From focusing on designing this perfect “Maple Leaf” in branding collateral as a marketing manager at work in Pakistan to living in a country with major exports of Maple products and 47 million maple trees around in the country has turned many leaves in the chapter of my life.
As I stepped into this country I knew we were going to land of diversity where an influx of immigrants was raised for a decade. I believe in respecting and learning from it as I had lived in Ireland before for a year to study and learned each person from a different background brings stories, history and a part of their culture to the country they move to & people around get to absorb and discover from cultures.
Canada is a multicultural society whose ethnocultural make-up has been shaped over time by immigrants and their posterities. With patterns of immigration changing each new wave of immigration has added to the nation’s ethnic and cultural composition. One of every 5 people you meet in Canada is a foreign-born, that makes 20% of the population. Since 1967, 17 million people around the world have decided to make Canada their homeland. Thus, with these stats, everyone says that 50% of the Canadians are non-born Canadian “Torontonians”. People who have moved 20 to 30 years back own as much of Canada as a country as a person who had his 3 generations lived here.
As life moves in most of the developed countries around the clock, the same happens here. There are always fears in the back of our mind when we move to the new land that if we can practice our beliefs in the same way as we used to do in countries we were born or not. Practicing one’s religion is important for most of the population. I could see Churches, Gurdwaras, Mandirs, and Mosques all nearby because the country has over 200 ethnic origins as reported back in 2011.
I haven’t moved around through provinces in Canada yet but we hear things change from province to provinces, coast to coast. But as of now, I haven’t felt much comfortable anywhere but here in Canada in practicing what’s wired in my brain over years, my values, my religion, paving my own path on these roads here.
Just practiced my first Ramadan here with the community and had the peace of mind to go and offer my Eid-Salah with 1000 plus people in an open-air arrangement with no security scanners and fear to get judged. Isn’t it a blessing? I am sure same is the case with other ethnoreligious groups.
As Justin Trudeau mentioned in a speech 2 days back.
“Anytime I meet people who got to make the deliberate choice, whose parents chose Canada, I’m jealous. Because I think being able to choose it, rather than being Canadian by default, is an amazing statement of attachment to Canada.”
The country we are born in will always be ours because that’s our origin but that doesn’t mean that the choice we make as an immigrant is less of a value, because we choose to own another country, make it our home for the generations ahead. Indeed, it takes a lot of courage to make it a deliberate choice. Hats off to all those who did.
We all have our versions of “Successful Life” as per our upbringing and socio-culture exposure. It has changed for me over a period of time. “Clean Air”, “Peace of Mind”, “Family Security” and “Good Enough Money” to live this life as you want is all that is on the ladder of my mind now. Still crawling to understand the dynamics here but I am sure for all those who made this decision will land on their feet’s soon as the country’s regulations and people are all warm enough to help you survive the winter blues and all those low notes days when we compare past and present …the the only key is to surround yourself with positive things.
Thanks to “CANADA” for making it an easier transition. Happy 150th Canada!