Feature Friday: “Humare Zaamane Mein” – Salman Pervez

In the South Asian American communities, we notice a disconnect between generations. The immigrant population is fighting to hold on to their culture, beliefs, traditions, while the second generation is struggling with maintaining their own heritage and fitting in to the Western world. Through all the assimilation and acculturation, this generation gap makes it difficult for both sides to understand each other. My friend Salman Pervez has created a project to help bridge that gap.

Salman Pervez is a junior at Michigan State University. Majoring in interdisciplinary studies in social science (IDS) with a focus in health and society has inspired him to learn and blog about how South Asian American culture and history influence the prevalence of mental health problems in the Desi community. He hopes to research and promote health and well being as a psychiatrist and medical anthropologist. In his free time, Salman loves to do some meditative yoga, go to comedy shows, and play video games with his little brothers.

Humare Zaamane Mein (HZM) is an initiative to promote intergenerational understanding in South Asian American communities. The classic tropes about the immigrant experience, walking miles to get to school,  getting an arranged marriage, being top of the class, and struggling to get by, do not define “aunties and uncles” as human beings. Thus, HZM digs deeper to explore what makes them unique: their life history, quirks, mistakes, perspectives and vulnerabilities. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get updates! HZM is looking for more people to get involved with this initiative; if you are interested, feel free to contact me at zuni@thephdream.com or Salman at pervezsa@msu.edu.

Take a look at the first post:

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"I was and still am the biggest fan of Michael Jackson…Back in 1985, right after my matriculation, the whole of Karachi caught the Michael Jackson frenzy. We all got those open black shoes with white socks. But I was uniquely prepared because I used to take public transport and travel over an hour to downtown Karachi to a place called Khory gardens. They used to sell western magazines. There was a British magazine called "Smash Hits." You know how now if you want to look up the lyrics of any song, you can just type its name into Google and it shows them? Back then, I used to take a bus to buy the magazines that had lyrics to English songs. So I put effort into that. I had hundreds of music magazines and journals at home, and at the time, I used the money I got from tutoring youth to buy them. So when Michael Jackson blew up on the surface, I already knew all his life history, all his songs and everything. My friends used to come to me and ask me about him because at the time people in Karachi didn't really know much besides "Billie Jean" or "Beat It" because nobody really read the biographies of rock stars or the Rolling Stone. So, then, one of my cousins was visiting from Canada at that time, and he nicknamed me "Maulana Jackson" because I started growing a beard and going to a scholar who lived right next door to me. My family and cousins used to make fun of me that there's this big contradiction in your personality. One way, you're pursuing these religious theories. On the other side, you're following American music and Hollywood movies, and it's just that this push and pull has always been present in my personality, still to this day." -Adil Wasi #HZM . . . . . #Desi #SouthAsian #immigrant #desistories #immigrantstories #SouthAsianstories #desissupportingdesis #SouthAsia #desis #Desiblog #SouthAsianblog

A post shared by Humare Zamaane Mein (@humare_zamaane_mein) on


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Hi, I'm the founder of The PhDream. I'm a second year doctoral student who wasn't satisfied with just sitting behind a desk and writing papers. While my research may have an indirect impact, I wanted to engage more directly with the community and provide a platform to discuss neglected and sensitive issues. Along with that, I try to stay sane in my program by stress baking, glamming up even when I'm down, and sharing my dad-joke captions on the gram -- if only that creativity could translate into my research... Anyways, I'm always looking for contributors, collaborations, and people to eat my zelicious creations, so don't hesitate to reach out or follow me @ZuniJilani :)

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