Click the above for a short voki introduction of myself.
My name is Faeza. I am a humanist, mother, wife, lifelong learner, USQ preservice educator who enjoys critical thought, faith matters and cooking for my family.
Why the Frangipani? I feel it is a great metaphor for my identity. It is a simple flower, not complicated, highly structured or particularly colourful. The little colour that it does have radiates and fills the space around it. Its a happy flower, content in itself and yet aware of its presence and role in the bigger context of the tree. Its a tropical flower, a connection to my birth place, my childhood home Africa. Why the frangipani? It reminds me of me.
WHO AM I ?
AUTO ETHNOGRAPHY: Identity through the lens of class, gender and race.
Recipe for Haleem – a nutritious broth.
Boil Lentils, Wheat and Rice till soft.
Braise onions, add tomatoes, spices, salt and then add meat.
Mix all the above ingredients together and cook for a further 4 hours.
Serve with fresh coriander and lemon juice.
Haleem is my favourite dish and each ingredient- lentils, wheat, rice, meat and spices are an analogy for my life. An Australian Muslim woman, wife and mum, of Indian Pakistani cultural heritage who has moved from a working class childhood in Africa to a comfortable middle class lifestyle here.
Lentils signify my class. Lentils are a basic, cheap, nutritious no fuss ingredient. They represent my childhood in a working class home. Some lentils contain high levels of iron, an element necessary for good health. In my life, iron was education. Though formally educated by my parents till high school, the informal education is what has made me truly successful. The wisdom to treat all with kindness and respect, this, my parents legacy has the most positive impact on my life. As a middle class Australian, I am in a comfortable location, I feel I am not looked down upon, and neither do I look down on anyone. As a future educator, I would not only be aware of societal class differentiation and critical pedagogies but also encourage education to be used to give a voice to the marginalized and as a stepping stone to more opportunity as high lighted by Paulo Freire and Matthew Lipman.
Wheat, brown in hue signifies my skin colour and my race. I stood out like a sore thumb in black Africa, same in white Australia and funnily enough, when visiting the land of the brown, Pakistan, I was asked repeatedly, “where are you from?” Obviously I don’t have the cultural capital to blend in even with the people of my own skin color. Despite the obvious colour difference, my race has never been an issue, for I have never felt that my location was either below or above anyone. I am however very aware of those who do not inhabit the center, in particular my experiences in Africa, Pakistan and the plight of our own Indigenous people. I will keep in mind the importance of critical pedagogy and as a future educator, the need to rebalance and remake culture.
Rice would signify my gender. In this I inhabit an extreme location. As a homemaker, wife and mum I take my gender role very seriously as a builder of a peaceful and harmonious home and by doing so, hoping to have a small but positive impact on society. I am the sticky stuff that holds my family together. Even when developing my identity in other areas, such as studying, I am cautious and take great care not to cross any limits that may cause disharmony in my home. These limits, I have placed on myself as a gendered person and like the Carmicheal study (cited in Hickey, 2010), I feel I should behave in a particular way. I am aware of my bias in gender roles, but intend not to let it consciously cross over in my professional practice. It is true that I may do so unconsciously and for that I would have to be vigilant and may require reconstruction in the future.
The meat is my Quranic faith. My value system closely intertwined with my identity. After several years of disturbed and philosophical journeys, I have come to a comfortable spiritual location and at present, am very content with my beliefs. I feel that every spiritual location is personal and should not be tampered by others.
The blends of spices are my ethnicity. That is my culture and customs as a sub continental and Australian person. All this I own and present as a true me- a global mix- Haleem.
Haleem. (2013). [Image]. Retrieved from here.