When I was a couple of months old, I moved United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.). Some of you may have heard about the city of Dubai, which is a part of the U.A.E. I loved this country growing up & I still do, but it was never really my country. One of the major reasons for this is because I was never a citizen! Don't get me wrong, we weren't illegal immigrants or anything of the sort. In U.A.E., if you're not a local, then you can pretty much never become a citizen (unless you marry an Arab). Also, there's a visible divide between the Arabs & the rest of the population in that country & the Arabs receive special treatment.
After being half Pakistani & half Indian, but not really growing up there & visiting only once in a while & being a part of the U.A.E. but not really a citizen, you can see that even though these countries play a huge role in my life, I can't really call them my country. But the country that I could finally call my own was none other than the beautiful Canada.
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Niagara Falls! This is the view from the Maid of the Mist shop & restaurant area. You can see 2 of the Maid of the Mist boats in the picture (by the falls on the right)!
I moved to Canada when I was 12 years old & to be honest, I didn't want to live here before because I was taken far away from everything that I knew & was a part of my life before. Slowly, I made friends & started adjusting to my new life. One of my first friends in Canada was Mehak & I'm glad to say that 8 years later she is still my best friend. This is also the country where I made & maintained my friendship with a lot of others (ahem, a quick shoutout to KSS).
The Horseshoe Falls (a.k.a. the Canadian side of the Falls). This pictrue is taken from the Maid of the Mist itself, right when our boat was approaching the Falls & we were already getting soaked! I'm surprised this picture came out so good, but at this point I decided to put the camera away before the water ruined it.
The natural beauty of the country speaks for itself. If you're a nature lover, I don't know how you wouldn't like this place. It's got great scenery, amazing trails, & some great places that you can go & visit outdoors as well as indoors.
Even though I moved a lot of times within Canada, I found that each city or town was not all that hard to adjust to. The communities in general were very welcoming & people were nice. Canadians are known for being polite & I have definitely seen this. Since Canada is a multicultural country, it was a lot easier for my family & myself to adjust to our new surroundings.
A picture taken at an event at my university called Celebration of Nations. People from different countries had tables set up to represent their countries. There was food, music, people dressed up in their cultural outfits... what more could you ask for? Guess which country I was representing?
I love how people from different cultures can come in to Canada & they don't have to forget their roots. When you become a Canadian, you're not just a Canadian. In other words, I'm now a Pakistani Canadian! People from different countries come together to celebrate their cultures, inform others about where they come from, & all this is done in an open environment so that everyone can enjoy our multicultural society.
An Aboriginal female does a traditional dance at the Celebration of Nations event.
I call Canada home because none of the other countries that I have lived in play such a major role in my life. It is in Canada where I have found my best friends, passed my teenage years, & built memories. I currently go to university here & if I was to live the rest of my life in any other country, I would most probably choose to reside in Canada. This country is really special to me because it has helped me grow up & be respectful of people from all over the world. I also feel comfortable living here in a Western country while still maintaining my Eastern culture, which is very important to me.
After being born & brought up in countries that I could never call my country, I'm happy that Canada is the country that I can finally call mine.
P.S. This is a contest entry for Jo's Taste of My Country Contest just in case you were wondering why I randomly decided to make this post. & the pics are taken by me :)