Guest Info

Rajni Mala Khelawan is a renowned Indo-Fijian Canadian writer and researcher who has delivered inspirational speeches and readings in Canada and Fiji and has been featured on popular TV and radio shows. As a visiting writer at the University of South Pacific in 2011 and Writer-in-Residence at Fiji National University in 2014, her literary talent shone in award-winning short stories and two published novels. Holding a Master of Arts Degree from the University of Toronto, her research focuses on gender dynamics and Hinduism among descendants of indentured Indians, with interests in South Asian religions, indentured history, and diaspora studies. Residing in Toronto, she is working on her fourth novel, “Across the Black Water,” supported by the Canada Council for the Arts grant.

About the Show

The elders in the Indo-Fijian community were conditioned to adopt the norm of avoiding crucial conversations, lacking the chance to express their frustrations with societal norms. The trend of victimising and competing with generational trauma distracts from addressing issues transparently and supporting one another. However, this episode’s guest, Rajni Mala Khelawan, challenges this approach and discusses abuse, gender roles, and reclaiming heritage. 

Join Chief Explorer Rajan Nazran as he converses with Rajni, exploring her journey of rediscovering her Fijianness through writing. She shares her challenging experience of moving to Canada alone and the key events that shaped her life. From immersing herself in European culture to exploring South Asian literature, she grapples with questions about her Fiji identity. 

As an Indo-Fijian woman, she highlights the silenced voices and the urgency to break the silence surrounding abuse. Generational trauma and the protection of abusers to safeguard family reputation contribute to slow societal change.

Victim blaming is a troubling aspect that demands thorough discussion. The podcast delves into the patriarchal influences in societies with an Asian touch, questioning the narratives that perpetuate abuse.

Listen to Rajni Mala Khelwan’s compelling first-hand account of her struggles and triumphs.

Produced by Global Indian Series for the Global Indian Network.

Script by Rajan Nazran
original idea: Rajan Nazran

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