Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Taste of My Country

I was born in India in a city called Pune (it's close to Mumbai). However, because my dad was Pakistani, I was considered a Pakistani & had a Pakistani passport as well. It's just the way things work back there (& usually your father's first name is also your middle name)! Even though my background is a mix between Pakistan & India, I was never brought up there.

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.

[Click images to enlarge]

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 :)


Rai said...

I've never been to Canada.
But I totally get what you mean with the whole moving all over and not sure what call home.
I'm stuck here in the south now & hate it. =/

Interesting post. I was suppose to enter this
but I have no pictures. lol

April 5, 2009 at 8:42 AM
Meya said...

i love the pictures! so beautiful! i really enjoyed reading this. good luck!

April 5, 2009 at 3:42 PM
ekimura said...

hi babe~ the photos are beautiful! I want to visit there someday! I worked with pakistani people and they are the most educated, super nice and well mannered~n beautiful!!*naturally with no makeup* i really enjoyed working with them! you are so beautiful I get mesmerized looking at your photos :D

April 5, 2009 at 5:41 PM
--Mrs.Christina said...

Niagara Falls is so absolutely gorgeous. My husband and I were talking about going to see it. (after we get done with these student loans in a few years, lol) And I didn't even know about that contest, but I had just done a post about my hiking trip at one of our state parks, so I may have to check it out!

April 5, 2009 at 7:31 PM
Sonya said...

The photos were beautiful, and it was very interesting to read and get to know you briefly. i have only been to Canada as a little girl. I'm glad you have found a place you identify yourself with. You are such a pretty girl! I have seen Pakistani that look of European descent, and I have seen others that look Indian. Pakistanis seem to have a wide range of skin-tone and complexions. That is so unique :)

April 5, 2009 at 8:27 PM
Nu Nu Doll said...

You're gorgeous! Are you a photographer? Your pictures are beautiful! :)

April 5, 2009 at 11:33 PM
BeautyRx said...'re so beautiful! I just wanted to share with you that I went to India about three years ago and am in LOVE with India. It's so beautiful and the people there are so nice! I hope to visit in the future again :)

April 7, 2009 at 2:07 AM
Yumeko-chan said...

i'm Chinese Canadian! Go Canada! <3

April 7, 2009 at 12:19 PM
May said...

My aunts and uncles are Canadian. I visited Vancouver, BC many many times. I would love to visit the other parts of Canada. Thanks for sharing the photos. It's beautiful. I hope you will win the contest=)

April 10, 2009 at 10:08 PM
May said...

My aunts and uncles are Canadian. I visited Vancouver, BC many many times. I would love to visit the other parts of Canada. Thanks for sharing the photos. It's beautiful. I hope you will win the contest=)

April 10, 2009 at 10:32 PM
ellinelle said...

..hello ..I really enjoyed reading this post are so so beautiful be asian woman are my beauty idols ..I have moved to different country now ,it was hard first but now I can call this place home ..I have 2 places in the world to call home.. have a nice evening ..

February 23, 2010 at 4:55 PM

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