Twice a year, YMCA Calgary LINC students come together to celebrate their cultures with a special Multi-Cultural Event. Recently, the South LINC classes held a beautiful cultural showcase in the lobby of the Shawnessy YMCA, and the North LINC classes took visitors on an exciting road trip around Canada at 1000 Voices in the Genesis Centre.
If you missed it, here are some highlights of these exciting events. Stay tuned for the next Multi-Cultural Event – we have them every May and November!
North LINC students worked together in groups representing each province and territory of Canada. During the event, students set up displays in their classrooms; each room was a different part of Canada. Everyone had a chance to visit each unique area of Canada, and learn about what makes it special. Of course, Alberta and Calgary got a little bit of extra attention! At each stop, students asked questions, collected stickers on a map, and had a chance to win Canada-themed prizes. By the end of the day, everyone had been to every province and territory!
Meanwhile, on the opposite end of Calgary, South LINC students worked together in groups representing dozens of countries from around the world. They showcased their cultures with traditional games, delicious food, beautiful clothing, and lots of music. The event was open to the public, so visitors of all ages from the Shawnessy community were able to experience the fun and excitement of the celebration.
Great job, LINC! What a fun and exciting day for everyone. I can’t wait for the next event!
Greetings! Today is the last post in a series of stories written by Neelam’s LINC class. If you missed the beginning, here is part one and part two, to get you started. And if you have been reading from the beginning, thanks for following along! I hope you have enjoyed reading these stories as much as I have enjoyed sharing them with you. And I’d like to say a big thank you to Neelam’s CLB 7 class for writing so creatively, and being open to sharing their stories on the blog. I am so proud of you!!
The Incredible Surprise – by Anitha
I have a small family: dad, mom and me. My mom has 4 brothers and my father has 5 siblings. I don’t have any siblings; I am the only child to my parents. I born in Sri Lanka and my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents were also born in the same country.
While I was studying for my diploma, I got married, on November 12th, 2011. I got my Canadian visa 2 years later. One day, in November 2013, I received the letter from immigration. At that time, I was in Jaffna, one of the provinces. My husband was in Canada. After that I went to Colombo from my city. It took 10 hours to go there. I always travel at night. I always stay in my father-in-law’s house. After I reached their house the next morning, I prepared to go to the immigration office with my father-in-law. Then I got my Canadian Visa and came back home. That day I was fasting. I had to return to my home to finish my fasting, so I called my husband and asked him, “may I go to my house?” He said, “No, you don’t go to your house, you should stay at our house”. I asked why, but he didn’t tell me anything, he only said “If you want me, you can stay, otherwise if you don’t want me, you can go home.” I said, “Ok I am staying in your home,” and after that I was upset the whole day. Why did he say that?
The next day my husband called me and said, “I am in the bus station to go outside regarding my work, so you can’t send a message, because after I go outside, the signal doesn’t work properly.” The next day we had a festival, Diwali. I have to wish “Happy Diwali” to him, but I cannot. On the festival day, it was my final fasting day so I didn’t eat anything. I was so tired and angry with my husband’s parents. Time was passing, my tension increasing, I was walking from the bedroom to the living room repeatedly. At that time my husband’s aunty was watching TV in the living room. Around 3 o’clock I was in the bedroom, then aunty was running through my room and saying, “your husband is coming”. I can’t believe it. I thought “she is joking”, then at that second I couldn’t believe my eyes . My husband was in front of me (When he called me from the bus station, he actually was in the airport) . It was an incredible moment for me. Only my husband’s parents knew that he was coming but they didn’t tell me. I got the Canadian Visa, as well my husband’s surprise visit. These two things happened at the same time, so I was very happy.
Happy Monday! It’s time for a couple more LINC stories. If you missed the earlier posts, and want to read more, here is a good place to start.
My Childhood Memories – by Nazia
I am blessed to be born into a big family: my grandparents, parents, and my three sisters. We lived in a village. I remember it was full of fun, how we played different games with other children and never felt tired. I remember we played in the rain, throwing mud at each other, pretending like it’s a snowball. We went cycling and quarreled with each other, and also went on school trips and summer vacations together. It was a great time.
