In honour of Asian Heritage Month: Immigration, hope, and the Canadian Dream
By: Kiren J Chui, SFU Student
One: The introduction
I was born in Vancouver to two Hong Kong-born immigrants. I’ve had the privilege of growing up in two cultures: a culture found in my home, family, and church, and a culture in my school, friends, and overall community. I have a foot firmly planted in each world, because I have simultaneously experienced both these cultures my entire life. I recognise my privilege. I am neither a stranger in Canada nor in Hong Kong, because I’ve always known and loved both.
I’m one of the lucky ones, the ones who grew up living the outcome of the choices their parents made. Choices that were repeated by many across the world, spanning decades, ages, and socio-economic statuses. Hearing immigration stories from immigrants of different backgrounds and their journey to a new identity is a crucial aspect to understanding each other, and perhaps ourselves, better.
I asked my friends, their parents, family friends, and others in the Asian-Canadian community to share their immigration stories. These are deeply personal stories, and pseudonyms were given to some interviewees in order to protect their privacy. While everyone came to Canada for various reasons, there is one recurring theme: the search for something . . . different. Better. New.