A Peep into an Indian-Canadian Life
Residing in Canada in the 21’st century there must be over thousands of girls that fall under my category as a first generation, Indian-Canadian girl trying to establish her own identity. As an Indian-Canadian girl, Canada isn’t a place foreign to me but rather to my culture and my first-generation immigrant parents. Growing up in a house old with parents whose desires were not to adapt to the western society but to impose a more or less traditional way of living was not easy. Although, Canada is a country that is vastly multicultural, social justice is understood to provide equal opportunities and privileges to everyone in society. In this essay, I will be arguing how personal cultural beliefs and parental standards make it hard for first Indian-Canadian generations like myself to thrive in the western society. Firstly, I will focus on being a part of sexism culture that tells me where to go, what to wear and how to behave. In addition, we will also look at how parental standards towards education, marriage and from Indian society cause us to struggle in keeping a balance between our roots while trying to keep up with the Canadian way of life.
To start off with, the Indian culture, and what it means to be a girl. Having a girl or more than one girl in an Indian family is seen as a lability. So being the family of three girls and no son, our family was already less superior to the ones from the relatives. The Indian culture comes off as very sexist. A woman is the property of her father before marriage and then the property of her husband once married, and although we are living in a Canadian society these views are still present. The biggest injustice for myself is, the struggle between what is acceptable for me in the Indian culture compared to the freedom that is given to me from living in a liberal country like Canada. Firstly, Where I am allowed to go? As an Indian girl growing up in Canada I think of many examples where I was deprived of an opportunity solely for being a girl. The first example of this would be the overnight trip to Ottawa with my grade six classmates. Me and my sister come home and ask my father permission to go to the overnight trip to Ottawa, he then responds, “as girl you should not spend the night out without a parent present” and my grandmother agreeing. I have a first cousin, he’s the same age as us and we’ve attended all secondary schools together, to anyone’s surprise he was allowed to go to that same exact trip. Growing up I didn’t realize or understand how wrong that was. Another example of this was post-secondary school, while many of friends were applying to university/ college solely based upon which program they wanted to attend my sister I were more concerned about which one were closest to home, because going away for university/college was not an option we had. My sister ended up going to University of McMaster commuting by bus an hour and a half...