The irrational South Asian traditions and their outright hypocrisy needs no introduction; we’ve been living it, and we’ve been hating it. We’ve tried using the medium of dialogue with our parents, but the “Hamari society mein toh aisa hi hota hai” and the “Behes nahi karo agay say” have obstructed its success.
So Maria Qamar, a Pakistani-born Canadian artist, decided to use her talent to highlight the struggles of being a desi, especially one living abroad. And why not! Art is after all, the most subtle, yet the most powerful medium of expression. Without seeming overtly critical, Qamar uses pop art to feature witty one-liners and sarcasm.
To highlight the misplaced standards and the maladaptive, potent presence of societal traditions that are characteristic of many South Asian cultures.
Her Instagram account, by the name of @Hatecopy features her works that have gained global acclamation.
Here’s how Maria Qamar has summed up our desi past, present and future:
1. The one thing desi parents live, and could also die, for:
From the day you’re born, to every single thing that they teach you and provide you with, is geared towards one thing and one thing alone. Yes, you guessed it right.
2. Desi parents’ favorite thing to do – place curfews and freak out one second past the time.
“Ammi saans le lun?“
“Tumhay kaha haina 8 bajay kay baad kuch nahi karna!“
Or worse, with a boy…
3. The world’s most dangerous predator…
They’ll constantly be analyzing you; from how you eat to how you walk, from how you dress up to whom you meet. They’ll collect their data, sprinkle masala over it and then present their findings to your entire social setting, and to your parents especially in order to publicly shame them.
4. What happens when desi aunties meet over chai:
Hours and hours of gossip about “uska shohar” and “uski beti”, constant bitching, and taunting each other with fake smiles plastered all over will end precisely like this:
5. The only halal way of getting married is the arranged way.
6. Desi parents’ worst fear as far as their sons are concerned:
While daughters translate into shaadi for desi parents, sons translate into impeccable careers. B’s are therefore, their worst nightmare.
7. The worst crime you could ever commit, as per desi law:
8. And of course, what happens when you choose anything other than medicine and engineering as your profession…
Maria Qamar uses her art to portray the struggles of a South Asian kid; battling stereotypes, and fighting off the constant pressure to conform to mindless social institutions and norms while trying to preserve your individuality and be accepted for who you are.
Her work isn’t just applause worthy and hilarious, it’s downright inspirational!