11 episodes

A space to discuss issues and experiences unique to second generation millennials living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I want to tell untold stories that often are not documented, and through this, insert the perspectives of this unique demographic into the “mainstream” narratives about life, work, community, family, politics, culture…and everything else in between.

The perspective I offer is that of a South Asian (Canadian-Pakistani) millennial living and working in Toronto, Canada.

Twitter: @TheSecondGen_TO
Instagram: @TheSecondGen_TO
Facebook: https://facebook.com/thesecondgeneration Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thesecondgeneration/support

The Second Generation Seher Shafiq

    • Society & Culture

A space to discuss issues and experiences unique to second generation millennials living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I want to tell untold stories that often are not documented, and through this, insert the perspectives of this unique demographic into the “mainstream” narratives about life, work, community, family, politics, culture…and everything else in between.

The perspective I offer is that of a South Asian (Canadian-Pakistani) millennial living and working in Toronto, Canada.

Twitter: @TheSecondGen_TO
Instagram: @TheSecondGen_TO
Facebook: https://facebook.com/thesecondgeneration Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thesecondgeneration/support

    1987 in Edmonton, Alberta – Where My Mother’s Canadian Immigration Story Began

    1987 in Edmonton, Alberta – Where My Mother’s Canadian Immigration Story Began

    In the late 1980s, my mom arrived to Canada as a single, Pakistani female international student to do her PhD at the University of Alberta.
    During this time, a white Albertan mother (Corrine) and daughter (Kathy) housed my mother for two years, without paying a penny or expecting anything in return. This year, I went back to Edmonton for work, and decided to stay with Corrine, who is now in her mid-late 80s. Corrine still lives in the house my mom lived in as a student, and almost everything is exactly the same still – from the stove, to the fridge, to pieces of décor that my mother gifted her 30 years ago.
    In this episode, I ask my mom questions about her immigration journey.  I also had a chance to record a conversation with Corrine, and ask her why she welcomed international students to her home for free. Corrine explains that given international students went through so much, hosting them in her home was “just the right thing to do”.


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    • 34 min
    The Muslim Tinder...MINDER! (Plus Other Online Dating Tales)

    The Muslim Tinder...MINDER! (Plus Other Online Dating Tales)

    Online dating has become THE way to meet people, and along with that trend, many new apps have been developed to target niche demographics. I learned last year that there is basically a Muslim version of Tinder….and it’s called Minder. I was hanging out with a friend a little while ago and she was telling me about the dates she’s gone on through Minder and other apps like MuzMatch. I was in hysterics from laughing, and we decided to do a podcast episode sharing all of her hilarious dating stories. From the guy who wore the same outfit 5 dates in a row, to awkwardly running into a “Minder match” at a wedding...this episode covers it all. Enjoy! 

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    • 25 min
    Adil, India and Ancestors

    Adil, India and Ancestors

      

    This episode is an interview with my friend Adil Dhalla, who decided to visit India for the first time in his mid-30s, to learn more about his ancestry. 

    200 years ago, Adil’s ancestors left India (Gujrat), and went to Tanzania. About 50 years ago, they immigrated to Canada.  Adil grew up here in Toronto, when asked where he’s from, Adil would always either say Canadian or Tanzanian. He never identified as Indian, despite a lineage of Indian ancestors. 

    After 6 years of working at the Centre for Social Innovation, including as the Executive Director, Adil took a huge leap and decided to “retire” from that work. He left his job and asked himself what he wanted to do. 

    The answer was: go to India. Adil bought a one way ticket and left for India in January 2019. 

    Our conversation touches on many aspects of Adil’s trip to India: yoga, meditation retreats and letting go of “fear based” existence, flirting with cows (seriously!), reconsidering eating meat, and witnessing a professional hugger who has hugged 30 million people (Adil says it was akin to watching Beyonce on stage). We also talk about the ongoing legacy of colonization that Adil witnessed in day-to-day life in India. 

    I loved hearing how Adil’s experiences in India transported him into a completely new mindset and perspective that we aren’t used to in Western culture. Adil closes by talking about how he’s already working to integrate the lessons he’s learned into his life, in both tangible ways like yoga and food, and the intangible things like building capacity for love. 


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    • 47 min
    Ritu Bhasin, award-winning life coach, speaker and authenticity advocate

    Ritu Bhasin, award-winning life coach, speaker and authenticity advocate

    In this episode, I sit down with Ritu Bhasin, a renowned diversity, inclusion and empowerment speaker, author, consultant, coach, strategist. Ritu and I talk about what drives her to do the work she does. 

