Why I call Canada Home?

Call Canada Home

One of our clients shares why she calls Canada home. Being born and lived most of my life in India, the world’s largest democracy, I had no intentions of leaving my country. I belong to a family of patriots with a history of freedom fighters in my family, those who’d laid their lives for their motherland. I even named my son after a war hero, a war legend. I had dreams of raising him to stand, protect and lay down his life if need be, for his blessed land. At the time, this for me would have been the highest honour.

This my loyalty, and patriotism was put to the test when life circumstances forced me to make a choice for the best interests of my children. I left behind my parents, my siblings, my large friend circle, and my successful corporate career in senior management. I chose to make Canada home.

Canada first came knocking at my door in 1992 with offering me and my family gratis immigration because of my professional relationship with the Canadian High Commission in India. I declined their offer and instead chose a 10 year tourist visa, which too was offered gratis. I didn’t visit Canada during the validity of the visa since I was busy raising my children. However, little could I have known then that almost a decade later, I would actually chose to immigrate to Canada, and that tourist visa would stand me in good stead.

The process of immigrating to Canada was a breeze for me. There wasn’t a hiccup.

I didn’t wrap my arms around Canada instantly, since my loyalties continued to lie with my motherland. I couldn’t, and wouldn’t let my heritage and identity go, nor did I wish it for my children. We had too much good history in our bones.

Since I’ve been in Canada, my feelings have grown from fondness to that of respect. A country which has allowed me to be my own person. A country which has allowed me to maintain my individuality.

A people who make the effort to call us by our names, without abridging them. Names that carry our proud heritage. The name that speaks of a world that is hot and brown. A country of people who show us respect often not realising that when they accept us they also touch and show respect to my father, my grandmother, a cook’s boy, a sweeper girl, a bullock with sharp shoulder blades, those fiery politicians.

As my Caucasian friends befriend, and unravel me through their magnificent telescopes, they gaze across continents. Our lives stretch from Calgary to Calcutta, to Panjab, to Mandalay in Burma, while they unceasingly waiver over the Arabian Sea. Our lives are speckled with stars, sparrows, peacocks, flavours. They’re threaded with potholed roads, undulating, bright, fragrant lands.

Today my body is my motherland, while my spirit and primary loyalty is to the country I have chosen to call home, Canada.

Amrit Kaur

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