KARACHI: “You understand, once I see sushi, I really feel so Japanese! However once I see Biryani, I really feel so Pakistani. That’s the factor. I’m each Japanese and Pakistani, on the identical time.”
Anika Shaikh could also be an up and coming model however a particular power to be reckoned with. She exudes a child-like innocence however there’s a hearth burning inside her; the fireplace to make her mark in a aggressive world.
Donning a trendy pixie-cut, some strands of hair fall into Shaikh’s eyes and canopy her alabaster pores and skin, which glows in the dead of night. It’s a sight to behold as she fastidiously munches on her Bun Kebab at a café right here in Karachi.
At first, you could assume this younger lady is simply one other foreigner exploring Pakistan however in actuality, her roots are deeply embedded within the nation. Born and raised in Japan, the 22-year-old has lived most of her life there. However she is half-Pakistani and Shaikh feels a powerful connection to that. In truth, she needs to discover this facet of her identification that she feels she can not ignore.
“I used to have an identification difficulty. My mindset is extra Japanese since I used to be born and raised there. However generally, I really feel so remoted,” she tells The News Observers. “Folks ask quite a lot of questions like, ‘Do you typically return to Pakistan? I used to be like, ‘Wait, I’m completely Japanese such as you.”
She continues, “Given my look, it’s onerous to inform. I don’t assume I look totally Japanese or totally Pakistani. So in Japan, folks by no means assume I’m Japanese and the identical occurs in Pakistan. I used to ask myself which county I belong to however now I’ve cease pondering that manner. I don’t base my identification to 1 nation as a result of it provides me a slim view.”
As a substitute, Shaikh expresses herself by way of style. She is a rising mannequin in Japan and has already featured in a myriad of publications, together with Elle Japan. However ask her what the expertise of being coated by an internationally famend publication was like, she solutions with stunning humility.
“It was truly my first time being featured in so the joy was very indescribable. Once I noticed my face on the web page, I acquired so proud and embarrassed on the identical time,” she laughs. “I used to be like, ‘Oh, I’m on Elle journal and lots of people would see me!’ That was an unforgettable reminiscence and it motivated me to additional profession.”
Shaikh’s father was born and raised in Hyderabad however fell in love together with her Japanese mom, who can converse fluent Urdu and Arabic. The household now resides close to the capital of Tokyo. However her bonding with each the maternal and paternal relations is kind of sturdy, regardless of the cross-cultural and geographical variations. “We collect and meet very often, particularly when there’s a shaadi.”
Nonetheless, Shaikh admits that customs and life in each of her dwelling international locations are fairly totally different. “A Japanese household will be extra impartial; they not often collect collectively. I believe it’s actually good that folks cherish their households and meet typically in Pakistan. I’m positive there’s a heat and love of household that you simply can not get from your folks.”
Shaikh is especially into skincare and her primary tip is to make use of sunscreen every day. She revealed that her day by day skincare routine is “nothing particular,” consisting of a easy oil and lotion after washing her face. “It’s best to know your personal pores and skin situation and select what you want,” advises the teenager. “However strive to not preserve your pores and skin too dry. Once I really feel my pores and skin feels dry, I typically oil and steam it.
She additionally believes incorporating mild train into her routine. For Shaikh, yoga is a should, in addition to consuming a number of heat water. “I all the time carry a bottle of scorching lemon grass inexperienced tea with me, even when it’s scorching exterior. I strive to not cool my physique an excessive amount of as a result of I’ve poor circulation. It helps heat my inside organs, which is sweet for my well being, particularly as a lady,” she says.
However there’s extra to Shaikh than simply magnificence. She is at the moment pursuing a Grasp’s diploma in British Research from Tsuda College, Japan. The fashionista additionally retains an avid curiosity in Pakistani historical past, a lot in order that she plans to put in writing a ebook on the topic sometime, with the hope that it’ll assist the best way Pakistan is perceived internationally.
“It truly is a good looking nation. I hope this picture will unfold to Japan and the entire world. I preserve attempting my finest to encourage myself as a model and an influencer.”