Archive for March, 2010


We’re shaking things up a bit!

The South Asian Diaspora is blessed with individuals who shine in virtually every field imaginable.  We have artists and aerospace engineers, educators and entrepreneurs – all of whom are can offer wisdom and advice that can enrich our lives and inspire our children.

Starting Monday, we’ll be be turning over our blog to a Guest 1 week out of each month.  We’ll be featuring experts in the fields of health, design, ayurveda, architecture and more.  And you’ll hear from South Asians with different religious and cultural perspectives – because we recognize the importance of educating and exposing our children to all  of what the region has to offer.

Join us on Monday as we introduce our first guest, Ms. Ulash Thakore-Dunlap:  a San Francisco-based mental health consultant, trainer and psychotherapist.  She’ll be blogging about important issues that touch upon a subject that should be top priority on all of our lists:  the mental health of kids and moms.  Ulash has authored several multi-media presentations – at the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) Annual Convention, the National Multicultural Conference and Summit (NMCS) and others. 

She is also the creator of soon-to-be-launched Understand My Mind ( – a resource website dedicated to helping people understand how the mind is affected by trends and stressors in modern society. 

Until Monday…

Kajal :: Baby Makeup
Author: Gnaana

You may be scratching your head at this if you’re a true-blooded Westerner – but back in the day, most families in India (and across the Middle East) applied kajal (or kohl), to their baby’s eyes.  Kajal was thought to have a cooling effect upon the eyes – protecting them from the harsh rays of the sun. Superstition also dictated that applying kajal to an infant’s eye (or elsewhere on the face) would ward off the evil eye.

Kajal has been used since ancient times by Egyptian queens (think Cleopatra).  It was originally made at home by combining the soot from oil lamps with ghee or castor oil.  However, commercially prepared kohls have been found to contain alarmingly high percentages of lead.  Needless to say, pediatricians now recommend that baby’s eyes be kept free from any application of kajal – as it can lead to elevated lead levels in the blood stream, as well as allergies and infections.

In short, if you didn’t make it yourself, don’t use kajal on babies or children.  And read the ingredients: don’t buy anything unlabeled.  To be safe, stick with naturally derived kohls and eyeliners – for yourself and for your daughters.  Two to try:  100% Pure’s Black Tea Pigmented Gel Eye Liner and Physicians Formula Organic wear 100% Natural Origin Eyeliner.

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