IMMIGRATION: Merry Christmas. No seriously, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Published: December 24, 2012

NICK NOORANI
VANCOUVER DESI

Growing up in Bombay, Christmas was a special occasion. I remember getting all excited to go see Santa Claus at the Bombay Gymkhana. Given the lack of reindeer in Bombay and India in general, Rudolph was replaced by an aging camel, which I still find hilarious given the contrast of the speedy reindeer to the leisurely amble of the camel!

In school Christmas was celebrated with great pomp and we were taught all the carols by our music teacher. Once I started working, I enjoyed many evenings dining with my Goan friends singing, dancing and overeating! Moving to the Middle East, it was great to witness Islamic cities like Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Dubai having malls filled with Christmas trees and joy.

And then we migrated to Canada. And people wished us Happy Holidays! Several times when I responded by saying Merry Christmas people looked surprised. Then a Judge in Toronto decreed that a Christmas tree in City Hall would hurt the sensitivities of immigrants! And a bureaucrat in Quebec decreed decorations should not be displayed in places that the public would see or have access to.

And a joyous greeting fell prey to political correctness. How i wished these people in their enthusiasm to ‘protect’ my ‘feelings’ had met my portly dark Santa riding the bedraggled camel at the Bombay Gym they would have seen Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Jews all celebrate a time of the year!

And as Canada embraced multiculturalism, several Canadians (including the Prime Minister) wished immigrants Gong Hey Fat Choy, Happy Eid and Happy Diwali!

Confusing right?

This year is special. My five month old granddaughter will celebrate her first Christmas with her own stocking by the fire place. And I hope she grows up wishing Canadians Merry Christmas respecting their religion and traditions as much as they respect ours!

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

Nick Noorani is an immigration expert, social entrepreneur and Managing Partner of Prepare for Canada, an online magazine for immigrants pre-arrival and post. He can be reached at nick@nicknoorani.com






Featured

attack on Parliament Hill

Soldier, gunman who died in Ottawa rampage identified (w/photos, video) [updated]

ANDREW DUFFY OTTAWA CITIZEN Updates at 5:10 p.m. Soldier killed in War Memorial confirmed as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo Suspect, reportedly Canadian-born Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, killed in Centre Block shootout Police call situation…
Continue Reading »

Parliament gunman shot

Shaken Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims calling from scene of Parliament shooting (w/photos, video)

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW OTTAWA — Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims and their New Democrat colleagues were in a party caucus meeting in Ottawa…
Continue Reading »

LIBERTY MEDAL

Stephen Harper cancels Malala Yousafzai citizenship ceremony in light of Ottawa shooting

THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO – Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office says two scheduled events today in Toronto with Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai have…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Parliament hill

Narendra Modi condemns ‘extremely disturbing’ Ottawa shootout

IANS New Delhi – Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Wednesday’s shootout near the Canadian parliament in Ottawa as “extremely disturbing”. “News of the attack in…
Continue Reading »

attack on Parliament Hill

Soldier, gunman who died in Ottawa rampage identified (w/photos, video) [updated]

ANDREW DUFFY OTTAWA CITIZEN Updates at 5:10 p.m. Soldier killed in War Memorial confirmed as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo Suspect, reportedly Canadian-born Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, killed in Centre Block shootout Police call situation…
Continue Reading »

Parliament gunman shot

Shaken Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims calling from scene of Parliament shooting (w/photos, video)

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW OTTAWA — Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims and their New Democrat colleagues were in a party caucus meeting in Ottawa…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver-Surrey-Festival-India

Diwali celebrations in Vancouver and Surrey

DiwaliFest celebrates its 11th anniversary from Oct. 17 to 26 at various sites in Surrey and Vancouver. Diwali Celebration Friday, Oct. 24 at Firehall Centre…
Continue Reading »

Facebook photo showing Martin Rouleau

Canada is Losing the Values War

UJJAL DOSANJH SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI The dreaded happened in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, a quiet historic town in Quebec. Many years ago I stayed there for a…
Continue Reading »

Butter Chicken

Light up Diwali with this delicious dinner: Butter Chicken, Basmati Rice with Peas, Chickpea Masala and Gulab Jamun

Indian festival is a fine reason for a feast BAL ARNESON POSTMEDIA NEWS Diwali is India’s biggest festival. People light candles and divas (small Indian…
Continue Reading »

INDIA-WILDLIFE-ELEPHANT

Heartbreaking photos of two elephants electrocuted in India

IANS Siliguri – Two elephants, including a female, were electrocuted in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district Saturday, an official said. The tuskers were found in a…
Continue Reading »

Aman Grewal

Gallery: Army officer’s wife wins Mrs. India Worldwide pageant

IANS New Delhi – Aman Grewal, wife of an army officer, was declared the winner of Haut.Monde Mrs.India Worldwide 2014 here. Grewal, who hails from…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Jackie Chan

First India-China joint venture film starring Jackie Chan launched

HINDUSTAN TIMES Chinese action star Jackie Chan will star in the first Sino-India joint film production slated to go on the floors in the coming…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Saif Ali Khan poses with pants down

IANS New Delhi – Actor-producer Saif Ali Khan was caught and clicked with his pants down while shooting for his new film “Happy Ending”. As…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt says ‘Going Home’ a special short film

IANS Mumbai – If the masses loved her in movies like “Highway” and “Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania”, Alia Bhatt has again won many a heart….
Continue Reading »