My 2 year old and 4 year old are in their superhero stage.
This means that their constantly shooting webs at me with their tiny fingers, flying around the kitchen island with their palms turned out (Iron Man) and randomly yelling out “Super Heroes save the day” when I’m on the phone trying to make a good impression with a potential employer.
So when my newsfeed started buzzing about this new Pakistani kids show called “Burka Avengers” I was interested. My first thoughts were:
1. Wow! a female superhero that wears a Burqa
2. Positive coverage of Pakistan in the news
3. Where do I watch this show?
This Pakistani animated kids show had gotten some great media coverage, I had read the Huffington post article, seen a piece on BBC and heard an interview with the creator of Burka Avenger on NPR. That same night I watched the first episode.
I was impressed. It was smart, tongue in cheek, entertaining and it has a super catchy title song.
The main story of Burka Avenger is that of an orphan girl, Jiya, who was raised by a kind man (Kabbadi Jaan) who has taught her a fusion karate form called Takht Kabbadi. This martial art style is based on education and karate moves. Jiya is a teacher at a school but she is most fearful of the mayor and villain Vadero Pajero ( oh yes the stereotypical corrupt Pakistani politician) who is constantly trying to disrupt the education of women in his city.
As a first generation American Pakistani mother I want to raise my boys as proud Americans but I also want them to have a understanding of their Pakistani heritage as well as their Muslim identity.
Burka Avengers may just be what Parents like me need to help us accomplish these monumental goals
The show manages to teach our kids Urdu, take away the stigma and negative sterotypes of the Burqa, expose our kids to Pakistani culture and raises important issues about gender equality.
So while my boys will still continue to transform into Octomus Prime and have superpowers like Captain America its refreshing to know that they will grow up with a female superhero who wears a burka and battles bad guys with her Takht Kabbadi.
Kuddos to the Burka Avenger team we look forward to more episodes!