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Stories Between Our Fingers

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These are the faces of Canada in the twenty-first century Canada is one of the greatest places on earth. I mean I have 3 girlfriends and I am one of the coolest kids in our school The happiest day of my life was when I came to Canada because right after I left Africa I knew that I was going to have a better life More than a million immigrants and refugees have come to Canada in the last five years… a third of them, under the age of 20 Hi my name is Pauline Mukashema, and I too am an Immigrant. Five years ago I came to Canada as a youth and am now working at the CBC in Edmonton. Recently I was able to reflect on my past when I spoke with young immigrants who lived here in Edmonton, Alberta. I think it’s important that youth share of their experiences building a life here in Canada This presentation that you are about to see is of young people who have put together their creative talents to produce a video that tells of their experience living here. This is their video project - STORIES BETWEEN OUR FINGERS. We came here for a better life, because back there it’s really tough I came here because of education and it’s a peaceful country We came to Canada because there were like lot of war, yea, and my mom wants us to go school and like have a good life. Since there was a war, there were fights, people were dying, there were killings, there were bad people killing civilians and everybody was scared you know People they came and then after when they came, my mom was holding my older brother so they told her you guys have to decide like between the baby and the father. So my mom had to decide who can she give to them - the baby or the dad or... the husband? But my dad like no no, there’s no way they are going to kill my baby when I am there So it’s better for me to get killed… When people are dying, they were killing people so my dad took me but he couldn't take my mom because there wasn't enough time I came from a war torn country too I was born in Rwanda and when I came to Canada I faced many challenges. For me, language was not a barrier because in addition to Kinya Rwanda I also spoke French and English But for many they were not so fortunate. Five questions with how many and five with how much breaking the language barrier was the biggest challenge… I came with 4 words: yes, no, hi, bye yes that’s good but it is a challenge they know they must overcome now I remember in that time it made me feel shy, but now when I think about it, it’s funny like in that time especially guys try to talk with me and I just feel shy and try to run and then they said it’s not called football it’s called soccer and they said no its football and they said football you throw with your hands and I said no it’s a foul the first year in Canada is the hardest you are isolated, you’re homesick adjusting to different way of doing things then I started to feel sad I miss my family all my friends, all around So um I got like homesick for six months just crying, cry adjusting to their new life wasn’t always easy but at times it was certainly funny like in Argentina they say if you throw salt that’s bad luck for you but if you came to Canada you see the pickup throw salt in the street for the snow you know so everybody would have bad luck I went to the washroom when I was going to go wash my hand I didn't know how to wash my hands and automatically the water came I didn't know how to flush the toilet because in my country is up and you pull it up and then it flush but here you just pull it up. I didn’t know how and then I ask my dad to tell me how and he told me I am Latina so my family they like to meet every Sunday and make party for anything so Canadian system is more different The biggest shock was how people interact among each other I am still learning that four years after, it’s very difficult I got an experience with Canadian life he got tired because every weekend something happen like one weekend he wanna do something say no way its my cousin birthday I cant say no to my cousin birthday next weekend we wanna do something I say no wait I got a I have empanadas day Like every weekend something happen because that’s the way how it is in Latin culture, especially Sunday is for family There is an immense reference actually to old people in my society and there’s also lots of social conduct that is when you are young woman um when you are crossing the street or something you see some young men you say hi and pass right you go, you go ahead. Here when you even smile at somebody they think that you have you know some ideas Since we came to Canada we began to have hope and dare to dream and these young people in this video boy can they dream big What do you want to be when you grow up? A teacher An Actress An Engineer If you be a lawyer you will get a lot of money and you get to save peoples lives from going to jail I didn't think about it yet... but … I don't know now I want to take business administration or business management I want to be a superstar I want to be in movies, I want to be on TV always Let say, I might want to open a restaurant or something I want to travel um I want to write books a singer, a dancer, a star I want to be a social worker because umm I want to work with immigrants and new comers to Canada A model Why? because I’m good at it. I’m tall. I’m beautiful. I’m sexy. I’m hot everything that you need Canada is our Country now and we are proud to bring our determination to make it a richer country for us all I never wanted to move from there but when I came to Canada I really really liked it so now I don't wana go back The advantage of being in a country like Canada Is that you get the infrastructure, you get the books, you get the research grants and you get everything you need I will just say Life is too short for you not to do what you want do If you have a chance just take it and do it

Video Details

Duration: 8 minutes and 57 seconds
Country: Canada
Language: English
Producer: Ian Keteku
Views: 142
Posted by: kahunwa on Dec 29, 2008

Edmonton Immigrant Youth

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