Giving voice to diverse suburban reality with 'Welcome to Surrey'

When Kashif Pasta and Shyam Valera scan pop culture, they see many versions of the same experience. But they don't see a reflection of the reality they or millions of other Canadians know - a suburban life informed by different cultures. Their "Welcome to Surrey" series wants to change that.
Shyam Valera, right, and Kashif Pasta are the brains behind the web series "Welcome to Surrey". (Kathryn Marlow/CBC)
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Kashif Pasta and Shyam Valera are two of the people behind a new comedy web-series called 'Welcome to Surrey.' It's a sitcom meant to represent the millions of Canadians who live in suburbs, instead of the big city. They say that though the diverse cultural reality of Surrey is familiar to millions of Suburban Canadians, that reality is seldom reflected in popular culture.

On The 180's Surrey road trip, we met up with Kashif and Shyam to learn more about living in Surrey today. One of the intricacies of living in Surrey is the way people define their neighbourhoods. Instead of saying 'I live in Surrey', Surrey residents might say "I live in Cloverdale," or "I live in Newton." Or Fleetwood, or Guildford, or Port Kells, or Green Timbers, or Panorama Ridge, or Ocean Park, or South Surrey

Surrey in particular has a bad reputation, but it's pretty outdated. So people live a pretty positive experience, but then they know what the reputation is, so they try to take control of defining it themselves, and that's the one small way everyone can. Like "No, I'm from the part you haven't heard of, it's the good bit!- Kashif Pasta, Dunya Media

To learn more about `Welcome to Surrey,` the city`s neighbourhoods, and why old Sikh men are the original hipsters, click the PLAY button above.