Romana Kassam’s Desire For Christmas Created ‘Khumas’

“While I recognize the need to belong, I also know now the importance of honouring my own traditions and culture,” said Kassam. “Unlike in the ’70s and ’80s when our parents first immigrated, when we were willing to do whatever it took to fit in, our stories are now finally being profiled, our traditions are being acknowledged, and it’s our responsibility to honour and share it. So now, I celebrate Khushali as Khushali and that’s good enough. More than good enough.”

A striking portrait of a Muslim woman draped in a red and green shalwar kameez is in full display in a window at Toronto’s Metro Convention Centre. The woman stands dimsbefore an Ismaili flag as salt from two shakers trickles onto her head, almost like a tiny, concentrated snowfall. “She’s an immigrant Muslim woman, dressed up for Khushali,” said the artist Romana Kassam. “She’s standing very defenceless. The salt represents colonization: the price you pay to fit into a new country, to become part of this multicultural mosaic, which is a beautiful thing but sometimes it can come at a cost. We [immigrants] come here and we’re so open and vulnerable, almost like an open wound. And then the “salt” [the overarching North American culture], can seep into our skin and can burn.”

Read more about Romana’s fascinating story at the source 



Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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