Manitoba·Opinion

'Kids at school were making fun of me': Winnipeg comedian uses humour to heal past hurts

If Anjali Sandhu could go back in time, she'd have snappy comebacks for all the mean girls who made fun of who she is. The Winnipeg writer shares the personal toll racism has taken on her, part of the series Speaking My Truth.

If Anjali Sandhu could go back in time, she'd have snappy comebacks for mean girls

Speaking my Truth: Anjali Sandhu

CBC News Manitoba

2 years ago
1:28
Comedian uses humour to heal. Video: Erica Daniels 1:28

Speaking My Truth is a three-part series that explores the personal toll of racism. CBC's Creator Network commissioned three Winnipeg activists to write a personal essay, poem or story about an experience with racism. Filmmaker Erica Daniels then collaborated with the writers to film short videos. 

Watch Anjali Sandhu's story in the above video or read a transcript of her personal story below.

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If I Could Go Back by Anjali Sandhu

If I could go back in time to when I was six, I wouldn't cry when kids at school were making fun of me because my grandma wore Indian clothes to Grandparents Day.

I'd tell them that my grandma is one thousand times cooler than their basic white grandmas in their old lady sweatsuits with their pumpkin spice knitting needles.

If I could go back in time to when I was nine, I wouldn't just stare at the ground and nod when the other girls told me that they would play princesses because they had blonde hair, and I had to play the witch because of my black hair. I would say "Right, because if you girls were playing witches, it wouldn't be acting."

If I could go back in time to when I was 13, I wouldn't fake laugh along when someone asked me "Don't brown girls in India get forced into arranged marriages with their cousins? Are you going to have to do that?"

I'd ask ask them, "Don't white girls in the southern U.S. marry their cousins by choice. Are you going to do that? Well are you Jessica?"

If I could go into the future, I would tell all the trolls who are typing that this video is "reverse racism" in the comments section, that my grandma is still cooler than yours.

Other stories in this series:


This column is part of CBC's Opinion section. For more information about this section, please read this editor's blog and our FAQ.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anjali Sandhu is a third-year law student at the University of Manitoba. She is also a writer, comedian and actor. 

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