Monthly Archives: June 2013

Heaven on Earth: Kashmir

First, some facts to tickle your fancy (courtesy of Wikipedia)

Demographics (divided by regions within Kashmir)-

 India Kashmir Valley % Muslim- 95%  %Hindu- 4%*
Jammu % Muslim- 30% %Hindu- 66% % Other-4%
Ladakh %Muslim- 46% %Buddhist- 50%    %Other- 3%
 Pakistan Azad Kashmir %Muslim- 100%
Gilgit–Baltistan %Muslim- 99%
 China Aksai Chin




Spelling in Urdu I guess?- کشمیر

IDK that’s all I got for this part.


Ahh, Kashmir 🙂

English: southern part of the Kashmir Valley, ...

 Kashmir is a region that spans over areas administered by India, Pakistan, and China. It’s often referred to as Heaven on Earth because …well, do you see that picture ^?

When people think of India, they usually forget about Kashmir. And Punjab. And North India in general. When people think of India, they think super hot and overcrowded. Which it definitely is. But not all of it is. Like its people, India’s geography and atmosphere are incredibly diverse.

One of the things that made me fall in love with Kashmir was this video where this food lady visits Kashmir and tries some of the food. Idk why I liked it so much. Probably something to do with the whole “food” aspect:

 The sad part is, now, Kashmir has become the center of political conflict.

Story of Kashmir today

Story of Kashmir today (Photo credit: Joe Athialy)


Muzzling Rights

Muzzling Rights (Photo credit: Joe Athialy)

 Pakistan, India, and China all want their share of it (or you know, all of it) and often this results in violence. A while back, I was thinking about how there’s a nice-sized Punjabi internet community– Jusreign, brwnppl, that kind of thing, and I’m pretty sure there is a similar presence on the internet of South Indians. But I had never, not once, seen any hint of a Kashmiri community. Like, there are no “You Know You’re Kashmiri When…” videos on Youtube, and that kind of thing. I’ve looked.This sounds kind of insignificant, I know, but  it made me sad :/ Not because I didn’t get to watch any of the videos or anything, but because the lack of a community kind of represented the fact that Kashmir and it’s people are struggling right now.


I was watching Jusreign’s latest Younow, (Jusreign is like the biggest Punjabi Youtuber), and he mentioned that he’s half Kashmiri!! Apparently that’s where his mom is from! Idk man, I just think that it’s so cool that this whole time I’ve been watching a Kashmiri, or at least someone with ties to Kashmir.


I can’t do Kashmir justice by just talking about it. Check out these pictures of heaven on earth:

Dal Lake, Srinagar Town

Dal Lake, Srinagar Town

Dal lake(in Srinagar, Kashmir, India), going f...

Dal lake(in Srinagar, Kashmir, India), going from the mugal gardens side back to srinagar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Panoramic Kashmir

Panoramic Kashmir (Photo credit: NotMicroButSoft (Winter Survival –  Keran Top Exped)

Dal Lake, Srinagar Town

World I see from here... (2000 years old Sree/...

World I see from here… (2000 years old Sree/Siri Sharada Peeth Devi Temple, Sharada, Kashmir, Pakistan) (Photo credit: Black-Z-ro [100,000+ views])

Nanga Parbat, western Himalayas, Pakistan.

Nanga Parbat, western Himalayas, Pakistan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dal Lake, Srinagar Town

English: View of Dal Lake and the city of Srin...

English: View of Dal Lake and the city of Srinagar from Shankaracharya Hill (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Srinagar Fortress


Srinagar (Photo credit: On The Go Tours)

Sunset at Dal lake in Srinagar, capital of Jam...

Sunset at Dal lake in Srinagar, capital of Jammu and Kashmir, India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Shikaras are a common feature in lakes and riv...

Shikaras are a common feature in lakes and rivers across the Kashmir valley. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 It really does look like paradise. My grandparents honeymooned in Kashmir after their wedding, and they still talk about how lovely it was. Well, mainly they talk about how my grandma wanted to buy this shawl so badly that she started crying, and debate whether or not this was true…but they definitely talk about the beauty too! Unfortunately, the only other time my parvar has been to Kashmir is when my Grandma, dad, and uncle went there, and my uncle almost died from something he ate…

As you can see, I clearly must go to Kashmir to make up for all of the…interesting times my family has had there. As it’s Punjab’s neighbor to the north, who knows? I might be able to sneak in a small excursion there on my trip to India that’s hopefully happening in December. 

   Most of all, I hope that one day soon, Kashmir will be able to thrive as the ultimate tourist destination as it once did, welcoming people from all over the world to share in its rich culture and geography, and, more importantly, be a comfortable home for everyone who lives there.

Stay strong Kashmir ❤

With love–you’re neighbor,


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Summer Bucket List: Desi Edition!

This one’s going out to my summer bucket list buddy 🙂

If you’re hitting that wall right about now–you know, the wall:

June 7th:



June 12:


This is still great and all…

June 16th:


2 more months…

Well don’t fear!! Here’s 7 desi-related things that you can do this summer, whether you’re South Asian or not.

1) Read A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

2) Watch a Bollywood movie with the volume turned down and the subtitles turned on— It’s like a whole different movie.

subtitles1 subtitles2 subtitles4 subtitles5 subtitles6

3)Try a food that you’ve never had before— If you’re Tamil, have a makki di roti. If you’re Kashmiri, have some Hydrabadi biryani. If you’re not South Asian at all, just go to Udupi. And you might want to take a bottle of water  with you, unless you want to end up like Taani Partner-


On that note–

4) Have a gol gappa competition with someone–gol gappas are spicy but delicious. It’s cruel, when you think about it. But see who is stupid enough to can eat the most! When you’re face feels like it’s vibrating, you should probably throw in the towel, a lesson I wish someone taught me earlier.


