My Mother

My mother is Pravina Singh and she was born in Wellington, New Zealand. Her ethnicity includes Indian, Fijian, Chinese and Turkish on her dad’s side and Indian with other unknown genealogy on her mum’s side. Her mother (my grandmother) came to New Zealand in 1970, following my grandfather. She was born and raised in Wellington, also living in Otorohanga, Te Awamutu and Hamilton when she was young for periods of time. She has a lot of cousins due to her dad being one of 7 siblings and her mother one of 5.

Growing up, my mum lived with her mum, her sister and her grandmother for 5 years and then her grandmother passed away. Her parents then got back together when she was 7. She had a particularly close relationship with her maternal grandmother until she died because she was the favourite grandchild! This was quite noticeable due to her grandmother's more introverted personality. Her paternal grandmother taught her compassion for a hard life which she didn’t always have until she got older and had some life experience. Her family, growing up, was very tight-knit and she would often help out with renovations around the house with my Nana (grandfather). She connected with her dad by watching sport, mainly rugby and cricket. Her earliest memory is of her playing with her grandmother’s dog Raxi and sneaking her food to Raxi.

Growing up, my mum's family would always have people over for Christmas, usually family members and friends if they were in town but their home was always open to people who had nowhere to be. It was very common for everyone to all get together as a community. Growing up, her role models included her mum, Jesus and Miss Evans, her history teacher who was also very inspirational, personally and academically to her. My mum's parents had a lot of civic responsibility and were very involved in the community. They would often discuss political, social and current affairs with her and my aunty. In her home, everyone loved to celebrate together and have a party.

Something that shapes my mum is her faith. As a Catholic, she says, "it is my everything, it’s my purpose, it’s my guidance, and it’s my privilege to have it as a duty and responsibility to teach you (Shana) and role model that Christianity to fellow Catholics and those outside the faith".

My mum has said that she doesn’t have a favourite job because all of her roles in her law profession (civil lawyer, community law centre volunteer, prosecutor and defence counsel, visiting justice in prisons, NZ media council panel member) has been important to developing her as a person and professionally from the breadth and depth of the experiences and skills she has gained over the last 19 years. Even her typical student jobs were really important to shape herself and her people skills. She was and is a practical joker and haas been pretty cheeky in places she's worked, which apparently is often surprising to other people. Some places that are most improtant to her includes church, far North (Cape Reinga), home and anywhere where there are views of water and nature. She said, "these places are peaceful to me and evoke happy memories".

When considering about how life has changed she reflects on how she has grown in her faith. For her, she looks at the absence and presence of faith in the world as a real reflection on how communities function and fail to function. Something else that is important to her is the importance of community service which was established by her parents and it’s something she has taken throughout her entire life. In fact my grandmother was so devoted to community service that at her funeral in 2002, over 1000 people attended. Her parents were always very tolerant and respectful of everyone, no matter the background, beliefs, and the life they’d liven which was something she learnt from them. General hospitality was an important value to them that has been instilled throughout the generations.