Month: June 2015

Let’s Talk About Sex…Ed!

Let’s Talk About Sex…Ed!

Sex education is rarely without controversy. As a sexual health educator, working with South Asian communities all over Toronto, I see firsthand how sexual misinformation, stigma, cultural and gender norms can all make sex a hard topic to discuss. Lately, however, it seems to be […]

She Has No Choice?!

She Has No Choice?!

By: Saipriya V Sterilization  is a common procedure used to terminate fertility . The two most common procedures include tubectomy in women and vasectomy in men.  Though the male sterilization procedure is medically less complicated, globally  2.5 to 4 times women are sterilized than men […]

மாற்றம்

மாற்றம்

By: Saipriya V

மவுனத்தை சுமக்கும் மரங்களாய் நின்றது போதும்

காற்றை கிழிக்கும் கழுகாய் ஆவோம்!

 

கவிஞர்கள் கையில் கவிதைகளாய் இருந்தது போதும்

காலத்தை மாற்றும் கருவியாய் ஆவோம்!

 

மழையில் தொலைத்த கண்ணீர் துளி போல்,

வருங்காலம் தொலைத்த அவலம் போதும்!

 

இனி வடிவமைப்போம் நம் வாழ்கையை

சிற்பியும் நாமே ! சிற்பமும் நாமே!

Dating Brown Girls

Dating Brown Girls

By: Reenita V  Dating has always been such an interesting adventure for me. I’m the friend with the interesting and for the most part, funny stories to tell about the numerous people I have had the pleasure of meeting since I began dating at the […]

More Than Motherhood

More Than Motherhood

By: Saipriya V In our society, women face tremendous pressure to become mothers.  Women who are unable to produce children face a lot of criticism, stigma, ostracism and sometimes end up in getting divorced. Fertility problems are often thought to be a woman’s fault, and […]

Who Am I?

Who Am I?

By: Reenita V

Connecting with my culture has been a process I have recently just begun. As a first generation Canadian, I grew up with parents who were heavily immersed in the new Western culture which offered new beginnings and opportunities. I grew up with the ideology that the Western world was where it was at. As I further developed, I found more comfort in the Western world and Canadian culture as my Indo-Fijian culture was pushed aside. I wanted to bare all (sometimes literally), I wanted to date my crushes, I wanted to attend movies with my friends without supervision, I only spoke English – I was a rebellious Canadian gal.

When I left my family in 2008, things started to change. In my mind, I was the independent women my mother wanted me to be, I refused the idea of marriage and children, I had no need to listen to my family nor connect with them as often as I should have. I quickly immersed myself in experiencing the French Canadian culture of Montreal and once again, ignored my roots. While in Montreal, I had the privilege of not being in the only Indo-Fijian in my circle of friends. When he discussed cooking, family or anything related to our roots, I was slightly embarrassed as I was not as connected as he was. I started to envy his connection and knowledge and started reflecting on where my family came from, the positive aspects of my culture and eventually just really started to wonder ‘Who am I?

When I moved to Toronto in 2013, I went back to school for Social Service Work and this is when thoughts moved to actions. While in school, we often discussed a service user’s heritage, their culture, experience, cultural differences and while doing so, we were asked to reflect on where we came from, our beliefs and culture. I could easily see the gaps. While my passport says Canadian, I am not just Canadian. I am a mishmash of Canadian opportunities, Fijian island living, with Sri Lankan and Indian roots. What I rejected as I child was a rich history, community, not to mention the ability to learn my language, cook amazing meals, be closer with my elders and understand where all these values are rooted.

As I actively try to engage with my community now, navigating those opportunities can be difficult. First, I have developed my own personal values based on my life experiences and I am quite proud of those accomplishments. Second, I am so far (physically) from the best teachers – my family. I find connecting with people who have a similar background can be difficult, I mean you can’t walk up to someone and say ‘Hey, your Indo-Fijian, I’m Indo-Fijian, let’s be friends’ how awkward and inappropriate would that be? But I do try and actively seek opportunities to connect with my roots in small ways such as my involvement with ASAAP, Indian films, attending South Asian specific events and even, as disastrous as it can be, cooking an Indo-Fijian meal.

None the less, the journey to figuring out who you are, where you are from can be incredibly easy for someone or like me, an incredible challenge and even so, a challenge I want, need to partake in.