Thank you racist folks!

All the racists finally forced me back to write shit about them. Yes, I am back. A lot happened in my personal life while I was inactive. I had already hinted at health problems in the family but there was also a car accident. Luckily, my dad is okay but now we don’t have a car. Also, I am in school and it is crazy hectic. So, yeah with all the crappy things in life, I just didn’t want to blog. Oh, and I also forgot my password. Yeah, I am ashamed. But, now back to the racists. First, the new Miss America is of Indian descent. Yeah, go Nina Davaluri. Oh, wait some people were jealous and decided to display all their ignorance. Then, a Sikh-American professor from Columbia University gets beaten up by bunch a racist assholes. In both cases, racist idiots thought Brown people=Terrorists. Let me tell you one thing, you scumbags (I mean the racists, not the sweet readers) brown does not equal terrorist. There was also a real terrorist attack in Nairobi, Kenya and guess what, a bunch of innocent civilians died. Some of the victims had brown skin. I know, this might seem like a revelation but brown people are also victim of terrorism. Oh, and not all of us are Muslim. Even if someone is Muslim, it doesn’t automatically mean they are terrorists. Muslims are victims of terrorism too. Yup, it’s true. Sorry to burst your bubble. If you still do not believe me, then you are a racist douchenozzle who deserves to lick Hitler’s poop in Hell.

The End

Brown Parent Quirks: No privacy

Indian parents do not believe their children need privacy. This means bedroom doors must remain open. If they are closed, it is perfectly okay to come without knocking. I am an adult but my parents still come to my room without knocking first.

Dad (opens door without knocking): Beta, Did you eat?

Me (annoyed): No, I did not. I’ll eat later.

Dad: Why keep the door closed? Don’t you feel suffocated? Keep it open so air can circulate.

Me:

 

BTW, if you are alone in your bedroom and doing something on your laptop, parents will assume the worst. What are you watching? You avoid bad sites, right? Sorry to disappoint you but I am not watching porn. Look, I am on WordPress. Ah, desi parents are a hoot.

 

Homophobia and South Asian community in Canada

Homosexuality is not discussed much in South Asian cultures. Well, heterosexual sexuality is not discussed either so homosexuality which is considered abnormal is far from everyone’s mind. If you’ve read my previous posts, you would know I was 12 when I moved to Canada. It is here that I actually first learned about homosexuality. I know this makes me sound very ignorant but I did grow up in a small town. These topics were not discussed in good middle class homes. India does have Hijras (the transgendered/eunachs) but no explanation was given to me.  For the first time here, I realized that there were people who fell in love with another person of same sex.  It was weird to me and it took about a year for me to wrap my head around it. But, eventually, I came to accept it as normal and part of life. There were people who were different from me but they had the right to live a happy life. Sadly, not everyone from South Asian community comes to that understanding. I do think younger South Asian Canadians are more accepting. There are also older and wiser people who are  fine with it. Nevertheless, a silent majority still exists that is homophobic. Now, you won’t hear much about South Asians beating up any gay men or punishing a lesbian woman. Most of the older generation wouldn’t even recognize if you are gay unless you explicitly state it to them. Even then, they might just act awkwardly around you or avoid you.  But, they are quite intolerant when it comes to South Asian LGBT community. I feel it is much harder for a South Asian man/woman to come out of closet. Even if parents are accepting, the larger South Asian community isn’t. Again, the concept of izzat comes to play. You might lose izzat if your son marries another man. People might blame you for raising your son wrong. It is quite an awful thing. Now, I understand that these problems exist in the larger Canadian society as well. Sure, Canada is quite progressive when it comes to laws. But behind the thin veneer of politeness, there exists deep intolerance. The hope again lies with the young people. They are more accepting of people that are different from them. Although, even among young people, there is homophobia.  Hopefully, educating people helps with understanding. The western media is slowly doing a better job of portraying LGBT characters. My mom’s favorite talk show is Ellen and she doesn’t care about her sexuality. Progress!

I would love to hear from from people who experienced intolerance due to their sexuality. How did you overcome it? Please share your experiences as there are many young people who are being bullied and suffering  due to intolerance in their communities. Your views might help them and the broader community in accepting and dealing with homosexuality.

Indian Aunties and Wedding Proposals

Yesterday, I went to a close family friend’s home. We were invited for dinner and since their house is only a year old, they were giving us valuable suggestions. The lovely Mistress of that home, the auntiji asked my mom when I will be getting married?  Have they started looking for a suitable rishta ( marriage proposal)? My Mom told her I will get married when they find a handsome billionaire. My mom is awesome. Anyway, my worst nightmare is starting to come true. All of my family friends and relatives are starting to inquire about my single status. Leave me alone, people! I do not want to get married anytime soon.

