south indian pride

hi! I’m samir and I identify as hijra (an east indian/south asian trans/nonbinary identity) and to my knowledge there is no existing flag so I have made one.

pink and blue are for those of us who identify with binary genders as trans people, while the white is for those of us who are nonbinary

the red represents the divinity we were blessed with by Rama

non-hijra please share!!

Oh, that beautiful woman there? The one decked out in gorgeous Indian attire? The one coolly ignoring all the racist slurs and utterances of horror crawling along the walls of some godforsaken Waffle House? The one who could not give less of a damn if someone gapes at her audacity to bask in the glory of her culture?

That’s my mother. Hell yes, I’m proud.

3

World Indigenous Peoples Day is almost coming to a close and I’d like to share pictures of myself in my traditional attire.

I am an indigenous woman (or an adivasi as known in South Asia). Today has been fairly good. Since Mom and I couldn’t go outside due to our fear of a terrorist threat ever since July 1st happened, we both decided to go on our fairly adequate rooftop garden for a mini photo shoot.

Our attire is known as Pinon-Khadi. Pinon is the wrap around skirt I’m wearing and the khadi is much like a scarf but it is wrapped over the blouse and draped to the side like a traditional sari. Alas I do not own original Chakma jewellery so I had to make do with some baubles I bought from fairs.

This has been a small lesson on Chakma culture from a small blogger.

2

I don’t know. I felt pretty today. I liked how I did my makeup because I purposely tried to emulate a very South Indian look. The shawl I’m wearing is Indian. The kajal lining my eyes makes me feel closer to the women in my ancestry who have donned this for years. It’s a staple item! 

So many people like to pretend they understand our culture, but we are so much more than yoga and samosas and Bollywood. These simple items I wear are hardly simple at all. My brownness is the scorching hot sun, it is the spicy, tangy food cooked with love and dedication, it is the struggle against rigid gender roles, the condemnation of violence against women and skin-bleaching products, and most of all it is my promise that I will never feel ashamed of my heritage. So think a little, and have some respect before you carelessly culturally appropriate. (Not saying you can’t wear shawls or eyeliner, but this is in specific reference to appropriation of bindis, traditional Indian attire, and so on).

For the first time in my life, I wore an Indian outfit to class (actually in college in Southeastern U.S.) without using the rationalization of a special occasion or religious observance. So far to the extent of my knowledge, I have encountered some sidelong glances but no other negative backlash or harassment! And yes, I feel so comfortable and beautiful. I don’t know why I didn’t start this practice earlier…

Why am I doing this? I find it nothing short of a crime that I am unable to enjoy the fashion of my vibrant culture because of a need to conform to Western society’s culture-shaming rules and regulations. I know I will probably be mocked a few times, but I can assure you that I feel as invincible as a queen.

If any of my Desi sisters want to join me for this, please let me know and we can get excited and plan outfits together :) We have such beautiful things stockpiled at home…we should wear them with pride!

Uncle

Today I saw my nephew after a long time. He didn’t recognize me. When asked who am I, he said, “Uncle!” Then his father said, “She is your aunt. Why would you say uncle?” My nephew replied, “Because he looks like a boy!” My heart filled with joy and I had one of the best days ever!

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Again answering @avani008 ‘s desire for South Indian Pride and Prejudice castings…

This time Malayalam. There are many ways to cast this… This one was tricky and I wanted some actors to get roles they might have fun performing (esp. Dulquer, Nithya, Nazriya, and Fahadh…). Nithya would be a wonderful Elizabeth as well, but I prefer Parvathy opposite Prithviraj. All the men would make a good Darcy. And yes, I do realize he ages irl don’t match up… but that is why they are actors.

Parvathy as Elizabeth. Prithviraj as Darcy. Bhuvana as Jane. Nivin as Bingley (Asif Ali was a close second). Nazriya as Lydia. Dulquer as Wickham (Asif Ali could do this as well). Nithya as Caroline Bingley. Fahadh as Mr. Collins. Miya George as Charlotte Lucas. Narain as Col. Fitzwilliam. (Indrajith or Vineeth could play Mr. Collins or Col. Fitzwilliam as well.