Canada with its family immigration policies turns out to be a rather unique and interesting country in the world. Geographically it occupies the second largest land mass in the world after Russia. Due to severe winters and arctic weather condition, the majority of its cities and towns are tipped on the South along the US border. US obsession is high, to the extent that Canadians know and have seen more of the US than the US citizens theirself. They plan their vacations and shopping mostly from border US cities. Canadians are so obedient that they are one of the top oil producers but their crude oil first travels to the US, the big brother refines it and sell us back the gasoline at a cost 30 percent more than what they charge from their own public. Canadian weather networks predict equally the forecast of US and Canadian cities but our Southern neighbour, actually we have only one neighbour beside Santa in the North, don’t care about us. Having said so, Canada and its neighbour is not my subject today. Today I am focusing on a special community among Canadians.
The community under consideration starts their Canadian journey with small French Vanilla and matures it with the medium double double at one of the popular coffee chain called Tim Hortons. At this point their kids touch adolescence pushing back nervous parents with Tetley brand of karak chai (tea) and sleepless nights. You have guessed it right I am alluding to, the Pakistani-Canadian immigrant community. By the way, the term Pakistani-Canadian is not a fair term, it is something like (4 x Pakistani)-Canadian.
A Pakistani-Canadian, becomes Canadian only to get the passport to travel freely around the world. And interestingly the big dreams tied with this passport; they use it only to travel between Pakistan and Canada, which they could have done even without it. Also, Desi, a term used for South Asians, would only travel to places where he/she has some friend or relative, so travel to exotic locations like Rome, Greece, France, Caribbean and Egypt is out of question, because unfortunately they seldom have any relatives there.
This community is the biggest patron of small grocery stores and construction industry here in Canada. We’ll analyze that in a moment. But first, the members of this community get polished in terms of their dressing, eating and language. But here a caution must be observed. Please never be fooled with their English language mastery or branded clothing, the head they carry remains as pure; as untouched, as it was brought here from Pakistan. It only further gets enriched with a plethora of conspiracy theories about 9/11 and a thought process coupled with unique intellect level that never takes any cultural buoyancy than their fellow homosapiens living in Gujranwala or Lala Musa has.
Among culturally very diverse society they still stand out by the display of their religious fervor. Just for instance among all the communities, i.e., Christians’ Christmas, Hindus’ Divali and Holi, Jewish Sabbath and Yom Kippur, Buddhist Vesak never heard of having any issue with the day of celebration but Pakistani community’s intensity of religious respect stretches beyond one single consensus day; two Eids, almost always, and even three Eids is also not uncommon in one city. During this course they never worry about the fact that our neighbours, the US, launched their first man on moon in 1969, which this community struggles every year just to get a glimpse of it!
The religiosity is never confined to the celebration only, rather this community for the enrichment and purification of their soul keeps calling holy Islamic men and women by providing them first class plane tickets and then on their arrival mutual showering starts. The holy men and women from Pakistan shower their hosts with blessings only to be showered back with Canadian goodies and dollars. So both parties get what they lack! After the holy guys depart and under the spell that they casted upon them, the lesser mortal’s change of heart procedure starts taking place. Do they become good human beings? May be, as good is a relative terms. But they definitely become more attentive to the ‘nasty designs’ of the New World Order, pull new threads out of the existing conspiracy theories about 9/11 and attributing Tsunami disaster to the mischief of under ocean US nuclear tests. They start paying even more attention to one of its kind, the Aamir Liaqat Hussain’s program Alam-Online and become avid follower of Zahid Hamid’s Ghazwa-e-Hind scheme. I am not sure, under the teachings of the imported holy men, they ever become better with neighbours or colleagues but for sure their progeny ( kids ) never like the holy guys pilgrimage to Canada. Specially girls, as this would only add one more layer to their hijab and for boys one more nimaz, specially nimaz-e-fajar.
Talking of kids upbringing, the parents of growing age children spend their life in a perpetual struggle to keep their kids away from the harmful effects of ‘mother-pidar azad’ society. They devise many techniques in this regard. Some of them, specially for girls, before they touch adolescence send/take them to Pakistan; only add to the confusion of an already confused kid who spent their entire childhood living and observing with the contradictions of all sort. To ward off the cultural invasion, others start praying more regularly and swap Indian music tracks in their cars and homes with the religous sermons of Farhat Hashmi or Maulana Tariq Jamil which the intended audience, their kids, finds more soothing to catch up their sleep which they lost during the night long mobile phone conversation with their respective boy/girl friends. Parents try to infuse a religious-culture in their homes for teen age kids which they theirself hardly could comprehend after the age of 50 years and through this they expect that kids would stay immune from the impact of the society outside. An unsuccessful fight against human nature and instincts ensues. Or more appropriately living in a bubble phenomenon starts. The character building phase focuses a close watch on the physical activities because that is how character is defined back home. One is a person of impeccable character if pray, holds no promiscuous behviour but no worries about fibbing, dishonesty and lack of integrity. The young lads, fully follow this character syndrome. They do what is needed and then don’t accept it. Parents get relieved that their hard work payed off. After all, they came here for the sake of their children, at least most of them want you to believe that. Nobody would say, that they came here to kill the inherited hunger and poverty, which the great state of Pakistan offered them back-home.
( Continued … )