I am an immigrant. I moved to Canada in 1998 with my parents. I was 16. We came to Canada with a couple of suitcases and nothing else. We did not know anyone here. We were excited but scared. My parents are from India but I grew up in the Middle East, so there was a big culture shock. But this country welcomed us. When we arrived at YVR, we picked up our suitcases and grabbed a cab. Our intention was to stay at a hotel/motel and figure things out from there. The cab driver, asked us where we wanted to go and my dad told him to take us to a nearby hotel/motel as we did not know anyone. He looked at us and said, ‘Now you do. I have a house that has a vacant basement suite. I can rent it to you. You can live there.’ He did not know us and we did not know him. My dad did not have a job. But he took us in. His wife made us dinner when we got there. We lived there for almost a year.
This is the generosity of the Canadian people. Today I celeberated Canada day at Wesbrook Village, with my family, alongside thousands of other Canadians. We had fun in the splash park, and grabbed a hotdog. There was a 5k and 10k run for adults and a 1k run for kids (which I did not get a chance to participate in). In the community center there was a map of the world and people put stickers on to show where they are ‘originally’ from. It made me think of this story and where I came from.
This country has given me opportunities that I would have never gotten. Yes we are not perfect, but who is. I am proud to call myself Canadian. Happy 150th Birthday Canada!