30 episodes

Culture and family heritage isn’t all sunshine and roses but it can fill you up, give you pleasure, and take you back while inspiring you forward. Hosted by Anika Chabra, join us for rich stories of the past, woven with hopes for the future. We’re on a journey to rediscover our cultures and ensure they live on for future generations. We hope to inspire you to do the same. If you'd like to share a story, you can reach us at @rootandseedco on social. Visit us at www.rootandseed.com where we continue to share our journey of discovery, reflection, and celebration in our blog.

The Root & Seed Podcast Root & Seed Inc.

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Culture and family heritage isn’t all sunshine and roses but it can fill you up, give you pleasure, and take you back while inspiring you forward. Hosted by Anika Chabra, join us for rich stories of the past, woven with hopes for the future. We’re on a journey to rediscover our cultures and ensure they live on for future generations. We hope to inspire you to do the same. If you'd like to share a story, you can reach us at @rootandseedco on social. Visit us at www.rootandseed.com where we continue to share our journey of discovery, reflection, and celebration in our blog.

    S4E8: “I never really wanted to be at home, which is why I gravitated to the basketball court." - Anish Bhalla

    S4E8: “I never really wanted to be at home, which is why I gravitated to the basketball court." - Anish Bhalla

    What do the 90s, hip hop and basketball have to do with one another?  For a good number of youth who grew up in Toronto, especially those from immigrant backgrounds during that decade, the answer is everything.  Anish Bhalla has embarked on a playful, yet therapeutic journey of documenting his upbringing in the animated series Bhalla Show.  It’s playful, because of nostalgic humour, and therapeutic because of the role that basketball played in Anish’s life. Lucky for us, Anish’s honesty and willingness to share his story is resulting in a relatable depiction of the immigrant family, even though Anish’s intention is “just to tell the story of his family.” The idea of documenting through animation is such a great way to illustrate an otherwise uncaptured past, bringing Season 4 of The Root & Seed to a close.

    Anish is a husband, father, writer, producer, basketball player, and tech aficionado. He has been creating basketball content since 2010 and has worked with Canada Basketball, On Point Basketball, and the Toronto Raptors organization. His current project, The Bhalla Show, won the Just for Laughs Stand Up and Pitch contest in Montreal earlier this year.  Follow its journey to production and air @bhallashow

    • 18 min
    S4E7: "A lot of people can feel a sense of third culture-ness" - Kyle Leung

    S4E7: "A lot of people can feel a sense of third culture-ness" - Kyle Leung

    As a champion for people's stories across the Asian diaspora, Kyle Leung, host of podcast "What kind of Asian are you?" is used to uncovering the relationship of heritage and background on one's identity and sense of belonging.  We are appreciative of his expansion of the definition of third culture to a feeling of "being in the middle", with no clear sense being anchored to places of origin or places of choosing. But perhaps it's Kyle' sense of responsibility to be a means for the precious stories to be captured that is the most impressive. What started as a pandemic project, Kyle's podcast has grown in importance, evidenced by his wide range of guests like Randy Lau and Jeremy Won.

    Kyle is a Hong Kong-Chinese Canadian diaspora that immigrated to Canada during his childhood. His whole life, he has always been curious about identity, third-culture diaspora stories, Asian migration stories, and Asian representation in media. As a result, he started his podcast, "What Kind of Asian Are You? Podcast" to discuss these topics with other like-minded Asian diaspora individuals. Through the podcast, he hopes to highlight, amplify and validate Asian stories worldwide. Listen to Kyle and his impressive list of guests: https://whatkindofasianareyou.buzzsprout.com/

    • 16 min
    S4E6: "What is unspoken can fill up space" - Theresa McVean

    S4E6: "What is unspoken can fill up space" - Theresa McVean

    We don’t know what we don’t know, but these unknowns still shape us.  And can be passed through generations unless it is given air, tended to, and healed.  This episode we speak to genealogist Theresa McVean from Ancestree Detectives who gives us a glimpse into the world of genealogy and the process of  how working with a professional can help thread seemingly disparate knowledge into a family story arc.  Theresa has stories for days and we get to hear about how she has used her detective skills with clients and a few stories from her own discovery journey.

    If you have a family mystery needing solving and looking to hire a professional to guide you, Ancestree Detectives is a great place to start.  You can get in touch with them at https://www.ancestreedetectives.com/

    About our guest: Theresa McVean, co-founder and chief genealogist at Ancestree Detectives. By providing a platform for family historians to connect with a diverse group of vetted experts for as few as 30 minutes at a time, Ancestry Detectives empowers customers whether their search is record-based or DNA oriented.

    Theresa began her career at the Toronto Reference Library, joined the Globe and Mail’s fledgling digital department in 1999. She went on to an award-winning career in advertising with leading publishers and advertising agencies before launching Ancestree Detectives with co-founder Dawna Henderson.She is the Chair of the Ontario Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists as well as a member of the marketing committee for APG internationally.

