In this episode, I will be talking to Sangeeta Pillai. I was honored earlier this year to be on her award-winning Masala podcast talking about my experience with abuse and being a South Asian woman not being born in India but born in brought up outside of the motherland so to speak and how that still impacts how we are brought up in a foreign country figuring out how we fit in.
Sangeeta has personally experienced the damage that is done by taboos in our culture. She grew up in a slum in Mumbai. I was the first girl in my (very traditional) Keralan family to ever have a job. She had to fight for everything: from the right to cut my hair short to not having an arranged marriage like everyone else around me. Like so many other South Asian women, she grew up surrounded by shame and taboo. Particularly, shame around my body, my sexual self, periods….the list was exhausting.
Her hope is that young South Asian girls can see the work we do and no longer feel that sense of shame or taboo that I felt growing up.
Sangeeta created Soul Sutras to be a feminist platform, where w South Asian womxn can express themselves openly, without shame or fear. Where she explores all sorts of cultural taboos from sex, sexuality, periods, menopause, mental health, shame, sexual harassment to…nipple hair!
Soul Sutras is all about creating safe spaces for South Asian womxn to tell their stories, to express our pain and to connect with each other and explore our common cultural identity.
Today, Soul Sutras ® is a successful platform for tackling taboos in South Asian culture. Their projects include: Masala Podcast, silver winner at the British Podcasts Awards featuring interviews with fierce South Asian womxn about taboo topics Masala Monologues series of writing workshops in the UK & the US as well as theatre shows An anthology of essays and stories written by fabulous South Asian womxn Panel discussions and talks around South Asian feminism Interviews on BBC Asian Radio about female sexuality in South Asian culture.
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More about our host Nina Ganguli at www.ninaganguli.com you can also find her on Facebook and Instagram