I Am Canadian
"Where are you from?" Such an innocent question. At a party in Toronto recently, a Russian émigré asked me that question and I said I'm from Malaysia. In the context of the conversation, it was benign enough. The person expressed curiosity about my culture.
We Are Hockey
When I heard about the NHL players' lockout, I was saddened - much to my surprise. I've spent my life avoiding "Canada's game." I don't play it. I don't watch it. Yet, the game is lodged in my subconscious. I'm Canadian, after all.
Thirty years ago in May, my family and I came to Canada in search of a better life. We were lucky as immigrants. Back then, we were embraced by our adopted country. My family didn't have to face physical hardship to migrate – there were no clandestine meetings nor did money change hands. Most important, we did not face the spectre of a massive barricade to our entry into a better life.
The New Solitudes: suburban vs urban
When Canadian author Hugh MacLennan released his book Two Solitudes in 1945 it defined this country in terms of the English/French tension. Almost 60 years after the publication of the novel, the linguistic split has faded and in its place there's a different schism – a suburban/urban divide that has polarized our social and political values.
My Canada Includes Toronto
I was 19 when I first came upon the "Little Apple." My week-long adventure included the fruit and vegetable anarchy of Kensington Market, the steaming dim sum halls of Chinatown and the subtle finery of Yorkville. I walked through neighbourhoods lined with maple trees and 100-year-old mansions, passed by people of all stripes and classes.