Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Reverse Cultural shock...

(Afternoon Tea at Saatchi Gallery,  London . 27.12.2014)
Returning from India, while driving home from the airport, I was struck by how cold and small London Streets are in contrast to the pollution and noises in Chennai. "It's Freezing in London!" I announced. Reverse Cultural shock had already set in. For me, I settled on showing off some of the cultural aspects I loved most by wearing earnings purchased in the local market. To be honest, people here would fawn over my accessories, exclaiming, "Where did you get that!?" I could then tell the story of the item and my travels- all while still being taken seriously.

I lost weight while travelling in India, partially because I walked everywhere but mostly because I ate healthy vegetarian food. Unfortunately, in my community, size is very important, big men are seen as successful and big women seen as beautiful.(Beyond Confusing) But upon coming home, I was introduced to my favourite foods; bread, cheese and Sea food. After tasting new spices in India, the food in the UK often seemed bland. I found myself frequently asking for chilis in order to be able to eat to my liking. Being away for a few months meant I missed the extreme wave of texting that swept through my friends and family. 
Can we just talk about how most of my friends had moved on with their lives and were getting married, buying houses, having children, and even made me feel guilty because I had been away and was not there for their special event. Personally, I still have plans of travel and will settle down later Insha Allah (Calaf wa cajiib). I did end up losing touch with some friends along the way, but I made even stronger bonds with others as we sough to understand each other and share experience that had enriched each our lives while we were apart.
(Sera and her Fiance, London. 31.12.2014)
Banana Tree, Bayswater. London. 2.01.2015
(Banana Tree, Bayswater, London. 2.01.2015)

Empowering Somali Women. February 2015.

Volunteering with Restless Development and working with Rural women and young people in India has inspired me to be more active citizen and create more awareness about issues and concerns that have an affect on Somali women in the UK and around the world. One week after coming back from India, I have successfully hosted 'Afternoon Tea' at Saatchi Gallery in Sloane Square. This gave me the opportunity to connect with Somali Girls in the UK and discussing issues that affect on all of us. This was also great opportunity to inform the girls about my upcoming Empowering Somali Women Event in London. The gathering gave us a platform to share new ideas and challenge each other. 

I am currently working on hosting a one of a kind  'Empowering Somali Women Event' The aim is to gather over 100 young Somali women to discuss the question of women empowerment in the Somali community as a holistic approach. This inspiring women’s event will engage in a healthy panel discussion on how to support women empowerment, specifically through education, journalism, political participation, justice. The event will thus offer a vital platform for conversation on some of the more challenging issues Somali women face in the UK, in an open and secure women’s only environment. The aim of this event is to equip and empower women through education and learning.Throughout the day there will also be a host of entertainment, including dance performances, music and competitions. my exclusive gathering will also give attendee’s the opportunity to explore the diversity of Somali heritage through dance and healthy discussion, whilst offering a platform for women’s creativity and self-expression. The event will also offer invaluable networking opportunities, with the chance for attendee’s to connect and liaise with other influential women. 

Afternoon Tea At Saatchi Gallery. 27.12.2014

(Afternoon Tea at Saatchi Gallery. 27.12.2014)
(Afternoon Tea at Saatchi Gallery. 27.12.2014)
(Afternoon Tea at Saatchi Gallery. 27.12.2014)
(Afternoon Tea at Saatchi Gallery. 27.12.2014)
I feel passionately about helping improve equality for Somali women. Personally, I believe in the power of our gatherings to help Somali women achieve their goals and break down the barriers that may prevent them from doing so. We can empower each other and I look forward to hosting Empowering Somali Women Event in London and watching this platform grow, and to being inspired, informed, involved, along with all of you.
Empowering Somali women Event....

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