British Columbia

Meet Naseeb, the 7-foot-tall South Asian nutcracker

Visual artist Jag Nagra says she was inspired to put her cultural touch on the character because she hadn't seen an Indian-inspired one before. 

The statue started out as a drawing before Jag Nagra brought it to life

Jag Nagra is pictured next to her homemade seven-foot-tall nutcracker that she has named Naseeb, at her home in Pitt Meadows, B.C. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

A Pitt Meadows, B.C. visual artist is showcasing her take on a classic Christmas decoration. 

Standing at seven feet tall is artist Jag Nagra's South Asian nutcracker, called Naseeb.

Nagra says she was inspired to put her cultural touch on the character because she hadn't seen an Indian-inspired one before. 

Naseeb dons bright-coloured clothing, wears a turban, and is playing a dholki, a South Asian double-ended barrel drum. 

"I wanted him to look as Indian as possible," said Nagra, standing next to the statue, which started out as a drawing before she brought it to life.

She says it took her and her wife around three and a half weeks to make Naseeb. He's made out of cardboard tubes called sonotubes, PVC pipe, ornaments, a little bit of wood, a plastic garbage bin and some plates. 

Nagra says Naseeb is made out of concrete tubs, PVC pipe, ornaments, wood, a plastic garbage bin and some plates. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Nagra infuses her culture in many aspects of her work. In November, she collaborated with the Vancouver Canucks to create a special warm-up jersey in honour of Diwali, the festival of lights annually celebrated by millions of South Asians across the world.

Nagra decided to stick with a traditional name for her nutcracker so her kids can feel proud of their own names.

"They both have Indian names, so the more we can surround them with Indian art and Indian culture, I think hopefully the more confident they'll feel," she said.

The family has had a few people reach out to offer to buy Naseeb, but Nagra says they're keeping him.

And for the record, Naseeb doesn't yet crack nuts — but Nagra is contemplating adding that feature next year.

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