about the podcast
Identity is complicated. Our personal identities are framed by the names we call ourselves, the languages we speak, the food we eat, the places we travel to (and have travelled from), the bodies we inhabit, and much, much more. The Ways We Are is a space to unpack all these parts of ourselves through candid, honest conversations. Hosts Avineet Kaur Cheema and Kenya-Jade Pinto amplify and share true and diverse stories--including the experiences that shape personal identity--with guests and listeners, in order to nurture and inspire them to reflect on their own intersectional identities.
Our first season explores “What’s in a Name”. Names are the foundation of our identities and frame how we see and are seen in the world. But our relationships with our names can also be complicated. How should others pronounce them? What do we need to consider when we are naming a child? What might prompt us to change the name we were given? How can communities reclaim the names they were forced to give up?
season 1: what’s in a name
Episode 0: Trailer —
Learn what we’re up to in season one with this teaser of what’s to come.
Episode 1: Kimbo + Kenya-Jade—
Co-host Kenya-Jade explores the origins of her name with help from her mum, Kim.
Episode 2: Sukhinder + Avineet—
Co-host Avineet navigates her name story with mum, Sukhinder.
Episode 3: Prasanna—
Prasanna Ranganathan shares his name story with KJ and Avi, and together the three explore the challenges with 'non-white' names in the legal profession and beyond. The group get real about diversity and inclusion, and Prasanna reminds us all that "who we are is what we bring".
Episode 4: Vincenza—
Vincenza, who once went by the name 'Genna', gives KJ and Avi the low down on the evolution of her name. She walks us through what it was like to change her name and, by extension, her identity, as an adult. Along the way the group discuss how names are related to places, how family dynamics can play in to a name story, and how our names help inform how we perceive and navigate "then" and "now".
Episode 5: Elamin—
What does it mean to give your child a name that you know will be a burden? Elamin Abdelmahmoud joins us for a conversation about parenthood, and what it means to give a child the gift of choice and the 'sting of lineage' that comes with a last name.
Episode 6: Noshin and Molly—
How do you protect your name in public (digital and physical) spaces? Informed by some real-life creepy and uncomfortable interactions, KJ and Avi explore how to maintain personal privacy with a unique name. The duo are joined by esteemed brow guru Noshin Ahmed, and privacy lawyer extraordinaire, Molly Reynolds.
Episode 7: Raisa—
Like many of us, Raisa (ra-ee-sa) Patel has spent a good chunk of her time explaining to others how to pronounce her name. She joins KJ and Avi to unpack an article she recently wrote called, 'Here's how to pronounce my name, and why it matters to me'. Along the way, the three explore what it means to be a Third Culture Kid, the 'crutch' of a middle name, and more.
Episode 8: Nicole—
We're back from our mid-season hiatus with an insightful discussion about how your name - and identity - can change along the mountain peaks and fault lines of a relationship. Nicole Shabada walks KJ and Avi through her name story and the experience she's had identifying with her last name through marriage and divorce. Through this, Nicole learns, and shares, a revelation about what she wants for her future.
Episode 9: Max—
Max FineDay joins KJ and Avi to explore the legacy of a last name, including reflections on Indigineity, how to honour those that carried your name(s) before you, and the journey towards being a good ancestor.
Episode 10: Constance—
Elder Constance Simmonds generously narrates her Métis naming story. Together the group explore what it means to come to your identity as an adult, discuss the fear of making mistakes, and how we can walk together towards reconciliation in Canada.
Episode 11: Yänjaa—
Yänjaa has traversed the world, often explaining (and then re-explaining) to others how to correctly pronounce her name, while, ironically, holding the world record for her ability to remember names and faces. Yänjaa walked us through the importance of remembering names, explored traditional Mongolian oral storytelling, and much more.