Many immigrants move to Canada to build a new life for themselves and their families. Often, this includes providing their children access to an education system which they wouldn’t be a part of in their birth country. The GenIs’ parents may have had limited learning opportunities, if at all, so they may be unfamiliar with the system, types of resources and help which are available for their children here. When a teacher advises their child may have a learning disability like Dyslexia, the word is often intimidating enough let alone, trying to figure out a way to help and sometimes that’s where it ends for everyone. Some South Asians find it easier to ignore the situation and are more concerned about what the community would say. One GenI asks if we have any suggestions on how to help her sister who needs some assistance. Join DearDIDI and the panelists as they share their stories in the next episode of the webseries, REALLIFEtalks.
Here in Canada, there are many common-law relationships between couples who are committed to one another but they don’t want to get married. For South Asians the concept of living together without a marriage certificate is often a contenious issue within families. When DearDIDI addressed this question in her column, a reader emailed in her story. She had made the decision to do what she wanted – move in with her boyfriend but she lost the relationship with her mother in the process. These big life decisions can be traumatic for all when culture and traditional norms are challenged by Gen-Is. This discussion was quite passionate because there is a lot at stake, namely the familial relationships. We are also pleased to have Simi, from Jaswant’s Kitchen as our special guest sharing her thoughts on the subject.
Join DearDIDI and the panelists as they share their stories in the sixth episode of the webseries, REALLIFEtalks.
Generation Immigrants are children that are born or raised here to immigrant parents. They are living between two cultures. This show is an honest talk about finding a balance.
In my family, there’s a lot of talk about how everyone has the right to choose which path they want to take in life, whether it comes to choosing a life partner or a career. But it’s all just talk. When my sister and I want to do anything that goes against my parents’ plans for us, all hell breaks loose. Mom threatens to stop eating. Dad raves and rants about ungrateful children. We feel like we are in the eye of a storm right now as my sister is dating someone not deemed ‘suitable’ and I want to work in the hospitality industry, not deemed ‘respectable’ by our parents. Are all families like this or we unique in this hypocrisy?
Communication within a family is a treasured commodity. Whether it is open, direct and honest or slightly boastful, manipulative and hypocritical… communication is not always present so when it is, we have to appreciate that we have something to work with. When it comes to South Asian parents being open to supporting a child’s hopes, dreams and aspirations, sometimes it’s not always unconditional and followed through. People don’t always agree with the life choices that need to be made. Both parents and children will use whatever is in their arsenal to get the other person to agree to what they want. Like a mom not eating or a dad berating his kids but in the end, there is still dialogue taking place and eventually there will be a solution. If you want your parents to support your decisions then you have to tell them about it and start the arduous process to make sure that they understand where they walk the walk and talk the talk. Hold them to it regardless of their threats. Every parent has a plan for their child until reality rears its head and the plan gets thrust aside for what is important… making sure that your child has the best chance of living a good life full of the right choices for them and no regrets. I was pretty lucky since the rules were pretty clear in my house. But I still had to shake things up a bit. I desperately wanted to go to university and my dad didn’t want me to go. I had to convince him that this was the right path for me to choose and I did it by not talking to him. It broke my heart but it worked. In the end communication is a twoway street, if you don’t want hypocrisy in your family then you need to step up and have a conversation about the choices you are making regarding your own life and start involving them in your reality rather than their fantasy of what the future looks like for the two of you… from here it looks pretty bright. Good luck!
For many Gen-Is going to University is a special time in their lives. It is when they start to figure out what they want to be when they grow up. What path they want to follow. Which career is right for them. But it is also a time to change their minds and explore their options. Ambitions to be a doctor one day and next not so sure. However, parents don’t always see the Uni years in the same way. They have a definite plan for their child’s future already in the works which includes a post-secondary education. Beginning a “real” life of deadlines and responsibilities and stresses often isn’t all that it is cracked up to be. What if, you wanted to take a year off and find yourself. But your parents dangle the tuition fees and not having to worry about your finances. Do you tow the line or not?