Tag Archives: shaadi

No Nazar: South Asian weddings and podcast debuts

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No Nazar: South Asian weddings and podcast debuts

I feel like I’m constantly falling in love with new people. Not romantic love; don’t be weird. But that kind of “oh my god I love your style/intellect/skills/what you have to say” love.

I recently met a woman named Zainab. From a Pakistani family, Zainab hails from Toronto, but her accent gives away the fact that she’s also got roots in the UK. She reached out in a Facebook group, looking for South Asian women (or non-binary/trans folks) to share their stories for a podcast she was starting called No Nazar. “Nazar” is the Urdu/Hindu word for evil eye, a concept that exists in nearly every culture… but has a very special place in ours.

The funny thing is that I had literally been scrolling through iTunes for the past few days, looking for podcasts by and about desi women. I had found a couple, but none with the same radical political/social beliefs as me (I’m sure they’re out there, I just couldn’t find them). After a few seconds of self-doubt and staring at her post in awe, I pushed myself to reach out to Zainab about my then-recently published article about South Asian weddings on The Tempest. I was honestly more excited to find out more about her project and when I could listen, but I figured, desis love weddings. My article and the discussion around desi wedding culture might be a perfect fit for her show.

Turns out, she’d actually already read it… a cousin had sent it to her. She invited me onto the show, and I spoke with her via Skype audio.

The podcast was fun as hell. Talking to Zainab about her vision for the show got me so hyped that I was eagerly awaiting this debut before I even found out I’d be the guest featured in it.

I’ve posted the episode above. Please do give it a listen, and share on social media where you can. It’s on Soundcloud for now, but I’ll update once it’s finally up on iTunes as well.

[Update: You can find the iTunes version here. Or just find No Nazar in your Podcasts app.]

I always fall in love when I meet a Pakistani woman who is unafraid to talk about the things that need to be said.  No Nazar is one-woman show, and that one woman is absolutely someone worth following. Put this on your list of “Podcasts to Watch”. Zainab did a fantastic job with every aspect of the show, and she is such an insightful, intelligent, and creative person that it’s only going to get better from here.

Nazar na lag jaye.

 

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I used my writing to not-so-subtly send my wedding guests a message

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I used my writing to not-so-subtly send my wedding guests a message

My wedding isn’t for another year, but people have been constantly asking us about it since we got engaged a few years back. I guess your current life checkmarks tend to be good conversation starters, but when you’re desi, there’s definitely some people who are just interested because wedding. And there’s been so many things that have bothered me about people’s expectations, as well as what I’ve witnessed at the weddings I’ve been to over the past few years (and my whole life).

I started an editorial fellowship at The Tempest last month, and my first beat was Culture + Taste (both subjects going under Life now, as the site made some changes just this past week). One of the first things I wrote was basically a venting session about everything I’m refusing to do at my wedding or trying to prevent.

You can check it out here

I’ll admit, I did also write it because I figured it’d be a popular subject with people… and apparently it has been, as it’s currently one of the top articles on the site. And yeah, I’m proud of that…

But honestly, I’m mostly just glad that most of future guests have probably read it by now. Is it tacky to print it out and stuff into the invitations too?

Why desi parents drive us nuts

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Being Pakistani, especially a muhajir– meaning that my grandparents are all originally from India and then moved to the newly created Islamic nation during the partition–, I have come to absolutely abhor some things about my culture.  Especially values and ideals on marriage.

The “desi”, or South Asian, culture in which I’ve grown up has some very admirable qualities to it.  Other aspects, however, are just downright unhealthy. An article I just found on the BBC makes me want to scream.

Veteran Investigations is an agency based in Mumbai that offers the service of spying and checking up on prospective brides and grooms for families that want to make sure that their current loot is fit for their son or daughter.

I mean, seriously. The desi family’s need for control is getting out of hand. The need to check out a suitor like they’re cattle is debilitating. They can’t handle the fact that they are more and more losing out on any say when it comes to who their offspring marry. Personally, I think it’s a good thing that they are.  When families get too involved, isn’t it just inevitable that something’s about to get screwed up?

It’s choosing a life partner.  At the end of the day, one person is the one living, eating, laughing, sleeping, crying, loving with them. It’s their decision. They may be stupid about it, sure, but they know what they want more than others do.  In desi culture, the parents have a habit of feeling that they have every right to control their childrens’ lives, because they know what’s best.  But this is one place where I have yet to see their judgement be consistently rational.

In other words, these investigators are smart as hell.

Ab imo pectore,

Syjil

the link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-radio-and-tv-15520929