I’m So Grateful To Canada For Everything It Has Made Me

I wouldn’t be who I am, of course, without my parents. But more so, I think it has been my move to Canada, which has given me my greatest strength, and courage.

Before, I came to Canada, I was nervous, anxious, and filled with demons. Little by little, the complete and utter acceptance that Canada filled me with, made me realize that I’m fine the way I am, and I have friends who like me. I also realized that I could literally be whoever I wanted to be, despite my accent, and background. I was going to be able to do what I wanted to do in Canada, as long as I put enough hard work into it, which of course, I was willing to do.

I got into universities I wanted without much effort, and I got jobs I applied to, without much difficulty.

It was as if I had come from a difficult unaccepting guardian (the Middle East) and I had suddenly come to the accepting bosom of Canada. I was here, and I was allowed to be here, without any ifs, ands, and buts.

I am sitting here right now in a Starbucks surrounded by polite, generous, and kind Canadians. Most of them are white, but I don’t feel displaced, or out of place. I know that I am as Canadian as any of them.

I feel included, accepted, and one of them. I am a Canadian, and no one can take that away from me. Even when I travel the world, I tell everyone with pride that I am a Canadian, and an Indian. I am both, and I will always be both. I love being both, and I am accepted as both.

I don’t have to hide my identity, or hide my ancestry. In fact, the more Indian I am in Canada, the more Canadian I am, as everyone here has two blended identities. They are all Italians and Canadians, or Persian and Canadians. Everyone knows they are not just Canadians, and that kind of solidifies our Canadianness, I think.

I know everyone is going to accept me on days where I choose to be more Indian, by celebrating my holidays or wearing my traditional garb. No one is going to blink an eye, if I show up wearing my traditional outfits. No one is going to throw anything at me, or push me down a stairwell. In fact, they will come and ask me questions and show me the politeness that only Canadians are capable of.

I love Canada, and I am so grateful that my parents bought us here, rather than any of the other places we could have immigrated to.

People love Canadians everywhere we go, and I know whenever I come back, after a bout of travel, no one will look at me twice. I’m Canadian now, no matter where I go or what I do.

I’m so comfortable on this land, and so accepted, that this unconditional love I feel makes me so grateful to be a Canadian.

I wouldn’t be the confident, risk-taker that I am without having the support of my family and of Canada. I know I am protected no matter where I go, or what I do. The support system in Canada is so strong that I am never worried about going hungry or homeless. I know I am well-taken care of here.

I walk through the world with my head held high, proud to be a woman, proud to be a Canadian-Indian, and proud to be who I am, utterly and truly. No need for any apologies. Except of course, the numerous sorry-s.

I am, after all, Canadian.


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