(Tip-Do NOT have this competition with a South Indian if you are not one yourself. They will school you.)

5) Get Roohafza-Wasted

If you’re Muslim and you’re fasting this summer, you might already be stocked up.

“The Summer Drink of the East” And of heaven.

6) Go up to a desi person and act like you’re family. Just speak their language and smile. Doubtful? Don’t worry, Hrithik will demonstrate.




Do your thing, please!



family8 family9 family10 family11 family12 family13 family14

I will cut you.

I will cut you.


Thanks, Hrithik!



If you’re not desi, I’m interested to know how that one goes for you.

And finally-

7) Discover a new part of the human body. Oh wait, you’re Harminder Singh Dua? Oh, well it looks like you’ve already got that under your belt. You’re belt of awesomeness and intelligence.


I hope your summer is off to an AWESOME start!

See you next week 🙂


P.S- –


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Harminder Singh Dua

A scientist recently discovered a part of the cornea we didn’t know about before, and he’s a Sikh! This is so awesome. In the Indian community, there’s a stereotype that Sikhs just drink and joke and aren’t really that smart, but I guess we now know that that’s not always true 🙂

Read more about the discover here:

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A Message to the Quebec Soccer Federation: Thank You

On June 3rd, your organization announced that Sikhs who wear turbans are not permitted to play soccer in the youth leagues of your organization. You have cited your reason for this as a precautionary safety measure. As a Sikh woman myself, I would like to thank you for making this decision.

Although I do not wear a turban, my brother does. Growing up, I was constantly afraid for his saftey, as well as mine, because of his patka, or small turban. Although a tied patka is as soft as a pillow, it can still inflict pain. Below is a documented example of this. I warn you; it is not for the faint of heart.

Although I do not wear a turban–or a patka, which is the type of turban worn by younger Sikhs–my brother does. And when he was younger, he played soccer here in the United States. This was a hard time for me. Every time he left for soccer practice, I worried for his safety, as well as for the safety of his teammates. What if the cloth of his patka  fell off of his head and tripped someone? I’m sure this was your concern as well when you enacted the bans on turbans in soccer. I mean, take this video for example:


As you can see, the boy ties the patka securely using two strings. A safety hazard in and of itself.

patka3 patka4 patka5

Once the patka is tied in the back, this boy does something truely reckless: He separates the two sections of cloth, twists them until they resemble a rope-like material, and ties them once again, this time around the front of his head:patka6 patka7 patka8


Clearly the patka is about to fall off of this boy’s head at any second, and there is no way such a head piece can be allowed on a soccer field. Perhaps if the boy applied an adhesive to the cloth, such as super glue, and stuck it on to his forehead, then maybe he could be allowed to play. But even then, there is still risk involved, and it would probably be best to ban him altogether.

Even though Sikhs are allowed to fight in the Canadian Army (and have been doing so for over a century), and there never once was an accident involving a turban, you all recognize the army and the soccer field are two different places. Sure, on the battlefield, there are tanks and rifles, but on the soccer field, there are soccer balls! I think it is evident that, while the army does not require a turban ban, youth soccer leagues are simply more rigorous, and cannot take the chance.

And yes, it is true that FIFA, the international governing body for the sport of soccer, does not ban tubans. However, what do they really know? The organization was only founded in 1904, and is only comprised of  a mere 209 countries. Clearly their organization cannot be trusted to have appropriate bans already in place.

Finally, I would like to address the effect that this ban has had on the children whom it prevents from playing soccer. Everyday, Sikh children are made fun of for their identity. Often they are encouraged by their schools to participate in team sports, in the hopes that doing so will help them make new acquaintances and feel accepted. But all of you there at the Quebec Soccer Federation know that, the truth is, we don’t want to be accepted. By kicking us out of soccer, you have allowed us yet another opportunity to feel isolated and different, and Sikhs who wear turbans get the privilege of being told, once again, that their turban is wrong, and harmful to society. For this, I could not be more grateful. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

-Mannirmal Kaur Jawa

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Okay, so in a couple of weeks I’m going to a concert.

This act is composed of five dudes.

One of them may or may not be desi.

sup guys

“sup guys”

judge me ok lyke i dont even care aight? im going and no one is stopping me ok?

So because I’m desi and Zayn is desi, I feel like I can somehow get his attention. This is how I see things going:


“Zayn! Zayn bhaya!”

And then he’ll be like


And I’ll be like

What do you think about the new parliament members of Pakistan being sworn in? Cool stuff, huh?

“What do you think about the new parliament members of Pakistan being sworn in? The 14th National Assembly! Cool stuff, huh?”

T...tujhe dekha toye jana sanam...?*

(Uh oh, think fast. Bollywood lyrics?) “T…tujhe dekha toye jana sanam*…?”













I swear to God the only thing missing will be a field of yellow flowers.

If all else fails, I’ll just throw samosas at his face.

See you next week!


P.S- HA you thought this post was over?! Naah son! It’s time for….


Here in this Updates if You Even Freaking Care About Them, I am excited to announce that this coming Thursday is my LAST EXAM. YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS, RIGHT?? I’ll have slightly more time to work on my posts again, and they will go from this terrible bakwass to…slightly less terrible bakwass!

Also, I added a glossary page. It defines some words that I use a lot that might not be words err’body’s familiar with. So read it. Study it. Love it. Just do whatever you have to do to make yourself comfortable.

Oh yeah, and this:

*Just skip the ad, okay? It’s worth it:

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