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Sari: Indian Women at Work in New Zealand

August 30, 2013

Slightly random, but this book caught my eye in a local article ages ago and I still think it looks interesting. According to an article of the East & Bays Courier, Wed 21st May 2008, p.23 (titled, ‘Book Looks at Indian Women’ n.a.):

4“More than 100 years of Indian women making a home and career in New Zealand is the subject of a new book.
Sari: Indian women at work in New Zealand, being launched today by Dunmore Publishing, is a labour of love by AUT Associate Professor of management Dr Edwina Pio.
She says she wanted to explode the myth that a New Zealand Indian woman will probably own a dairy, be unable to speak English and be a mere chattel of her all-powerful husband.
‘My book uncovers findings such as terms like ‘curry-munchers’, race aliens and foreign trash which emboss the experiences of many Indian women,’ she says. ‘Other more positive phrases, such as great learners, hard working, non-smokers and family oriented are now more frequently heard.’
The book is the result of interviews with 100 Indian women and conversations with more than 600 Indian women across New Zealand over a period of six years. Governor-General Anand Sutyanand wrote the foreword. …

Writing the book evolved from Ms Pio’s concern that qualified and professional Indian women find it difficult to get work equivalent to their skills and qualifications.
‘This is primarily because they lack Kiwi experience,’ she says. ‘And because their accent and perhaps visible diversity discriminators such as skin colour are different from the New Zealand host society.’
Ms Pio says Indians comprise 2.6 percent of New Zealand’s population. She says that with India emerging as a global giant in the world economy it is important that New Zealand reaps the benefits of its immigration policies.
‘All New Zealanders can benefit through a more sophisticated understanding of individual-organisational fit, and plug into the enormous wealth of data and experience which migrants bring about India,’ she says.
Ms Pio hopes her book will bring the silent voices of Indian women into the public domain, as a tribute to their work and life in new Zealand.”

I am quoting extensively from the article and would name the author if I knew! He/she is not mentioned in the article…

Actually, another book by Pio looks interesting too (only just came across this one):

4Longing and Belonging: Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and African Peoples in New Zealand, By Edwina Pio

“Longing & Belonging by Edwina Pio is a rich resource that explores the ethnic diversity of Aotearoa New Zealand today. It is a stimulating mix of hard facts, stories of adaptation by recent and older immigrants, and ThinkPieces – authentic voices telling of challenges faced and the vision and hope that sustains who we are in Aotearoa. The book focuses on Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and African peoples in New Zealand. It offers insights into these people, their heritage, employment, identity and the cultures they carry with them, and gently but urgently asks questions of the host culture of New Zealand and shatters stereotypes.”


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