I applaud my mom trolling auntiji’s

Brown Parent Quirks: Ethnocentrism

Brown parents can be very ethnocentric. My parents are from India and according to them, everything of value came out of India.

I am watching TV. Suddenly, they are talking about yoga.

Dad: Our ancestors created yoga. We also created the number zero. Our shastras (vedic textbooks) talked about earth being round and revolving around the sun. We were far ahead of Medieval Europe.

Me: Yes, I know that

Dad: Look, the whole world does yoga and meditation but we Hindus created it. We also have the best food, clothing. The way we celebrate our festivals, our culture is amazing.

Me: Yes?????(Not seeing his point)

Dad: India is not all just negative. There is good stuff too.  We actually have family values.

Me: Okay.

Dad: You should talk about good things from India in front of others.

I don’t get the let’s praise India in front of others mentality. I like to talk about the negative aspects of society because I want to bring attention to them. India is very dear to me. I was born there and most of my family still lives there. I want India to be a better place for them. I love Canada as well which is why I blogged about Rahtaeh Parsons case. Both countries have many good things that are admirable but they can both improve in other aspects. India just has more harrowing challenges then Canada. Anyway, all cultures have given us something beautiful and I get to enjoy that. YAY for Toronto being a diverse city.

The tale of my three last names

I have a last name with strange family history. Northern Indian last names differ from Western last names. If you are a Hindu, your last name reflects your caste. Since, my last name is Sharma, it reflects my Brahmin ancestry. Hence, people in India can identify my caste through my last name. According to Wikipedia, Sharma could be used as a first, middle or last name. The word has positive connotations such as joy or shelter. My understanding is that people of Brahmin caste can opt for Sharma as a last name but no one knows of its exact origin and how it turned into a popular last name.  Moreover, there are like a bajillion Sharmas  in India and the US and Canada due to immigration. Some of these Sharmas might marry another person with the last name Sharma. But before you cry incest, there is another layer behind the last names that need to be scratched. The last name doesn’t tell the Gotras (lineage). If you are Brahmin, this means you descent from one of the great sages. Hence, my dad’s Gotra is Bardhwaja, Therefore, he is a descendant of Rishi Bhardwaj. My mom who is also Brahmin has the Gotra of Vatsa. Hence, even though they are both Brahmin and their last name Sharma, their lineage is quite different. Currently in India, you cannot marry a person from the same Gotra if you are Hindu.

Now, let’s make the whole last name thing more confusing. If you have come across many Indian people, you might have noticed some Indian people with the last name of Bhardwaj. Here is the catch: My dad could have the last name of Bhardwaj since that is his lineage. I could as an adult change my last name to Bhardwaj. But, this is  not the only last name I could have. I could also opt to have the last name Barat since that is the name of my father’s sub-caste. Now, this last name is actually found in Europe as well. Apparently, it is a popular last name that originated from Normandy, France. Of course, I do not have French lineage. But the word Barat is found in Bible, Bhagvad Gita, and Quran. Now, Gita was written in Sanskrit and it is a sister language of Latin. So, it is totally possible for people from two different continents to have the same last name. Furthermore, there is speculation that  Barat connotates a profession such as Baker. Now, my ancestors were cooks for the Dogra King because the King would only eat food cooked by Brahmins as it was considered satvic (pure). So, it kind of makes sense in terms of sub-caste.

Therefore, I have  three options for a last name but I am happy with my current surname. BTW, this post was triggered after I asked my parents about our family name. They knew their Gotras and sub-caste but had no other knowledge. I didn’t even know too much about caste system except that it exists in India and some people are treated horribly due to their exclusion from the system. Those people are known as Dalit. Another interesting tidbit was that the caste system was more fluid and there was some social mobility. Under the British rule, caste system became more rigid in India and people couldn’t move up the caste system.

Hope you all enjoyed this post and please feel free to tell me about your ancestry. I have  learned other cool things about my family and I might share in the future.

Why I am single?

When I was in University, other people talked about meeting hot people in the clubs. They would ask me about my experiences. What do you think about this or that club?

Me: I don’t go to clubs. But, I have other interests…like I read books….Oh, I also read mangas/manhwas….Um, also I read webcomics….yes, almost forgot about them.  I means who wants to go to clubs right? I just stay home and party in my head. Anyway, clubs are full of douchebags! Oh no, not that I was implying you…Um…Ha Ha Ha….Look at that guy….what is he doing?


Brown Parent Quirks: Expecting Excellence

Brown parents do not accept mediocre results from you. That B you got on your test might as well be an F. In the eyes of Indian parents, nothing short of an A will satisfy them. I remember when I had to switch High School after my parents moved. The guidance counselor from the new school told me I had good grades but I needed to do more extracurricular activities. My dad was so perplexed when he heard that. He kept muttering to himself that I had a B in math. How could this counselor call me a good student? I am a fairly recent graduate from University. I majored in History and Political Science. My parents were not happy with my decision but nevertheless supported me. My dad recently told me he would like me to go to Law school. I am pondering over it. This fall, I will go back to do a Post-graduate diploma and Co-Op. But now I am thinking after that course, should I study for LSAT?  I did want to be a Judge when I was a little girl. Nah, I just wanted my own gavel.  Anyway, Indian parents are a lot like East Asian parents. They expect excellence and you need to deliver it.

