The Pakistani Student’s Association (PSA) is a new student group dedicated to celebrating Pakistani customs and culture at Queen’s.
PSA President Zoya Malik, HealthSci ’25, and Vice President Amirah Tanoli, Comm ’25, are creating “a home away from home” for Pakistani students while sharing Pakistani culture with Queen’s students of all backgrounds.
“Pakistani culture is so vibrant and so beautiful, we want to share that with the Queen’s community,” Malik said in an interview with The Journal.
“Getting to enjoy Urdu poetry, truck art, Hum TV dramas, sipping chai, and playing ludo to take away my worries are just examples of how tiny aspects of Pakistani culture define who I am as a person.”
Malik and Tanoli explained how feeling they didn’t have representation within other cultural student organizations at Queen’s led them to start their own.
“What makes a home is your family,” Tanoli said. “We just want to try our best to provide [Pakistani students] with a second family.”
According to Tanoli, university often separates Pakistani students from their families for the first time. She described the experience of coming to Queen’s as “isolating” for many.
“It just feels like your idea of fun does not match with other people’s idea of fun at university,” Malik added.
PSA is planning regular chai and “papadi” nights, a household Pakistani tradition and, according to Malik, “a bonding experience.” PSA is also planning times when members can come together to play ludo, a popular board game in Pakistan.
PSA hopes to organize a Jashn-E-Bahara celebration in the spring at Queen’s. Jashn-E-Bahara is a festival which signifies spring and the coming of flowers, Tanoli explained.
“A lot of Pakistani principles are based off hospitality, and are of a welcoming nature,” Tanoli said. “What really unites us is the idea of having an open mind and an open heart.”
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