Stories For South Asian Super Girls #BookReview @PinkLadoo @Rajo_rani

I know I have been reviewing books on a monthly basis, but sometimes a book comes along with a background to it that just begs to be singled out, and I came across such a book this week.

I was extremely excited to take delivery of this inspirational book, by an equally inspirational woman.

Raj Kaur Khaira is a British-born, raised in Canada woman of South Asian descent, Sikh by religion.

Image result for raj kaur khaira

At ten, she was horrified at the reaction to her sister’s birth by other family members, who were saddened that there wasn’t a boy this time.

Over the years she became a true activist for women’s rights, and her interest in the harmful impact of sexist South Asian and non-South-Asian customs and traditions on both boys and girls spurred her on to do something more.

Raj founded The Pink Ladoo Project in October, 2015.

Pink Ladoo

This project was a mission to encourage families to celebrate the births of their little Princesses, as well as their little Princes.

Traditionally, at the birth of a boy, orange sweets called Ladoos are distributed to family and friends, yet nothing for the birth of a girl.

But why?

The Pink Ladoo Project strives to challenge this belief, and they asked for Indian sweet makers, and families to make/purchase/order pink ladoos, so that the arrival of a girl could be celebrated equally. Pink, not just because of the Western link with girls, but also because the colours pink, and red, signify Strength, Power, Luck and Celebration in our culture.

The Project has taken off hugely and there are many thousands of followers. It not only lauds the births of girls, but also celebrates and shares stories of female empowerment, from the story of a mother giving away her daughter at a wedding, to an occasion when three granddaughters carried out the traditionally male ritual of carrying the casket at their’ grandfather’s funeral.

I truly applaud this practice and have my own personal story to share…

When my mother was due to give birth to her first child, she was in a country away from her own family, the UK, so her mother flew over from Kenya to be here to support her.

The pregnancy hadn’t come about easily, or as quickly as some wanted, but finally, the big day arrived and so did I.

A girl.

My Pops was overjoyed. He was the first one to hold me as I had been born by c-section. I was his first child, and the first thing he could truly call his own.

My mum and grandma were so happy too.

Except, joy was marred when a woman arrived at our house, pretty much mourning the fact that I had been born a girl, especially since my grandma had flown all this way…

My Pops gave her a piece of his mind and told her she should be ashamed, being a woman herself, saying those things.

He went on to give sweets out to the family, even though eyebrows were raised, as 43 years ago this was not the done thing… But that’s my Pops. ❤

They went on to have the prodigal son, my brother, and no one complained then!

When my own first child was born after a long struggle with fertility issues, a boy, my mum did whisper to me, “We were happy with what ever grandchild you were going to bless us with, but I am secretly glad it was a boy, so no one can put any pressure on you at all…”

They would never think negatively, but were so aware of the thinking of the majority of the community.

I went on to have my Lil Princess, and actually, she was celebrated by everyone, as the first girl in two generations within my in-laws family, so her arrival was a blessing of a different sort!

Ritu

Read more about the Project here.

From this project, for Raj, the idea stemmed to create a collection of phenomenal South Asian women, from the past, as well as the present, to inspire the South Asian Super Girls of today.

What a fabulous idea!

Raj collated the details of many women, some already known, some lesser known, but no less inspirational, and created this collection of biographies coupled with some absolutely fantastic artwork from a team of amazing South Asian women artists.

What I loved about this book was that each woman is discussed in short snippets, easy for a child to digest, and at the end, there is a page for the girl herself to write her own biography, and draw her own fantastic portrait, because we all have it within ourselves to be Super Girls!

Lil Princess is reading it now. I devoured it in a sitting, and learned about women I had admired in the past, as well as some I hadn’t heard of. From the old school royalty of India, Noor Jahan, Jhansi ki Rani and Razia Sultan, modern day celebrities, like Jamila Jameel, Lilly Singh and Meera Sayal, we are introduced to Pritam Kaur Hayre, a woman who emigrated to Canada at 50, and with no English, helped to gain rights for workers on farms, and was even vice president of the Canadian Farmworkers Union, and Jayaben Desai who also instigated protests against the working conditions in factories, and so many more.

I thoroughly recommend this book as something for all South Asian young girls, (and older ones too,) to readm as well as women from outside of the Asian community, as we definitely need to be reminded sometimes that the Female of the species is pretty damned special!

Honestly, I think each school should have a copy of it!

And there are so many more out there…

I want to mention our home grown Super Girl, Sukh Ojla, who is an extremely funny female Indian comedienne who also talks about her own anxiety and depression via her Social Media…

And within my own life, I count my own mother as a huge inspiration to me. She has taught me so much about life, and how to live it to the fullest. Her greatest advice to me was to “never lose yourself” and she has been there, my biggest supporter in my blogging and writing adventures too.

So, if you want to see a review by me, here you go…

Stories for South Asian Supergirls

Stories for South Asian Supergirls by Raj Kaur Khaira My rating: 5 of 5 stars
An absolutely wonderful, inspirational collection of biographies celebrating the South Asian superwomen out there, some already known and some lesser-known, but no less inspirational.
What a brilliant book to show our girls what they can aspire to be!

And it is available to purchase far and wide, in major book sellers, and from Amazon too. Click here to purchase.

20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Leanne
    May 20, 2019 @ 23:22:52

    This is an amazing post! Thank you for sharing the book and your experiences with us. I”l be sure to pick up a copy.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Hira
    May 20, 2019 @ 14:43:56

    What a timing. ..I was thinking of finding one such book for my niece..Now I need to grab a copy of this. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. robbiesinspiration
    May 19, 2019 @ 18:41:41

    A wonderful review, Ritu. I saw the picture of this book on Instagram. You father is a most progressive and wonderful man.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Rebecca Moon Ruark
    May 19, 2019 @ 18:18:19

    What a wonderful post, filled with your stories as well as your reaction to the book. I think it’s especially cool the author thought to have a page for her young female readers to fill in their own bios. Very cool!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. OIKOS™-Publishing
    May 19, 2019 @ 17:56:59

    Thank you for the wonderful posting, and the information about the project. Btw: Little Ritu is so funny. The biggest eyes i ever had seen. 🙂 Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Jennie
    May 19, 2019 @ 15:52:09

    Wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. The Happy Book Blog.
    May 19, 2019 @ 12:34:50

    Wow, what a great post, I especially loved the story of your arrival into the world and Great admiration for Pops too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  8. Marje @ Kyrosmagica
    May 19, 2019 @ 12:17:27

    Have shared on my blog Ritu. Wonderful. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. Marje @ Kyrosmagica
    May 19, 2019 @ 12:16:43

    Reblogged this on M J Mallon YA/Paranormal Author and commented:

    A great review of Stories of South Asian Supergirls and discussion on female empowerment of Asian women at Ritu’s blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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