Click For Photo: https://shelovesmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/claire-colvin-we-make-room-when-we-want-to-2.png
I often forget that I’m an immigrant. I have two flag pillows on my couch—one Canadian, one British—but when I sing the national anthem, it’s “Oh, Canada” not “God Save the Queen.” When asked, I say that I am Canadian. This is home.
We moved to Canada on New Year’s Eve 1981, right in the middle of one of the snowiest winters on record. We bought a house two weeks after we landed. When the nurse next door saw my very pregnant mom, she helped her find an OBGYN. Another neighbor loaned us a kitchen table. We registered at a local school, found a church, and started to learn about new things like Thanksgiving Day and Hallowe’en. We became part of the neighborhood. Five years later we stood in front of a judge and become Canadian citizens.
Lives - Road - Parents - Canada - Choice
Growing up, I never really questioned how easily we slipped into our new Canadian lives. I know that it was not an easy road for my parents, but we came to Canada by choice, with a job already lined up and resources to see us through. We had a huge running start and from there we were welcomed and given a chance to belong.
I wonder if part of the reason I don’t always think of myself as an immigrant is because no one questions it? Being British was close enough to pass as Canadian right from the start. Our skin didn’t immediately give us away as foreigners. Our names were easy to pronounce. Our accents, while we still had them, were considered cute. As an adult I see all the ways people are othered and separated out, whether they are immigrants, or just have a different cultural heritage and I have to acknowledge one more layer of my own privilege. That kind of discrimination rarely...
Wake Up To Breaking News!