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Title

Swetha Ravin

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Swetha Ravin's parents moved from Sri Lanka to escape the war in their home country. They worked hard and educated themselves in order to provide for themselves and their children.

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0:02:53

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Please contact Immigration History Research Center staff for permissions not covered by this Creative Commons license.

Transcription

It was 1992 when my dad finally decided to come to Canada. He thought that his home country, Jaffna, was unsafe because of the war. He also thought that Sri-Lanka wasn’t suitable for his well being and had found that most of his family had already moved to Canada. He had been thinking about coming for about 2 years and now he finally decided to. The service my dad was provided with when he first came to Canada was social welfare.

At the time he wasn’t married to my mom he lived with his friends. The government assisted my dad by giving him a certain amount of money each month until he found a job. He used that money to pay his portion of the rent until he found a job.

My mom and dad arranged their marriage and they decided that my mom would come to Canada and live there with my dad. My dad then sponsored my mom. The flight from Jaffna to Canada was around a day trip and it costed $2000. Once she came they got married in Canada on November 2, 2001.

When my mom came they moved to a small apartment in Toronto because they knew that was a place where they wouldn’t be the only Sri-Lankans there. My parents both worked even though they didn’t know English. It was a hard time for them but they got through it. When my brother was five years old, they finally decided to move away from the city. So, they moved to Woodbridge.

Even though this all sound very simple it was certainly not. One problem was that they were surrounded by new faces and had nobody to really rely on because everyone they knew there had also just moved to Canada. As they were trying to find a job it was very difficult. Both my parents were in debt and it was very hard to find a job because they couldn’t speak English. Before my mom found a job she decided to go to adult school in order to study English and to get a Canadian high school diploma. During her time in adult school, she also was pregnant with my brother, which made it even harder. Since my mom was in adult school, the only person who was really working was my dad which forced him to have 2-3 jobs a day. My mom was then unable to continue her education due to the debt my parents faced.

Not only did all of these problems happen but they also found Canada very different than Sri-Lanka. When my parents were in Sri-Lanka they relied on farms to earn money. They grew gardens and used the vegetables and fruits as food for themselves. They grew an abundance of food and whatever was leftover was sold to earn money for other needs.


In conclusion, my parents went through many difficulties as an immigrant. They had faced many problems but in the end it worked out. Now, they have a happy family with me and my brother and I am very proud of my parents for have gone through all the challenges.