 

P.S: My parents are a lot less strict then some parents. None of my siblings went into some science program. So yeah, they are very easy going.

Brown Parent Quirks: Comparing children

Brown parents have a habit of comparing their children to other relatives/friends/neighbors/colleagues offspring.

Typical conversations in our family.

Mom: You know my friend at work. Her daughter is 12 but cooks all the food at home. Look at you, you are so old but lazy.

Me: Mom, I am busy with school.

Mom: Busy? You just laze around. Go learn to cook some dal.

——————————————————————————————–

Dad: You know our neighbor  I was talking to him and he has a daughter around your age. She is a pharmacist. You know she has a good job and makes lots of money.

Me: But, I love History and Political Science.

Dad: What will you do with a B.A? At least go to Teacher’s college?

———————————————————————————————-

Both Parents (when they vacationed in India): We saw some of your childhood friends from India. They are so smart, mature and pretty. Look at you? Who will marry you?

Me: Who wants to get married? Not me. Nope.

Mom (Horrified): Don’t say that! You will get married. Not now but eventually. If you follow my advice, you will be healthy and pretty.

 

My parents are perpetually annoyed with me

 

Canada and Immigration Reforms

So, I had a good break yesterday. But, I am back to blogging. Yay!

Immigration is highly vital to Canadian economy.  Canada has a falling birth rate and an aging population. To offset that, Canada brings immigrants to increase the growth rate. Therefore, immigration is an important topic for all Canadians

In this post, I will go through some of the immigration reforms that have been taken by the current Federal government.

The Good:

1. Under the Federal Government, Expression of Interest System has been created. This system will allow the employees and the provinces to pick people from a pre-screened pool of applicants.

Why is this good? Each province has shortages in certain workforce. For example, Alberta might need more Construction workers. The provincial government can pick immigrants who have these qualifications and fill the market need. It helps the immigrants because they actually have the chance to work in their field. How many times have we heard of doctors or engineers working as taxi drivers. Hopefully, this system will help minimize that.

2.  The government is focusing on younger immigrants from 18 to 35. It will fast track their applications if they are fluent in one of our official language and have a job lined up in Canada.

Why is it good? It will help a lot of students from foreign countries who are studying in Canada. Also, we need a young, dynamic workforce in order to have a healthy economy.

3.  The federal government has emphasized language proficiency (English or French) in order to obtain citizenship. If prospective applicants are not fluent in either language, they will not be granted citizenship.

Why is this good? This is a no brainer. They are working and living in Canada. We need people who can understand our languages.

4.  The federal government has tightened rules for spousal immigration in order to prevent marriage fraud. The new rules stipulate that they must live with their partner for 2 years before getting a permanent resident status.

Why is this good? It is good in the sense that it will prevent people from defrauding Canadian nationals. The rule is flexible if there is an indication that there is domestic violence or abuse between the couple.

The Grey area:

Under Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act, applicants from 29 countries will have to provide fingerprints and photo identity while entering Canada. These countries are third world countries like Afghanistan, Somalia, and Vietnam etc. They introduced it to prevent fraudulent applicants from entering or re-entering Canada. On one hand, it protects Canada from people who might abuse the system. On the other hand, it is racial profiling of sorts. I think this policy has both pros and cons.

The whole Refugee system has been changed. Again, I think the government’s intentions are good and I understand the need to tighten the rules. But, the rules can be abused and individuals put into detentions.

The Bad: Temporary Foreign Workers

Under the new system, temporary foreign workers will increase. These workers tend to work in unsafe environment with  lower wages, low or no benefits and are exploited. I don’t think this is good for Canadian job force as a whole.

 

Overall, I think the Federal government has made some important improvements. I know that the Conservative party has a reputation of being anti-immigration. So, some people will see the rules as such. However, being an immigrant myself, I am pro-immigration. 

Let’s be honest, most immigrants are good and hardworking. However, there are a few that exploit the system . Tightening the rules to prevent such individuals from entering Canada is a good thing. However, there are some potential areas mostly pertaining to refugees that the State might abuse.

What do you think? Do you think the current government is on the right track with immigration? Things that you think the government can improve upon?

 

Important Sources: Source1, source 2, source 3, source 4. source 5.

 

P.S: I am not a Conservative party supporter but I cannot fault them for their immigration policy. Their environment record on the other hand is dismal. I try to judge each party and government on policy by policy basis.