Anona Community: Meet Priymedh Kulkarni

Anona Wellness Profile: 7.5/10


PART ONE: Getting Familiar with Priymedh

1. Tell us a bit about yourself!

My name is Priymedh, I’m currently 25 and live in Toronto, raised in Ottawa. I went to Carleton University and studied accounting, and now I work in accounting as well.

2. What does your typical day look like? Do you have any hobbies or special interests? What do you like to do for fun?

Most of the time, I wake up at like 6:30 – 7:00 am, leave at 7:30 am, get into work by 8:30. At lunch, I go to the gym, then work until about 4:30. When I’m home, I do some chores and then usually try to do some reading before going to bed. On the weekend it changes, usually there’s something fun going on and I’ll end up doing that. I wish I was more productive on the weekends, but usually its spent on 'unproductive' things.

My number one hobby is definitely music. I listen to a lot of Toronto/GTA rappers and hip hop artists. I’ve even tried making some music (sorry, no Soundcloud link guys). I’m also into cars and watches, but those are more passive hobbies. In terms of cars, I actually used to have a Youtube channel that was up when I was in high school, but I don’t use it anymore (he didn't give us this link either). I’ve also been going to the gym a lot lately, so that’s turning into a hobby as well.

3. How have your dreams and goals changed throughout your life?

When I was younger, I wanted to do car design, but then I realized I didn’t know how to draw, so that didn’t work out! Then, I really wanted to work in accounting, which sounds so lame, but that’s what I wanted - I think it was me trying to be practical. Now, I want to be in some sort of leadership position where I have some sort of creativity and flexibility in terms of daily tasks.

The older I get, the more I realize I want to do something on the side or on my own. I’ve realized throughout my life that I tend to have the most motivation and drive when I’m doing things for myself.


PART TWO: Culture

4. How closely do you identify with and affiliate with your culture? How assimilated into mainstream culture do you think you are? How assimilated into mainstream culture are the members of your family?

Ethnically I’m Indian. And honestly, I’m ABOUT it. I’ve been about my culture from day one. I’ve always been about Bollywood music. I was always super into my culture growing up, and I think a large part of that was how involved my parents made sure that I was. Even as a kid growing up, every Friday I watched Bollywood movies and that’s what kept me so close to it. Overall, I’ve always loved being Indian. The food is fire, the music is fire, a lot of fire tings in India man.

Another thing that helped me is that there’s a pretty big Indian community in Ottawa, so that’s another reason why I’ve always felt so close to my culture. I also travel back and forth between India and Ottawa, so the exposure I’ve always had has helped too.

I was first gen, I was actually born in India, and came here when I was 3. In terms of identifying with Indian culture and Western culture, it’s always been a bit tough, because in Western culture, a part of you always feels like you’re a little different because you’re not really from this country. But then, when you go back to your own country, you also don’t completely fit in, because you weren’t raised there, you don’t know the inside jokes, the social norms, etc. because you grew up in a Western country. You’re always in this in between, where it’s like, you’re partially this, partially that, but not a whole of anything. You always kind of feel like an outsider.

In terms of my family, they’re actually super cool. So I’ve never felt like there was a different level integration with me and my parents. My parents have always been pretty open and understanding.


PART THREE: Wellness

5. What comes to mind when you think of wellness?

I think that being well ultimately has to do with feeling content. Feeling calm and peaceful while also having a sense of happiness. Being happy with yourself and being happy with your place in life.

6. Do you think that wellness and associated activities are typically well understood/accepted within your culture and overall community?

Traditionally, wellness has always been a big part of my culture, because yoga has its roots in my culture and meditation also is a big part of it. However, I think in the day to day operations of my culture, it really isn’t focused on.

I think from a community standpoint, an immigrant community mostly focuses on survival. You come to a new country, and ultimately you’re focused on survival. I think wellness can sometimes take a back seat because of that.

7. What wellness activities do you typically engage in (if any)?

I think music is a big thing for me for my wellness. Listening to new music from either an artist I really like or listening to a new artist’s album from front to back really centres me. For me, it’s a good escape from the daily struggles I go through. I think going to the gym has also been a really big thing for me when it comes to wellness.

8. Are there any activities that you’ve always been interested in trying, but haven’t tried yet? Why haven’t you?

I think meditation in particular is something I want to try from a wellness perspective. I know some people who do meditation and they seem to really like it. I think the things I mentioned above about the gym and music kind of blocks out your thoughts, whereas meditation kind of brings them front and center. I find it kind of hard, because every approach I’ve read online requires you to sit somewhere and actively strop thinking about other things, and my thoughts start to creep in and I end up giving up.

Another reason I haven’t done it is because I don’t make the time for it. You have such a long to-do list that sometimes actively sitting down and meditating feels like a waste of time. But then you end up wasting like 2 hours on social media apps, so you could have made the time.

9. In a perfect world, what wellness activities would you like to see more of in your community?

I think the tools for wellness exist, but sometimes we don’t go and find them or you’re scared to do it because of different barriers in place. For example, yoga classes are something I’ve never really actively looked into and have been scared to go to. I think the thing that’s prevented me from doing it is the intimidation factor of me going into this class, not knowing what I’m doing, and then being worried about whether I’m doing this thing correctly. You walk in, and everyone else is doing it right, and you look like the biggest bozo in the room because you can’t do it.

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