I was in Grade 10 when we came. When I was told our family was moving to Canada, I didn’t know what to say, because I didn’t know what it meant. I don’t think we expected to stay here for a long time, to tell the truth. My parents had this idea that we’d come, study, and check Canada out, but we’d probably return to South Korea. That was probably why I didn’t make a big deal of it. I also didn’t know much about Canada, except that it was north of the US. I had to go to the world map to find where this Toronto place was.
My parents wanted a better education for us, and I think they wanted a new life and something different for themselves. My father’s younger sister was a pharmacist in Toronto, and she invited my dad to come (my parents ended up running a small coffee shop for about 13 years in downtown Toronto). My dad is the eldest son of eight, so moving was a very big deal for my grandparents. Dad had a very difficult time adjusting—he went back more than once every year for the first three years (since then, my parents return every year or two)…
Words and image copyright Jasmine Mangalaseril. Used with permission.
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