Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A delivery

As I have mentioned here before, I purchase most of my clothing from Gudrun Sjoden in Sweden, online.  I don't like shopping per se and I like her designwork and the quality of her clothing.  Thus, when a sale came up after Xmas, I found reduced a woolen jumper (not the English term of jumper, it's a dress that comes to the knees), it is almost boiled wool, a little more tightly woven not quite felt.  It arrived this morning.  Our delivery person for several years has been a Tamal, originally from Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon.  Governed by the British from 1815 to 1948 when Ceylon achieved independence, this young man was one of three children, sent to Canada when he was thirteen years old.  His father died when he was two years old; his mother sent him to Canada for safety reasons.  He said that you cannot go out at night, it is not safe there.  He said that you can be taken from your home and shot in the street for no reason.  For those of us who are not immigrants, who have lived in our countries all our lives, in North American, we have little concept of what it is like to be an immigrant.  Myron, as he calls himself, a derivation of his Tamal name, has connected with my husband, who flew to India often as a pilot with Air Canada and has spent considerable time there so Myron and he have made a more familiar connection than I have.  A cheerful young man, now I would say in his late thirties, he is married, lives up here north of Toronto although he has to drive into Toronto to pick up his load and return his truck at night, then drive back up here, another hour or more to get back to his home.  He is married, has children.  He came to Canada not knowing anyone.  I asked, if at thirteen, he was frightened.  He said no, it was more frightening back home in Sri Lanka.  He was cared for by a family in Newfoundland for a period of months while the Canadian govt. made familial connections for him and he was flown into Toronto to live with a friendly uncle and aunt who raised him.  He graduated from high school, college, worked and eventually ended up a UPS driver.  How little we, as people who have never had to make a transition in our lives, from one country to another, are so complacent in our lives.  We never think of how it is for immigrants coming to our country.  Living in the country, in winter particularly, our lives are very quiet.  Myron allows us a few extra moments to learn about his life and gain an understanding I would never have had had I not ordered from Gudrun Sjoden, had the parcel delivered by UPS and by Myron, a Tamal, who now says Canada is his home, it has been very good to him and no matter how much he pays in taxes, he's grateful to be here.  I sometimes feel I've led a very sheltered life...not sometimes, I know, I have led a very sheltered life.  Myron's mother is still back in Sri Lanka.  He hopes to bring her to Canada, but in the summertime, he said.  We smiled.  Introduced to snow first off is not an experience many would want having lived their lives in a warm country.


At January 8, 2015 at 2:16 PM , Blogger Marion in NZ. said...

That was all very interesting Rosey. I came to NZ from England many years ago and even with a shared language and a shared culture, it was surprising how many things I found different. It pays to keep very quiet for the first year or so ! Easier for some than others !

At January 8, 2015 at 2:44 PM , Blogger Bee said...

many sayings to catch the unwary,my mother was asked to take a plate , she did and was very embarrased when she found it was supposed to have something on it,she thought it was because there were a lot of people going for coffee.We have had many laughs here as Harry came from up north and his sayings were so funny. kids used to come to listen to him LOL. He used to call me his little chickadee which I thought was sweet until I learnt abit more about the bird.

At January 8, 2015 at 5:58 PM , Blogger RoseyP said...

Oh Bee, what could little chickadee refer to...I'm guessing a bit of an unchivalrous connotation maybe (lol)

We have many diverse cultures here in Canada, here even in our small town an hour north of Toronto. It is heartbreaking now to see all the violence that is going on, with the Paris assassinations and so on, that one cultural religious belief is affecting a whole range of Muslims. To leave one's country of origin, to me, would not be easy. Marion, NZ is not unlike England in climate yet in culture, I think it must have been very different, more closely aligned with Australia rather than the UK.

At January 9, 2015 at 4:19 AM , Blogger Marion in NZ. said...

When I first came here it was said that NZ. was more English than England ! I think NZ has always seen itself as slightly more "refined" than Australia...something to do with British convicts being among the first settlers in Australia !!!

At January 9, 2015 at 6:34 AM , Blogger RoseyP said...

I've heard that too, Marion, class systems being what they are, Australia has still not lost that first blush of its settlers being convicts and New Zealand noted as a jewel of an island much like Britain. It still has that reputation. Fran of course could add some further information here if she was tuned into the board.

At January 9, 2015 at 6:45 PM , Blogger Fran (Sth Aust) said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At January 9, 2015 at 7:27 PM , Blogger Fran (Sth Aust) said...

Rosey, South Australia is the only Aust state where convicts were NOT part of the first influx of Europeans to the continent and we pride ourselves on that. However, we are also said to be more British than other states for some reason. Being 4th generation Aussie-born on both sides I find it hard when overseas to be mistaken for a 'Brit' just as NZers find it hard when they're mistaken for Aussies and Canadians for Americans I imagine.
On another tangent, as I think I have mentioned before, my oldest son's partner is from Iran, but calls herself Persian, being from that race rather than Arabic, and a Zoroastrian to boot. She is in the throes of transferring her visa status from 'student' to 'partner', which I mentioned to my Irish/Scots brother in law (who arrived here as a child) the other day. He immediately went off on a rant about certain (non-European, I would hazard a guess) immigrants and how they expect and are 'given so much' and 'try to get around the system'. I was shocked to the core to hear such from someone who had arrived here as a 'Ten Pound Pom' (assisted by the government) himself. To my mind we are all immigrants, except for our indigenous peoples, and should welcome and accept any and all. Sadly that is not so easy any more with that small number of Muslims who are intent on spreading their poison wherever they live, plus the attitude of our present government and their treatment of 'boat people'.

At January 10, 2015 at 7:40 AM , Blogger RoseyP said...

Fran, I'm glad you caught this thread. I learn from others and I had no idea of how Australia was settled other than by convicts...interesting that that piece of information sticks in people's minds and the whole of the country is tarred with the same paint brush, isn't it. Thank you all for your interesting input here. While my UPS driver's life may not be the stuff of the Quilt Chat site, it is a slice of life that struck me last week in reminding me, I've led a very protected and really, quite a peaceful life (aside from the ups and downs we all deal with). We are all very luck to be living in North America despite the growing disrespect, anger and frightening issues with gun violence. Anger over religion leaves me cold. It doesn't matter what religion is believed in, the core of any religion is love for yourself and for other human beings and that has been lost in today's world. The radicals of this world believe not in religion but in anger, in violence, in control over other humans, with little value or concept of consideration for others, an allowance of allowing others their beliefs without domination.


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