The Indian Hat.

This feels like a strange thing to call a hat, but it is a part of my identity that I think I sometimes wear like one.

I’m second generation. My dad is Indian, born in Kenya, and has been in Scotland for nearly 50 years – he arrived in Dundee aged 10; my mum grew up in India, and came to London in her twenties.

I’ve lived in a suburb on the outskirts of Glasgow my whole life.  The area has become more diverse in these 25 years, but compared to other parts of Glasgow and its surrounds, it’s not the most colourful place, and certainly wasn’t when I was growing up.

I’ve only ever been to India once – my first trip was for work, in Feb 2015.  We stayed in Mumbai, which is a very metropolised and Westernised city.  People were quite surprised at British-Indian norms, as India has become more progressive, especially Mumbai.  I’d love to go back there, and see other parts of India too, especially where I have family.

India is huge, so I should be a little more specific and say we are Punjabi.  I spent a lot of my childhood learning to speak Punjabi (with a Glaswegian accent, I don’t do it well), and sat my GCSE and A-Level in my early teens.  What this studying amounts to is the ability to just about have small talk with my grandmother, and get the gist of simple conversations.

My mum is currently on a mission to get me cooking Punjabi food.  I might document my culinary accomplishments on here: so far, I can make a mean pot of jeera rice with peas and potatoes, and an edible roti from time to time.