I also remember a family story about my cousin’s engagement ceremony. It was held on January 26th, so outside the weather was very cold. We lived in a village, but the bride’s family lived in the city, which was far away and took two hours to travel there by vehicle. So the day came and all the people were ready to attend. It was raining outside. All the people sat on the bus, excitedly enjoying music and chuckling with each other. Finally, we reached the hall and the bride’s family was already there to receive us. There were lots of people and after some time, we met our cousin’s fiancée. She was looking very pretty. Then they wore engagements rings and took photographs. After one hour, we gathered for dinner and enjoyed our food. The weather was very bad. It started to snow, so we were ready to go back. Our relatives said, “Do not go, stay here!” but we wanted to go back home.
So we started travelling and when we reached the center point, we got stuck in the snow. We spent all night on the bus and it was very cold and frozen. The next morning, a machine come and cleaned the road and then we were able to go home. It was a very memorable day for all!
The Children’s Library – by Saima
I was born in Karachi, Pakistan. I lived my life in a nuclear family system, even though most families in my town lived in joint families. When I was growing up, I lived with only my parents and siblings in my house. My auntie’s and uncle`s family lived in another separate house.
We are seven sisters and brothers, (I am number six), and my house was full of noise. My father was a very hard-working and disciplined person, he wanted all the work done on time. My mother is a very caring and kind-hearted women. My childhood period was wonderful, we played together and also fought among ourselves.
Many stories belong to my family, but some are very interesting. When we were ten or eleven years old, during summer vacation, we planned to make a library. One room was extra in my house and we decided to open the library in this room. We made some space for setting up books, after that we bought and arranged many books there. We gave the place the name “Children`s Library”. This was where we spent our extra time. It is a beautiful memory.
One special and interesting thing was that my elder brother wanted to loan these books for pay, because he wanted to make money from this source. We didn`t like this idea. My neighbour`s children came and borrowed the story books and returned them after 2 or 3 hours, for free mostly. I still remember those marvellous memories.
As the time passed by, we grew up and got busy with our studies and lives. All of my family members live in Pakistan except me. I have been living in Canada for one year; I miss my family and all the time that was spent together.
This is the 6th installment in a series. If you missed the earlier posts, and want to read more, here is a good place to begin. Happy Reading!
Big Event For My Family – by Nasrin
Last July was a very special month for my family. Our religious month Ramadan is in July and also my birthday is July 28th, the same day as Eid last year. On July 28th we woke up at five am, and my daughter- in-law and I prepared food for my family. We went to mosque at 8 o’ clock for prayer. After that, we came back to my house. I was shocked, because my house was decorated and my husband’s friends and family members were in my house. They gave me a surprise gift. I was very happy. After that, I cut the cake and celebrated my birthday party. In the evening we went to a restaurant. It was a very special day for my family, because that day I celebrated a half century birthday!
Boarding School – by Niru
In my family were six members: mummy, papa, elder sister, younger brother, grandmother, and me. During my childhood, we lived in village. My father was a farmer and my mother was a home-maker. Starting from our birth, my father decided that his daughters would never study in the village school. We would take our studies in a big city. We completed our primary education in our village and my father got our admission in Baroda at “Maharani High School”. So I went to boarding school when I was in Grade 6 and my sister was in Grade 8.
Now our lives were changed. We lived in boarding school, so we had to do our routine work on our own. It was very good as well as bad experience for my life. At home, mummy did all work for us and we didn’t do anything. It felt good to us now that we took all our responsibility on our own. I felt homesick after a few weeks. Every day in the evening time, we had prayer in boarding school. Sharply at that time I missed my home.
One day what happened, the bell rang for prayer. All students gathered in the prayer hall, our matron took attendance. When she spoken my name, I was not there, so they all looked for me. I was discovered crying in one corner. After that day, I never cried in boarding school. I stayed for 5 years in boarding school. There were some golden memories with my friends. We celebrated all the festivals, played in free time, and every Sunday went outside to the market and ate Golgappas. It was a really golden period of my life that I spent in boarding school.
Plans are underway to have the YMCA Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada Program up and running at the South Health Campus YMCA for the beginning of September 2013! LINC is extremely excited to be joining the South Health Campus crew and to be expanding into a part of the city where there is a great need for language instruction classes.
Funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, LINC offers immigrants to Canada a wealth of knowledge into Canadian culture and society and helps to connect immigrants to their communities. Currently, we offer LINC classes at the Shawnessy YMCA and the Saddletowne YMCA.
If you or anyone you know would like to join the LINC Program, please contact one of our LINC program administrators. Our South Administrator can be reached at 403-252-4206 and our North Administrator can be reached at 403-537-2714.
The countdown is on to our September LINC launch at SHC!