cover art for Fago- with Bilal Zafar

Getting Emotional

Fago- with Bilal Zafar

Season 3, Ep. 5

The act of caring for someone is important, brave, and selfless. It requires love and compassion, sure, but sometimes it's also inspired by pity and vulnerability of the other person. You're doing it all whilst knowing that it can't last forever; maybe they'll get stronger and not need you anymore, maybe they'll pass away, or maybe you'll leave them.

All these factors come into play in this emotion: fago. It's a mixture of feelings that build into a broad combination of love, compassion and pity, and result in the act of caring for someone. It was first found to be described by the Ifaluk people on a remote island in the Pacific; their peaceful and sharing culture prizes fago as a deeply desired emotion and state of being.

So for this feeling, I spoke to excellent comedian Bilal Zafar, who's written a whole Edinburgh Fringe show about the year he spent working in a care home. He tells me about what it was like having responsibility for residents with dementia, how he coped when they found out he was a comedian, and how it affected his point of view in his current career.

You can find Bilal on twitter, at @zafarcakes, or on Twitch, at And I'm on twitter too, @getemotionalpod, plus instagram, @gettingemotionalpodcast.

Also, as a side-note: this podcast was nominated at the British Podcast Awards last week! It's up for the Bullseye Award- a bit like the best small/niche podcast, so keep your eyes peeled in case we manage to nab a victory!

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