My Parents & Yours


Our parents have struggled a great deal for us, and only when you grow up and get a family of your own, or mature (whichever one comes first for you), you’ll realize just how much they’ve been through to keep you and your siblings well, alive, healthy and most importantly, happy.

Just imagine how life would’ve been if you were born and raised in a country like India or Sri Lanka, then moving to a foreign country (France, Germany, Canada, Australia) where you don’t speak the language, English is barely a second language, and only half, or even a quarter of your family is there with you. Go on, close your eyes, and take a moment to put yourself in those shoes. Living back home is hard enough with all the clichés and stereotypes that include you not being able to go out without a bodyguard if you’re a girl, or you being the eldest brother and not being able to enjoy your freedom because you have to look after the family (of course, these are the times from way back when, I understand things have settled down a little bit from then). Compare your life now to how it would have been if you were living back home, think about it for a second; sounds scary, doesn’t it?

With my Mom, everybody but her Dad moved to Germany. She barely spoke a word of German (Deutsche) and I’m not even sure how fluent her English was. Regardless, she was in a foreign country with her older brother, two younger sisters and her Mom.

My Dad on the other hand had it a lot more different than her. In most cases back home, if you’re a male in your family, you’re expected to work; or go overseas, work and then bring your family over one by one. My dad has two sisters and three brothers, and during the time he was traveling, he wasn’t married. He worked in Singapore, and Paris, and passed through Japan. My Dad was all alone during these years, can you imagine what that felt like?   After my parents fell in love, everything sort of fell into place. Except they didn’t want to settle down in Germany (although it did seem like a nice enough place to get married and raise kids) – their ultimate goal was Canada.

Being an immigrant, just migrating to Canada, just getting married, just settling in, just this, just that, there was great struggle. We weren’t rich, but we weren’t poor either. My Dad worked two jobs while my Mom stayed home to take care of my siblings and me. After I was old enough to go to school, both my parents disappeared into their jobs to ensure that we were living a decent life and were looked after.

I’m not going to go into the depths of it all because that would take forever, and

ain’t nobody got time fo’ that!

But you can only imagine what they had to endure through their life to get us to where we are today. Close your eyes, and think about your parents. Some parents have been through more than mine, some had it easier or some parents just decided to stay put wherever they were. At the end of the day, all I’m really saying is, appreciate your parents and don’t ever take them for granted because they have crossed oceans and seas for your future. Show them the respect they deserve, give them the appreciation they earned, and most of all, don’t forget to tell them you love them.

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Inthu Ravindraraj

Inthu Ravindraraj

Born and raised in Toronto with a passion for writing and dancing.

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2 thoughts on “My Parents & Yours

  1. I encourage second generation tamils to move out of toronto, work in U.S for few years. Stay alone, cook alone, learn to live alone. You’ll understand why FOBs act the way they do.

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