By Sana Javed

Racism has divided the human mind with the thoughts that humans can be separated into various groups based on physical attributes, and that these groupings determine cultural or individual achievement. These feelings lead to “Prejudice”, which is the derivation to the separation created between the societies of the 21st century. Lack of knowledge can also be held responsible for Racism.

I have witnessed many forms of Racism, but over the course of my time in Canada. I have noticed that South Asian youths are becoming more conscious of how they want to be seen dressed in public. Not many of us choose to wear our traditional clothing in a public place with people of different races. This is mostly because of the reaction we have received from the people around us.

My observations have leaded me to draw a conclusion: In the western society dressed in “Shalwar- Kameez” you are treated differently. There is not anything verbally said, but the way one looks and acts with you reveals everything. I say this from experience. back, I walked into Tim Horton’s to buy some bagels and an iced cappuccino. I was wearing shalwar kameez. When I walked in, there was a huge line up, so I stood in line waiting for my turn. The people in front of me and in the restaurant were looking at me as if I was illiterate. The way they looked at me wasn’t friendly. It was very rude and I was very offended by it. I had been to Tim Horton’s many times in jeans and nothing of this sort took place.

Once my Aunt was shopping in the mall {she was wearing shalwar Kameez}. She was in the line up for the customer service because she needed to ask something {and we were the first in the line} and the lady who was at the cash register was really rude to my aunt. She rolled her eyes and said, “I don’t know” and took the next customer and made us wait for a very long time. We ended up being last. Many more incidents like this have occurred. I have questioned lots of youths regarding this issue. We all share common ground on the fact that one is treated differently when dressed in Shalwar Kameez. This impacts each one of us differently. For some of us it gives us even a bigger reason to wear “Shalwar Kameez”. On the contrary, for others it may start to generate a gap between one and his or her culture. However, in the end, it's how one is from the inside. From this article, one thing can be taken in and that is “You can choose to let it bother you or use it to motivate you.” And so I conclude my article with that thought.

Back to Article List