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Shakti perspectives: Oz Malik

As someone of south Asian origin, its taken me a lot of introspection and reflection to forgive my parents. It is a very difficult job, being a parent, being a parent of a child whose culture you don't understand, a generation gap.

Plus, you are in a new country with new challenges trying to start life again. All these difficulties (which I now forgive), unfortunately impacted me. My childhood, the way I grew up as a south Asian child still to this day impacts me as a south Asian man.  My parents told me to be strong, to be a good child, to not talk about my mistakes or taboo topics, I rebelled, lied, hid, I became addicted.  I had too many expectations and pressures on me. However now as I am older, I forgive and empathize, they did not know any better.

They made mistakes, I make mistakes, we all make mistakes. Compassion is the way.

South Asian men need positive role models, unfortunately the stereotypes stick, we battle with racism, name calling and sometimes are undermined. There are many amazing south Asian men who are doing great things we need to make THAT the stereotype. I decolonized my mind and learnt more about my people, my history and became proud of my brown skin..  Understanding myself, knowing oneself, made my self -esteem stronger. When I struggled with poor mental health I turned inward to my soul, I connected with myself, I prayed and meditated, I used connection to a higher power.

I turned into the idea of what a south Asian man is to me (spiritual, warrior, wisdom, and an artist) and continue to live by these principals. I also found listening to traditional qawwali music from the motherland (Pakistan) supports me to heal my soul. As south Asian men, I hope we can firstly acknowledge our privilege in our own communities. I hope we can prevent sexism and toxic masculinity, I hope we can respect and show kindness. I would like to ask men to open up more about everything and anything and to become wiser and warmer, there is so much to unpack, but through a brotherhood of understanding we can not only save the next generation of south Asians but ourselves in the process..

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