My mum is a powerful Pakistani Muslim girl. She has by no means had a difficulty with id, self-confidence or being totally different.
She arrived within the UK from the foothills of the Himalayas in 1965 wearing her conventional nationwide dress, along with her nostril pierced and gold bangles dangling on her arm.
She caught out like a sore thumb within the Midlands, the place the native, predominantly white, British girls wore shades of gray.
If I’d been her, I’d have tried to mix in with the locals, however my mom is lots thicker skinned than I’m.
My mum has by no means worn western garments – she by no means felt it vital so as to combine. Even when she labored within the native manufacturing unit, she wore her salwar kameez with pleasure.
She was a wonderful worker, and shortly people didn’t care about what she wore and centered on what she might do.
As a toddler, I used to be embarrassed about having a mum who appeared totally different.
But as Britain began to embrace multiculturalism, I noticed the adoption of South Asian tradition by the “mainstream” – and eventually it made me really feel assured about my heritage.
When my associates received their noses pierced, wore tunics over denims, purchased vibrant ethnic scarves and cooked curries, it made my mum and I very pleased.
And I’ll always remember the time Diana visited Pakistan and wore a salwar kameez.
My mum felt she was exhibiting respect for her tradition. She by no means noticed any of this as “cultural appropriation” – she noticed it as a constructive step in the direction of acceptance. So why have we now develop into so delicate about using others’ cultural traditions?
Rihanna has this week once more been added to the record of celebrities who’ve landed in (social media) scorching water – this time for wearing a Hindu necklace.
Ariana Grande, numerous Kardashians, Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Madonna – all have been slammed for wearing conventional clothes or sporting black hairstyles (though the much less stated about David Beckham in cornrows, the higher!).
Law professor Susan Scafidi, of Fordham University in New York, explains that appropriation entails “taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions or artefacts from someone else’s culture without permission”.
Have I finished that with the Buddha collectible figurines I’ve at residence?
I agree with singer Yo Zushi who wrote: “It is true that cultural appropriation can hurt those whose traditions, religions and ways of life have been lifted, taken out of context and repackaged as a new aesthetic trend or exotic bauble.”
But I additionally suppose that no single particular person or establishment really owns a tradition.
As lengthy as it’s not finished to mock one other tradition, I’m all for sharing garments, meals, music and hairstyles as a result of it helps to deliver people collectively and enhance understanding and acceptance of others.
Movie Rocks the boat
Why do TV firms such as the BBC and ITV get variety so fallacious?
I’ve labored at each firms, and I’ve all the time felt that they fail to understand that I’m British with a South Asian heritage.
And whereas I’ll have a distinct cultural stance on sure subjects – on account of an upbringing that mirrored my mother and father’ Islamic teachings and Pakistani cultural practices – beneath the color of my pores and skin, I’m like every other girl within the UK.
I’ve all the time maintained that there’s glorious various expertise on the market, however you gained’t discover it in center-class appearing colleges being searched by white center-class expertise scouts.
But the film Rocks, which has gained the British Independent Film Award, took a distinct strategy.
Director Sarah Gavron and casting director Lucy Pardee auditioned some 1,300 college students, most of whom had no appearing expertise, and selected proficient variety to fill the roles.
Streaming giants Netflix and Amazon are additionally utilizing their “inclusivity lenses”, sweeping up audiences of those that can’t relate to terrestrial TV by casting people who appear like them in distinguished roles and never simply as sidekicks to tick variety bins.
Well finished to the women in Rocks – you actually do rock!
Starstruck by Mars
When it involves below-standing house, the universe and galaxies – such as why in the future on Venus is longer than one year on Earth – I discover it onerous to maintain up.
I’m hoping to be taught extra by retaining tabs on the brand new Perseverance rover which has simply landed on Mars.
My curiosity was boosted by the truth that the particular person answerable for the touchdown is Dr Swati Mohan – the Indian-American girl who’s the steerage, navigation and controls operations lead
on the project.
Why I’m bikini prepared – eventually
We‘ll soon be bombarded with instructions to get our bodies “bikini ready”.
My body is far from the magazine images – I have short stumpy legs, a thick waist, small boobs, a skin disorder, cellulite and stretch marks. I spent years damaging my mental health over it, and never wore a two-piece.
But since turning 50, practising self-care and unpicking the damaging language and images I’ve been brainwashed with since a toddler, I’m in a a lot happier, more healthy place – and might put on a bikini with pleasure.
There are not any guidelines to wearing a bikini. If it fits,
simply do it. Along with a smile.
Bonkbuster ‘sexier than 50 Shades’
If you need some escapism from lockdown life, seize
a duplicate of the brand new “bonkbuster” Ruthless Women by Melanie Blake.
She describes the novel as “more shocking than Jackie Collins, sexier than Fifty Shades of Grey and more fun than Jilly Cooper”.
It guarantees to be a excessive-octane, escapist binge-learn that may have you ever up all evening. The story takes the reader on a wild trip behind the scenes of a TV drama. My pulse is pumping and I’ve solely learn the again cover.
A flippin’ mad response to pancakes
Well, the spotlight of my week was Pancake Day. I don’t know what it’s about flour, milk and eggs that will get my children so excited, however as quickly as I’ve flipped one pancake, they’re standing there for extra.
The custom in my home, nonetheless, is savoury first and candy later, which appeared to upset a few of my social media followers.
One wrote: “Saira, I’ve never seen anyone put tuna and cheese in a pancake before!”
They had been much more complimentary after I confirmed a reel of me spreading a thick layer of chocolate unfold on to a pancake. One follower commented: “I was just about to unfollow you for being unkind to your kids, but now I’ve seen you’ve got the chocolate spread out, I’m liking you again.”
Wow, I by no means knew there was a lot ardour over pancakes – now I understand how to maintain my followers candy!