Dureshawar Khan

Dureshawar Khan

A proud Pukhtana writer and social justice activist from Perth, Western Australia. Her works attempt to explore the post colonial concepts of identity, otherness and belonging through the lens of an ethnic woman in a foreign country. She tweets as @shahzadgai (twitter.com/Shahzadgai)

Whitewashing

Our names will never roll around their tongues, With the delicacy and finesse, Of the mothers who named us. After 14 hours of birth, Sweaty, sticky, spicy, sweet, tangy names with stories and secrets. Our names in foreign mouths Are like spices with unexpected Sharp thorny flavours, Spat out in discomfort, Pronounced with pain, And anglicised quickly like a cool drink of water.   So that Dureshawar becomes Rey, And my own name In my mouth Feels like a dry, flavourless biscuit. And they laugh when I can’t recognise Myself being announced at banquets. When I cannot recognise my placard On the table; When they demand I leave by the backdoor. It is always by my father’s name.   Our names will ...

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