Unworthy Creature: A Punjabi Daughter's Memoir...
- Item #: 9780981276762
- Manufacturer: Freedom Press Canada
A Punjabi Daughter's Memoir of Honour, Shame and Love
by Aruna Papp with Barbara Kay
About the Book
This is the memoir of a South Asian immigrant to Canada, whose formative years in India were steeped in a reigning culture of honour and shame, in which the burden of the family's good standing rests on the sexual purity of girls and women. The book traces the author's lonely, poignant, often risk-charged struggle to free herself from the oppressive code. As well, the book chronicles her courageous battle to help other South Asian girls and women in Canada step out of their kinsmen's ancient patriarchal cycle and claim their gender rights as fully equal Canadian citizens.
About the Author: Aruna Papp
Born and raised in India, the oldest of seven children, Aruna’s formative years were governed by three constants: her father’s peripatetic pastoral service in the Church of Seventh Day Adventists; the culture of honour and shame that dictated the behaviour of everyone she knew; and her yearning for an education that continually eluded her. As a Christian, Aruna submitted to the contempt of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. As an ethnic Indian, Aruna internalized the belief that her entire family’s well-being and good reputation rested on her sexual purity. As a female, Aruna automatically privileged the needs and wishes of her husband over her desperate hunger for knowledge.
After immigrating to Canada as a young wife in an arranged, loveless marriage, with two young children and the equivalent of a third grade education, Aruna slowly awoke to the the rights and protections Canada offered women. She embarked on an often frightening, but empowering psychological and intellectual journey that would ultimately lead to two graduate degrees, a second, loving and mutually respectful marriage, and a pioneering career in counselling troubled families like her own, as well as training frontline workers who deal with them.
For the past thirty years, in spite of multiculturalists’ embarrassed denials, by courageously and publicly insisting on the cultural roots of honour-motivated violence, Aruna has given a voice to thousands of girls and women living lives of quiet desperation in the South Asian community and beyond.
About Barbara Kay:
Barbara Kay is a columnist with the National Post newspaper.
“This is the incredible story of the life of a girl who is typical in her spirit, her desire to thrive and her anger at injustice. It is also a woman’s courageous witness to the terrors of the “culture of honour”and proof of the consequences that arise when women are not considered equal in dignity to men. Aruna Papp demonstrates that the barbaric cultural practices associated with honour motivated violence have no place in Canada and that we must reject them using the clear language of freedom and equality." The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister for Status of Women Canada
"Today, the diverse community is our community. Aruna Papp’s personal experience as a first generation immigrant to Canada is a must read for all front-line workers: from immigrant services, social workers, health care providers, educators, crown prosecutors, courts and police. Aruna is a survivor who has devoted her life to helping other Canadians from the South Asian Diaspora as a counselor and educator. I applaud Aruna for her courage in telling her own story. Unfortunately her story is more common in Canada then we’d like to admit: She gives us eyes to see.” David Kotowski, Inspector District 5 / Airport Calgary Police Service
“A poignant story filled with brilliant insight, truth, and relevance. Bringing new meaning to the term Honor, the story takes us through a brave journey of overcoming an unworthy status and the cultural stigmas that are obstacles to women everywhere. A story that must be told and read.” Nadia Shahram, esq. Attorney at Law and Matrimonial Mediator
Unworthy Creature: A Punjabi Daughter's Memoir of Honour, Shame and Love is now available as an e-Book at Amazon for $9.99. Click here to order