“For most of my life, I felt very little connection to being a Kaur. Without learning the true value in identifying as Kaur, it had meant nothing more than a middle name. Things changed in the last year or so, as I felt this constant tugging and yearning to better understand myself; thus I began questioning and exploring identity and belonging.
For years, I struggled with misinterpreting much of the community’s patriarchal cultural practices for Sikhi, which made me resist and distance myself even further. Within this journey, I have discovered being a Kaur is the embodiment of empowerment, through living your truest you.
I have always had a passion for writing, but it remained suppressed as a hobby, while I focused on my education and career as a social worker. I worked in child protection and found myself questioning whether I was in the right field. I had this idea that I could really help families in the South Asian community, but I often found that families had already taken an oath of silence, even when dealing with issues around domestic violence and alcohol addiction.
I eventually quit my job and spent a few months backpacking in South and Central America. I was pulled towards Peru a second time and began working in international community development for a grassroots NGO. While living in Peru, I found myself drawn to women’s issues and advocacy, which made me realize why I had gotten into social work in the first place.
Last year, I began writing again (poetry and spoken word) and sharing it on social media and was inspired by poetess Rupi Kaur. My writing is a way for me to dismantle the shame culture in our community. This is my kind of social work, in which I hope to spread awareness and create a safe atmosphere for women to tell their stories.
In a way I am taking advocacy in my own hands, in a non-invasive approach. I like to tackle social issues, especially those that no one wants to talk about and create a collection of photo series highlighting such topics. I feel like its my calling, something that is within me. Something I need to do.”