By Maryam Shah
Babaluu Supper Club in Toronto was treated to an entirely different kind of salsa recently: this one was spicier than expected, and to be honest, we’re to blame! With chili martinis, a fashion show by Born in Vegas, and a sarista showdown, masalamommas.com, came into its own on January 26 at one of Toronto’s hottest salsa spots.
The online magazine for South Asian moms was launched with a star-studded party.
Walking in felt like being on the red carpet for an exclusive event. Each guest had the chance to try out the Masalamommas Martini (chili flakes: optional!) Once in, masala mommas of all ages and backgrounds descended into a zone teeming with goods from Masalamommas proud supporters. From family-run winery, Chateaux Des Charmes, to a
specialist chocolate boutique, Chocola Chocola, to unique designer clothing from Sweatshoppe, which facilitates pop-up shopping events. Karyn Climans of TailWags, specializing in helmet covers was also on hand to create awareness about her latest safety
campaign. Stella and Dot and Bite Bar both added a final touch to the experience centre for moms.
“We’re all about family and I know that South Asian culture is very much family oriented,” said Michele Bosc from Chateaux des Charmes, gesturing to the bottles while giving out samples. “I also believe strongly that our wines pair very well with South Asian cuisine.”
Stella Zhamkochian, of ChocolaChocola, was onsite for the launch.
“We just do chocolate-coated crazy things, we do very unique flavours,” Zhamkochian said. “We take little desserts and make them into chocolate rather than having just a plain chocolate.”
Does she consider herself a masala momma?
“I haven’t really until now, I may consider that now!”
With Karen Johnson, a national weather anchor for The Weather Network, as host and Angie Seth, anchor for OMNI News’ South Asian Edition and the stars of the new show, ‘Housewives of Lorne Park’ making an appearance, Masalamommas launch party proved to be an event with a lot of buzz. What’s so special about it? Masalamommas at the event tell us more.
“It speaks to me as being a child of two cultures,” said, mother of three, Soania Mathur. “It takes into consideration my Indian background and also the day-to-day life I lead here in Canada.”
The essence of Masalamommas isn’t limited to the South Asian experience. Amina Mohamed points out that from clothing stores to restaurants, a fusion of East and West is rapidly emerging. You don’t have to be Indian or Pakistani to understand the trials of being a mother, be it stay at home or a working mom, in a culture caught up in a tidal wave of change.
As a child, Mohamed used to reject her South Asian background. Now, married into a different culture with an adopted child, she connects with Masalamommas in a big way.
“I think it’s great that masalamommas.com reaches out to moms in the Indian community but it translates to moms all across,” she said. “It’s sort of like a United Nations in our house but I still get to embrace my South Asian womanhood by my cooking, my design, my decorating flair.”
After opening remarks had been made, fashion line Born in Vegas opened the night with a fashion show featuring the latest active wear with models glammed out by Vasanti Cosmetics. We all know every masala momma needs her comfort, whether running after a 2-year-old or a deadline.
Masala men were also found in abundance. Several men won in the mid-event raffle, drawing laughter from women who wondered what a man could possibly do with some of the gifts. At least Valentine’s Day is right around the corner!
The night also featured a fun interactive game of get-that-sari-on-fast! A sarista showdown, hosted by Saricloset.com, took place with two mother-daughter teams trying to make the perfect pleat in the least amount of time possible. Saricloset.com, a company from California, is an online sari rental service, which provides high-quality saris for rent to those who want to look the part without paying the full rate. Celebrity judges Natasha Ramsahai of City News, Jennifer Singh of CP24 GoTransit and Veronica Chail of Bollywood Boulevard were in charge of picking the model with the perfect pleat.
Ford’s social media manager Ammar Khan found himself right at home amongst the masala madness, saying that it truly reflected Toronto’s diverse population.
“The reason I’m here today is I think it’s really great that South Asian bloggers are entering the social media space,” he said.
The event featured the tunes of DJ Medicine Man, Richard as well as the US DJ’s The Curry Smugglers who provided an exclusive remix for the masala moms that night.
Masalamommas has taken social media by storm, sparking conversations on Facebook and Twitter about what it means to be a mom with South Asian roots today. The goal of the official launch event was to bring that online conversation moms have been having over social media for the last seven months, offline and into a real live event.
“I don’t think masalamommas.com ever dreamed what a great response there would be to this event!” Johnson laughed. “And it is a total winner!”
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