    A daughter, sister, mother, and grandmother who grew up in Dundas and Niagara Falls, Ontario, she is a lover of family history and storytelling.

    • 20 min
    S4E5: "I'm a huge Mama's boy, no shame in that!" - Peter Pham

    S4E5: "I'm a huge Mama's boy, no shame in that!" - Peter Pham

    In our first intergenerational podcast interview, we speak to Peter Pham and his mom about their shared love of cooking, their family stories and history.  As a professional cook, self taught baker and current operator of Phamilyeats, Peter is finding meaning and joy in feeding others. Chockfull of nostalgia and real talk, Peter gives us a glimpse into how a descendent of Vietnamese refugees has ended up running a patty and pot pie shop.  Admittedly he is still navigating his relationship with his own Vietnamese background - but one thing is for sure - Mama's cooking is something that he always has a hankering for!  Check out www.phamilyeats.ca and get your patties today. 

    • 19 min
    S4E4: "I am from Planet Earth!" - Marel Alemany

    S4E4: "I am from Planet Earth!" - Marel Alemany

    Marel Alemany has a deep sense of how his Afro, Latin and Caribbean backgrounds have influenced his present day sense of self. Yet as a person who connects with multiple generations and with people from various backgrounds, what we appreciate most is his proclamation of “I am from Planet Earth” which sets the tone for this interview from the very beginning. After years of unconsciously expressing his heritage in his work, Marel shares how he is leaning into it intentionally now….representing his voice and values through his work as a director, producer, and singer/songwriter across music, film, and children’s media. Marel’s influence on documenting is vast and for that we couldn’t be more grateful. It’s a conversation filled with passion, creativity and pure joy for music, lyrics, dancing and more!

    About Marel Alemany: Constantly seeking to unravel his musical influences, Marel embarks on a new journey with each song. Tropical and autochthonous rhythms from the Caribbean are mixed in his music, with lyrics that tell stories and a hint of nostalgia that recalls the soul of the 60s and 70s. It is impossible to define his music without fear of falling short.

    Although he has been on stage since he was very young (there are stories of a five-year-old boy throwing his jacket into the audience after performing a song by legendary Spanish singer Rafael), his musical career officially began when he won, in 2003, the first prize in the prestigious Casa de Teatro writing and music awards, for the pop category.

    From then on, he became a regular on the bohemian scene in Santo Domingo. In 2006 he released his first album De Papel, with which he garnered several "number one" hits on local radio stations and was nominated for the Casandra awards (current Soberano awards). In 2009, he decided to pay homage to his roots and make a salsa-influenced album, Carne. With Carne, he succeeded in Argentina and Peru, reaching first place in several popular lists. He played in Altos de Chavón with Eros Ramazotti and with Juan Luis Guerra in Buenos Aires. After publishing several singles recently, including Tu Guerra y La mía (2017) and Navegaré (2019), he has just released his third production, Salir al Sol, where he mixes all his musical influences. From pop to folk, Marel once again makes it clear that he enjoys the fusion of rhythms and that his lyrics will always be committed.

    Marel is also a multi-skilled filmmaker and writer because what he longs for the most is creativity. An accomplished producer of advertising commercials, he has been working in Children's Media for the last 2 years, trying to mix his musical talent with his recent parenthood and his filmmaker skills. This has driven him to move to Canada, where he is a composer, writer and producer for the Story Planet Podcast and runs the Spanish YouTube Channel for little kids Tope Tope. www.marelalemany.com

    • 19 min
    S4E3: “She was like a superhero to me….not to everybody else, but to me” - Nancy Lam

    S4E3: “She was like a superhero to me….not to everybody else, but to me” - Nancy Lam

    When Nancy Lam started writing her dying mother's story it was in effort to capture her mother's legacy for her children to know and appreciate.  This journey turned to writing and publishing a work of fiction that, while based on her mother's life, grew in ways that many people from immigrant families can appreciate.  Not knowing all the details but wanting to fill the gaps, the book "The Loyal Daughter" speaks to the immigrant journey, the strength of an immigrant woman and celebrates the bonds between women in families.

    But perhaps most importantly, to quote Nancy, this is about "finding yourself not only in your family but outside of it".  And it celebrates the common immigrant story, paying homage to their impact on the fabric of Canada.  It's for that reason that we hope that it inspires more stories of the common person, the so-called "superheroes" in each of our lives.

    Nancy Lam is a Toronto author.  As a child and teenager, she lost herself in stories by Canadian writers, in university she majored in Canadian History to earn a Bachelor of Arts before acquiring her law degree. As an immigration lawyer she now helps prospective Canadians write and present their life stories to government officials. Her first novel, The Loyal Daughter (At Bay Press, Fall 2022) is based on her mother’s immigration story to Canada.

    • 16 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

RubyStokes ,

Absolutely lovely!

I love this podcast. The stories are compelling. The narratives are presented with care and respect. I binged a few, but now I want to take time to invest these meaningful conversations. Each episode is relatable in some way. Just lovely.

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