December 27, 2021

Meet the Goddess Team

By Pukhraj Ranjan
Meet the Goddess Team

My dream team to capture our last drop of the year, the Goddess collection, was a fully South asian team that lived in Finland! I don't know why I set myself such hard goals but I knew when I find them, we would create magic.

AND MAGIC DID WE CREATE <3

It's time you meet the amazing women behind our Goddess campaign that celebrates not just mine but OUR South Asian heritage and the wonderful goddesses in our lives.

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Meghna Lampi, an extremely talented makeup and hair artist who, like me, has moved to Finland as an adult was my first pick. It's never easy to restart your life in a new country, but when I discussed the idea with her, she said, "We make so many changes and adjustments to live here. I think it would be wise and about time for others to also "kindly adjust" to us too. We have so much MORE to offer!"

Meghna and I, now living so far away from home, crave and hold on to our heritage and roots tightly. and it made complete sense to invite her to be part of this unprecedented shoot .. and I am glad she said YES!

I am not sure which one of the models I found first. Saru Anna or Sarah Nordstrand. Saru has roots in India and Sarah in Sri Lanka, but both have distant connections with their South Asian heritage. Saru shared,

"My relationship to Asian roots are bit complicated.. I was an orphan girl until I was almost 6 years old. I got adopted by a Finnish family of three, where my family already had Indian boy which made me little sister to him.. Since I was already ”old” to be adopted I’ve never fully adapted to the Finnish culture and people. I got bullied very easily, and ones who bullied me were always girls. I questioned my roots even more when people asked me where I am from.. especially when they would doubt my skin tone. Whether is it too dark to be Indian or not. This broke me many times." said Saru.  

Saru's story is not a single one. Colourism is a huge issue in India and around the world, and I hope that this shoot shows that Indian/South Asian beauty doesn't come in "one shade". I know Saru, who is pursuing a career as a model, is going to go a long way and it meant the world to me when she shared,

"This shoot showed me how we all are alike, even though we did not know each other so well! I felt we had this connection I was unconsciously looking and searching for. Felt so heartwarming the whole experience!

Sarah's parents split up when she was little and hasn't had the opportunity to connect with her Sri Lankan roots in the past. However, she mentioned "it was an honour to be part of this team. I got the chance to meet people with the same origins as me, and it definitely sparked the curiosity I have about my south asian roots. I want to learn more!"

"I would love to see more of these teams put together. We are all brown women, with each our purpose in this team, that in the end makes one big happening together!"

 

Oh so would I, Sarah!

And finally, Milja Lakso, our amazing photographer who captured this masterpiece. Milja has a Sri Lankan mother and a Finnish father. And though she visits Sri Lanka as much as possible, her dream is to live there for a longer period of time and experience and learn more about her roots. This was a first fully South Asian photoshoot for all of us and I definitely resonate with what Milja has to say,

"It was a pleasure working with a Nordic-South Asian team for the first time. I felt a new kind of sense of belonging. Our team created colour, warmth and sunshine in the middle of a dark and cold winter day. I think South asian creatives are not seen enough in Finland, so working together was really important to me."
It truly was an honour to spend the day with such amazingly creative women and create something we can all be proud of. South Asian talent is slowly going to take over the Nordic land, so make sure to follow this talented team which made 2021 so so special for me!

 

 

Meet the Goddess team:

I also asked them which Goddess they most resonate with! Find their answers on our Instagram page - https://www.instagram.com/moi.namaste/

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