“Coconut”: brown from the outside, white from the inside. Often used to describe desis living abroad who are not as near to or aware of desi culture, as they are to their local culture.

Today’s guest: Aqil Ghani, 18 years old British-Pakistani brought up in South-east London. 

Many of you might be wondering what is life like for youngsters who are born and raised abroad, have Pakistani parents, but are not surrounded by a Pakistani community. Aqil gives us some insight into that. He was born in England, grew up in Beckenham, which as he describes is ‘the whitest town in the whitest borough of London’. He had no Pakistani peers in most of his school life. Naturally, that situation for Aqil and many others can bring about an identity crisis. Aqil described, “I used to dislike being Pakistani but as I’ve learnt more about our history and culture, I think I’ve finally begun to accept who I am”.

During the first 30 minutes of this podcast, Aqil shares his life with us, with several personal stories thrown in. After that, Aqil shares with us some information about his older brother, Adil, who is physically disabled.

In our next episode, in fact, we will speak to Adil directly himself, to get his first-hand account of his life and disability.