Story By: Farhana Begum
Photos By: Asyura Mohd Roslan
Born and raised in Singapore, 19-year-old Tricia Rianne Alezzandro Ferdinandt, otherwise known as @K0HIN00R by her twitter username is a mix of Tamil, Malayalee, and Gujarati. She is also one of the creators of the movement #SouthIndianAndProud which has generated a lot of buzz especially amongst Indians residing in Singapore. However, the 19-year-old has not always been a strong follower of her culture since the beginning.
She embarrassingly admits that she has not always been adhering to her culture. When asked why, she went on to explain "I was never exposed to it with my family". She went on to say "I degraded my race at every opportunity but still was keen to take part in the aesthetic of it, with henna on my hands."
At times, she would even lie about her race. Her name helped her get away with the avalanche of questions from people, especially since it has a unique European essence to it. "Lying made the conversation less awkward and easier for them to digest, as opposed to going on about my mixed ancestry."
The girl who used to be embarrassed about her race has now, never been more proud of it and she is glad that it has been a positive change. She states: "It has been a year since I started embracing my roots."
When asked how the idea of starting this movement came about, Tricia Ferdinandt mentioned that she initially chanced upon a caption 'brwn szn' circulating around twitter. Interested to know what this was about, Tricia Ferdinandt started researching more about it. Eventually, she found out that it was just the name of a group chat. Even though it seemed harmless, there was an even greater underlying problem behind it. The issue of light-skin supremacy and how being "desi" was North Indian and Pakistani oriented.
Tricia Ferdinandt wanted to shine some light on South India and South Indians. The hashtag was not only created to bring better awareness and acceptance but to also serve as a space for South Indians to connect and get to know more about each other even though they live in different parts of the world.
She started posting her photographs under the hashtag #SouthIndianAndProud and within minutes, her post snowballed into a huge movement. This hashtag has garnered an immense amount of attention from both genders regardless of age.
Social media sites like twitter now are inundated with South Indians posting pictures of themselves with the hashtag.
The #SouthIndianAndProud movement has indeed helped to bring more awareness about the acceptance and acknowledgment of South Indians. It is also an extremely empowering movement for every South Indian. It serves as a reminder for us that we should all be proud of our own skin and not envy others.
Find out what happened behind the scenes during the photoshoot where the models showed us how proud they are of being an Indian. Also, don’t miss out on the fun the Editorial Team of Catch! had.