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An American Girl

Mar/07/2023 / by Cate Reynolds

Kavi Sharma is the first South Asian Girl of the Year

American Girl recently unveiled their 2023 Girl of the Year, Kavi Sharma, an Indian American girl growing up in New Jersey. The release of the doll has already brought positive impact to the community—here’s what parents and kids have to say:

“The story is important to all the young girls who will see parts of their lives represented. One story cannot possibly depict the complexity of India or the Indian diaspora. That said, I took immense delight in showcasing slivers of Indian culture, including dance, yoga traditions, food, clothing, and the many languages and diversity of India’s people. It was a gift to include Kavi and her family celebrating magical festivals like Diwali and Holi.” — Varsha Bajaj, author of Kavi’s story 

“I’m so happy! I can’t wait to get one. It makes me feel like I belong more in America, like my story is an American story too. I can even see a day when mixed kids like me have more stuff created for us. I’m ‘comfortable in my skin,’ but not everyone feels accepted or liked. Sometimes I go to Indian cultural classes, like for language or cooking, and I meet kids who are shy about their culture, because the world isn’t always friendly. I hope that the products made for our community help kids feel great about themselves.” — Samsara, 10 years old
“South Asian representation is important to us because it’s still rare. Because it’s rare, it’s not diverse enough. In terms of cultural and media representation, our hope is to see varying skin, face, body types represented and to see economic, class, caste, faith, and culture diversity, because South Asia is vast and ultra diverse. I think that South Asians are powerful, and we contribute a lot to each society we inhabit. Having grown up in NY and seeing the economic diversity of our communities, I truly hope that the products created for our children are accessible to all our children!” — Amudha, mom to Samara

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