I wanted to do my first proper post on something I loved, so naturally I thought… Pakistan!! Woop Woop! Pakistan Zindabad!! Although I could easily write a whole book about why I love Pakistan, I wanted to convey a message through this post, to make a point.

When I was younger I used to avoid the fact that I was Pakistani. When I started secondary school all I wanted to do was blend in, which would obviously be hard given I was a hairy brown girl entering a school that was 90% white. And not just any white, snobby white. As with the students, there were very few non-white teachers. I later found out that this isn’t abnormal, as according to The Independent, only 6.7% of UK teachers are from minority ethnic background.

I noticed within a few weeks of starting school that in order to be popular you had to be ‘white’, act ‘white’. The lighter you were, the more friends you had. I saw that the ‘unpopular’ girls, the ones left out, were usually Black or Asian. The few POC that were popular all acted like they didn’t have dark skin. Because of this, I felt to some degree that I too wanted to ‘be white’.

I started to resent being Pakistani, because it made me stand out. I saw it as a burden rather than something I should proud of, and something that isolated me from my friends (lol what friends??).

Looking back, I really regret pushing away my culture and I wish I had appreciated it more and stopped caring about what people thought. I should have realised that my world wasn’t going to come falling down if a bunch of white girls made fun of something I had said. Within a few minutes they would have starting talking about Coachella or bindis and forgot all about me.

What I’m trying to say is that you should never forget your roots. Being Pakistani has played an important part in shaping who I am today.

Be proud of who you are. Be proud of where you’ve come from.