    We start off the conversation about how the 1960s and 1970s saw a new wave of immigration to Canada, and how Ritu’s upbringing in Toronto and Unionville was shaped by the race-based bullying she experienced. Ritu shares stories of social isolation and feeling like an outsider growing up in Unionville, and how the intersection of race and class identity impacted her social acceptance as a young brown woman (ex. shopping at Biway when the other kids rocked Roots and Benetton). These experiences had a tremendous impact on Ritu and inform the work she does now in disrupting forms of supremacy. Ritu also explains the neuroscience of how trauma is kept in the body and can be passed down inter-generationally. We close the discussion by talking about the importance of listening to your body and using mind-body methods of healing. 

    If you haven’t heard of Ritu yet, check out her book, The Authenticity Principle. I personally found it to be a very useful roadmap to identify situations where I am not being my most “real” self, and how I can bring my true self forward.  You can follow Ritu on Instagram, or check out her website that’s filled with free tools like blogs, videos, and free self-reflection worksheets to help you live your best!


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    • 27 min
    How Samra Zafar, author of "A Good Wife", escaped her abusive marriage

    How Samra Zafar, author of "A Good Wife", escaped her abusive marriage

    This episode is an exclusive interview with Samra Zafar, author of A Good Wife, which has been a bestseller since the week it launched, receiving accolades from around the world.
    In this special hour-long interview, Samra and I talk about how she left her abusive marriage, and discuss  the difficult but cathartic process of writing A Good Wife.  We spend a considerable amount of time discussing cultural stigma against divorce in the Pakistani community, Samra's current work in speaking up against abuse, and what’s next on the horizon for her. Samra also tells me how she chose the title and cover photo on the book...there's a touching and emotional story behind the cover photo in particular. 
    For those who haven't come across the book yet, A Good Wife is about Samra’s personal experience escaping a 10+ year abusive marriage, which began when she was forced into the marriage as a child bride. Samra has courageously shared her story with the world through this memoir which launched March 5, 2019, and  has quickly became an inspirational figure of hope for those facing gender-based violence. Along with starting a non-profit called Brave Beginnings for survivors of abuse, Samra now speaks to audiences around the world about this issue. 
    Samra is  the winner of countless awards for her tireless work on this issue, including the 2017 RBC Global Citizen Award, the CPACT Malala Yousafzai Women Empowerment Award, the Ascend Canada Mentor of The Year Award, and the John H Moss Scholarship at the University of Toronto (among many others!). 
    TRIGGER WARNING: The episode covers topics related to domestic and sexual abuse.

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    • 1 hr 8 min
    The Story Behind Thorncliffe Park’s Jewel - Iqbal Halal Foods

    The Story Behind Thorncliffe Park’s Jewel - Iqbal Halal Foods

      
    This episode focuses on Iqbal Halal Foods, a South Asian grocery store in Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood.

    Thorncliffe Park is a neighborhood where almost 80% of the population is racialized (aka visible minority), and nearly three quarters of the population report English is NOT their mother tongue. The most common languages in the neighborhood are Urdu and Gujrati. The neighborhood is home to some of the best restaurant in Toronto in my humble opinion –Fayley’s, Hakka Garden, Bamiyan Kabob, and Kandahar Kabob to name a few. Along with East York Town Center, the local mosque, and now the Costco, a landmark of the neighborhood is Iqbal Halal Foods, a South Asian supermarket, which is the focus of our episode today.

    In this episode, I talk about my experience of going grocery shopping at Iqbal Foods - the hustle bustle of the store, the diversity you see in the neighborhood, the awkwardness of me trying to buy spices I’ve only ever seen in my mother’s spice cupboard, and the lighthearted jokes from the staff that work there.

    I then talk about the founder, Iqbal Malek and share his entrepreneurship journey, which started when he came to Canada in 1971 with $7 in his pocket. His story is barely documented anywhere online – I know because I scoured the internet for it. I came across his bio and story on the RBC Top Canadian Immigrant website, and wanted to recognize and honour his story through this podcast episode.

    I close the episode by touching on the theme of immigrant entrepreneurship – how come immigrants are twice as likely to become entrepreneurs? I share info from studies from the Harvard Business Review and talk about some of the reasons behind this trend.

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    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

Paul Nazareth ,

Stories that need to be told

Do we need another podcast in this world?! In this case, yes! There are thousands of second-gen people who are caught in between worlds, the past and present. I’m one of them and found the perspectives of the host and guests speak to me in a valuable way. Loving it.

hihihiatr ,

Awesome insights

Loved the first episode about language. I don’t speak my parents languages and it saddens me a bit.

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