gave her grandmother a notebook and suggested that she write down her personal stories. What emerged were pages of personal memories of the trauma of partition - and it was the first time Shauna and her family heard about their grandmother's experiences. "I realized that until then, my grandfather had been the person who told my grandmother's stories about Partition," she said.
The Komagata Maru was introduced to me sandwiched between narratives of the Chinese Head Tax and Japanese Internment. It had no scope to breathe. No room for discussion and further explanation. And it was the only time I remember seeing people that looked like me in my school textbooks. But the Komagata Maru is more elusive. It took me years to unlearn the biases I had built up around the story, hear the voices of the pioneers and understand the history on its own terms.
For those of you masalamommas who blog out there, you're part of a select crew. While there's been an explosion of blogging moms over the years, South Asian moms who blog, aren't necessarily on the radar. While many South Asian moms who blog feel the same, some say they don't feel connected to the mommy blogger community as a whole.
My ancestry doesn't define what I feel is most important. The essentialist logic that just because I'm South Asian an apology for the Komagata Maru incident is the paramount focus of my political identity -- and that its resolution would sway me to support a particular political party -- is insulting. I, like all Canadians, am more than just one thing.
Against the advice of our local guide in Bangladesh I tried this dish from a street food vendor. The dish is called Jhalmuri -- pronounced Chahl Mooree. It is Indian Puffed Rice and is a fun, very quick and very flavourful snack food. This dish is a great snack for football season and to spice things up for the chilly weather we are experiencing now in Canada. This recipe is my best attempt at trying to duplicate what I had on the streets of Dhaka.
Canadian actress and emerging playwright, Sarena Parmar, has performed in film, television and on the stage. In this in-depth interview on Extraordinary Women TV with Shannon Skinner, Parmar discusses her rapid rise in her acting career, how her South Asian background has influenced her work, her interest in human rights and advocacy, and also her involvement with Plan Canada's "I Am A Girl" campaign.