In a pursuit to shape the representation she had yearned for, Amita Kala has birthed Aunty’s House – a pioneering collective devoted to spotlighting and empowering the South Asian diaspora in New Zealand. More than just a name, Aunty’s House encapsulates a vision of camaraderie, community, and cherishing cultural roots reports RNZ.
A Vision Takes Form
Years of contemplation and passion culminated in Aunty’s House, an endeavor conceived to fill the void of authentic connections within the South Asian diaspora. Kala’s inspiration stemmed from an innate desire to create a space where people could gather free from the confines of conventions and religion.
A Unifying Kaupapa
An epiphany arrived in 2022, catalyzed by DJ Yung Singh’s visit, which starkly unveiled the lack of genuine representation in events. This realization spurred Kala’s unwavering resolve to establish spaces for brown individuals to thrive. The collective’s journey commenced on Instagram in June, garnering quick resonance, and soon after, manifested in the form of the first live event.
Chai Session: A Cultural Soirée
July witnessed Aunty’s House coming to life with its inaugural event, Chai Session, hosted at Crave Cafe in Morningside, Auckland. This evening fused music, culture, and connectivity, as artists from Delhi, Mumbai, Egypt, and Malaysia enraptured the audience with soul-stirring performances and eloquent expressions.
Physical Presence, Transformative Influence
Kala underlined the potency of physical gatherings in driving meaningful change. Aunty’s House staunchly advocates preserving distinct identities, resisting assimilation into the European “Kiwi” culture, and promoting self-recognition and appreciation.
Unity Through Inclusive Practices
The event’s triumph was fortified by a multi-tiered ticketing system and lucid entry guidelines. This meticulous structure prioritized inclusivity, ensuring the event resonated with South Asians, individuals of color, members of the rainbow community, and those championing Aunty’s House’s ethos.
Embracing Representation’s Momentum
Amidst evolving perceptions of South Asians in mainstream media, Aunty’s House emerges as an embodiment of this shift, eager to be a part of a larger narrative recognizing the community’s multifaceted contributions. From shows like “Never Have I Ever” to the work of Anita Chhiba, representation gains momentum.
A Sanctuary of Solidarity
The resonance of Aunty’s House has been profound, as Kala received heartening messages underscoring the longing for South Asian friends and a shared sense of unity. Within the collective’s warm embrace, individuals find validation, empowerment, and an avenue to embrace their cultural identities with unwavering pride.
An Ongoing Journey
Aunty’s House signifies a beacon of unity and celebration, resonating with the aspirations and yearnings of New Zealand’s South Asian diaspora. The realization of Kala’s dreams symbolizes a profound testament to the collective spirit and determination of a community yearning for representation, unity, and shared narratives. As Aunty’s House continues to flourish, it reinforces the indomitable strength and resilience inherent within the diaspora’s shared journey.
- Photos: Abigail Dellavo