blonde \blond\, adjective -- someone having fair hair and usually fair skin and light eyes
For those who stumbled upon this blog and/or don't already know me, let me give you an introduction.
I'm American-born and grew up in a middle-class family in a small Midwestern town (in Iowa) with a population of just over 5,700 people. My high school graduating class was predominantly (caucasian) like me, with very few minorities. I obtained a college degree in the San Francisco bay area (in California) and now work and live in a city of over 100,000 people. I'm outdoorsy and care about the environment (but I wouldn't call myself a tree hugger). I like to drive fast cars (MINI Cooper!) and get bored easily. I like movies, traveling, reading, writing, and dabble in cross-stitching. As you can probably already tell, there's not really just one thing that defines me.
desi \de·si\, noun/adjective -- relating to or characteristic of South Asia; from Sanskrit: "one from our country"; usually refers to people from India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh
I met my (now) husband while working for a Silicon Valley company. He grew up in south Asia (Pakistan) in a city with over 18 million people. As you can imagine, we come from very different backgrounds. I took my first trip to south Asia in 2004 and have made numerous more trips there since then, including one for our marriage. It only took one visit there to hook me: my heart belongs to south Asia.
The diversity of the culture, cuisine, and multiculturalism that I experience living in California (especially that of the south Asian community to which we also belong) is much different from that of where I grew up in the Midwest. These days I straddle 2 continents (America and Asia) and 2 cultures (American and south Asian/desi). I am an anomaly: a desi blonde. (Some people from south Asia actually say I'm more desi than a desi.) The activities that I take part in and the things I experience are shaped in 3 ways: my upbringing in the Midwest, my current life in culturally-diverse and environmentally-friendly California, and my connection to everything desi through my husband, our community, and my trips to south Asia.
We're into lots of activities that keep us busy. Since the activities I do tend to be quite diverse, so will the topics you'll read on this blog. For those who find these things to be new or different (or even nothing like your own corner of the world), I hope by reading this blog, you get a better understanding of the places or things I describe or even the world in general.
Why I write this blog
I started this blog in 2009 at a time when I needed to add something creative to my life. After my first several trips to Pakistan, I used to meet a LOT of people (back in the U.S.) who were shocked to hear that I'd been there. After they'd get over that initial shock, they'd inevitably have lots of questions about Pakistan, Islam, my husband, our relationship, and on and on. Some people -- both desi and non desi -- also have preconceived ideas and sometimes prejudices about south Asia, Pakistan, and Americans -- some, well founded; others, illogical. (It doesn't help that a lot of news about Pakistan is predominantly negative.)
Besides providing me with an outlet for creative writing, I started this blog because I felt a strong desire to counterbalance those stereotypes/preconceived ideas and all of that negativity and to also explain to people what the "real" Pakistan and Pakistanis are like.
A good portion of the topics I write about are used to share my love of Pakistan and aspects of south Asian culture, traditions, fashion, and more. I tend to lean towards writing about positive topics (rather than negative ones) not because I'm a goody-goody but because I feel like there's already enough negativity out there in the world. (Besides, those people who are looking for negativity can still find it...but that doesn't necessarily mean it has to be found on my blog.)
With that said, that doesn't mean I'll never write about negative, challenging, or sad topics, a "bad day" or an annoying thing...it just means I lean more towards the positive end of things. It also doesn't mean that I'm any better than other bloggers. Personally, I just feel this is the way to go for my own blog. And if a side effect of writing this way means that some of those misconceptions and perceptions may start to crumble, I'm ok with that.
Following, feedback, and other issues
Follow me as I blog on a variety of topics and thoughts. Oh, and I LOVE feedback! Feel free to leave reactions or comments on blog posts or drop me a line. Thanks for reading!
Where to start
Not sure where to start reading? Here are a few of my favorite blog posts to get you started.
- Cultural issues:
Or you could always just start with the most popular posts (see links on right side of page).