Stories about Canada

7 types of Pakistani immigrants you’re likely to come across in Canada

It’s been a little over a year since my immigrant status got confirmed in Canada and I have met some interesting kinds of Pakistanis. Immigrants who tend to fall in a certain ‘type’. Even I fit in there somewhere. This is based solely on my observation and interaction. At the risk of over-generalisation, here goes: 1. Perpetual Complainers Inc. (PCI): ‘I complained in Pakistan. I’ll complain here. Stop me if you can.’ In Pakistan, they complained about the skin-sizzling heat. In Canada, they complain about the mind-numbing cold. Back home the hoard of house helpers was too much to handle. Now, they whine ...

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Dear politicians, is this really the right time to discuss politics?

For the third time now, Imran Khan has threatened to dissolve the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly. And for the second time, Tahirul Qadri has pledged to transform Pakistan into an Islamic utopia by coming all the way from Canada. Is this because the greatest problems Pakistan faces right now are entirely of a political nature or because Pakistan is not ‘Islamic’ enough for Canadian nationals and that needs to be changed? Yes and perhaps, respectively. Or maybe, the state is a bit too intent on cutting down on tax exemptions. Yes, our politicians have identified Pakistan’s major problems spot on. When the army stepped in and began its military operation ...

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Of aunties, dawats and controversial conversations

A few months ago, I was at an Eid brunch and everyone seemed to be having a jolly good time, exchanging pleasantries and smiles while sitting pretty in their colourful Eid joras. However, things were not as lovely as they seemed. As soon as one lady left amidst loving goodbyes and kisses, the other ladies present started speaking ill of her. “Khud toh dawat nahi karti kabhi, aur sab ki dawaton mein ajati hai!” (She never hosts parties herself but shows up at everyone else’s!) This left me shocked and mighty uncomfortable as this was said by none other than the host herself. The ...

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Don’t worry Pakistani immigrant, the West will not treat you the way you treat your minorities

Migrating to a Western country has many perks. Considering Pakistan’s current situation, it’s quite natural for people to look for opportunities elsewhere, and migrating to a more developed country is usually one of the most sought-after solutions. Those who can avail it, almost always take the opportunity as soon as it presents itself. So, it is disheartening to see some of those very people crying wolf on the smallest of issues and basing it on the religion they belong to or the country they originate from. Here is an instance where I experienced such behaviour first-hand. One fine evening, I bumped into an acquaintance ...

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Every Jew is not a Muslim foe!

At the very outset of this blog, I would appeal to the readers to be open-minded. To label, without any basis, all Jews outspoken in favour of tolerance to Muslims or vice versa, of having some hidden agenda or being sponsored by vested interests, is similar to a non-Muslim making such a generalisation for all tolerant Muslims. Being an Indian Hindu, writing on this topic, I ought to clarify that I am far from being an Islamophobe, nor am I an uncritical admirer of the Israeli state. I have written this article only out of a commitment to world peace. Some say that ...

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I thought Canada was a tolerant country but I was wrong…

It was March 13, 2014 – a pleasant morning in Ottawa, the capital of Canada – when I boarded an OcTranspo bus from the University of Ottawa to go to Carleton University for some laboratory experiments. I was very happy since my wife and child were to join me in Canada within three days after almost 10 months. They had faced some trouble with getting a visa initially and at one point I had almost thought of quitting my PhD fellowship. So it was with a feeling of contentment that everything was finally sorted and there would be a smooth road ahead, that I ...

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Pakistan cannot be an ‘Islamic’ republic, not if women are being raped everyday!

On March 13, 2014 a girl from Muzaffargarh set herself on fire outside the local police station when justice was not served to her. This innocent girl was allegedly gang raped by five rapists, who were granted bail by the police. People just stood there, watching her burn alive – as if she was giving a circus performance and our efficient media covered the incident from every angle possible to make sure it sold like hot-cakes on TV. The mother threw sand on her daughter in an attempt to save her. And finally one policeman, among the dozens who were watching, remembered his ...

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Lost in translation: 12 signs you’re new to Pakistani culture

Recently moving from Canada, where I’ve lived practically my entire life, to Pakistan, I’ve had to do a lot of learning.  Here are few of the things I have learnt since coming to Pakistan: 1) My mother-in-law asked me to clean char maghaz. Source: Reactiongifs I was relieved to learn that I was supposed to clean seeds and not four animal brains. 2) There is no uncle by the name of ‘lal baig’. Source: Reactiongifs 3) Don’t’ wear bronzer in Pakistan; rather than getting compliments on a healthy glow, aunties will recommend Fair and Lovely. Source: ...

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I am a Pakistani woman and there is nothing wrong in letting men help me carry my luggage

Recently, I came across a blog titled I am a woman and I can carry my own luggage. By the looks of it, the writer clearly seemed frustrated by how porters at the airport behaved with her and it is obvious that her opinion hailed from her experience. However, she also accused Pakistani men of treating women badly and felt harassed by the porters. This, I think, was a tad exaggerated. I, personally, do not see what the issue was all about. On the one hand, women talk about having equality and stand in line with men but then, they also wish to be respected ...

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Toronto: Beware of cameras, lest you end up like Mayor Rob Ford

“Kursee kabhee na chorna, (don’t ever leave the seat)” is something we say to our politicians in Pakistan all the time. That is the same thing I wish I could say to Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford, if I ever get an opportunity to meet him. Talking about meeting him, I did meet him once this summer in a desi food street festival in Toronto. It was in a Pakistani restaurant called ‘Lahore Tikka House’ in Gerrard Street and he was invited to honour the South Asian festival by his presence. We shook hands and with his permission also took a few ...

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