With the exception of First Nations and Inuit peoples, Canada is a land inhabited by immigrants. Some of us really feel extra entitled to be right here than others relying on our nation of origin, what number of generations of ancestors we will declare, and our capacity to combine into what has traditionally been a white, British based mostly colonial society.
For probably the most half, Canadians have been welcoming to newcomers who resemble them. More lately nevertheless, we wish to assume that our hearts and arms are open to anybody fleeing the ravages of famine, conflict, and persecution. But, have we actually advanced from our settler mentality and reworked into a really welcoming, caring, accepting society?
We Are Not The Others is a distinctive play based mostly on a two-year analysis challenge carried out by Mirna Carranza. After Carranza interviewed feminine immigrants dwelling in Hamilton, playwright Izad Etemadi crafted the findings into a powerful one hour play.
Etemadi used the women’s voices to breathe life into their experiences of immigration, trauma, loss, psychological health, assimilation, resiliency, disappointment and hope for a higher life in Canada. Unfortunately, for much too many immigrant women their tales are nonetheless fraught with racism, discrimination, and common precarity.
The women’s personal phrases describe their immigration expertise as they attempt to make a new life in Hamilton, “Our system is very racist and classist, immigrant women get caught up in that.” Or, “I had to change my name so I could at least get a job interview.” So, it appears we nonetheless, “Look down on immigrants.” And, perhaps, simply perhaps, we’re responsible of treating them because the “other.”
An superb forged expertly interprets the tales of women and women from a selection of purposely unnamed overseas nations. The forged consists of Rashaana Cumberbatch a first era, Canadian born to Guyanese mother and father; Heath V. Salazar, a first era Canadian born to Colombian mother and father; Angela Sun, who emigrated from China at 5 years of age; and Sima Sepehri, who moved to Toronto at six years of age from Iran.
The tales informed are as different because the women. Happily married with a good job, lively social life, and lots of shut relations, one lady selected to go away residence to satisfy her husband’s dream and have an journey. Unfortunately, the complete immigration course of proved to be excessively costly and even together with her in depth schooling and qualifications, secure, well-paying work was inconceivable to seek out.
A younger woman tells her story of emigrating together with her household and never with the ability to make associates or slot in as a result of she could not converse English.
Another, fleeing sure dying makes a lengthy trek by way of Mexico and the United States earlier than settling in Canada. She takes any job she will discover so as to ship cash house to her two younger daughters she left behind.
Then, there’s the younger overseas vacationer who falls in love with a Canadian and finds herself trapped in an unhealthy, sad marriage with little prospect for her future.
And, what concerning the mom who must return to college with a purpose to have her skilled designation and qualifications acknowledged? Instead, she sacrifices her future and works menial jobs with a purpose to ship her youngsters to college to make sure a higher life for them.
All the women begin their journey with hope. But, life as an immigrant is by no means what they thought it might be. You see their optimism for a higher life for themselves extinguished. Thankfully, they nonetheless consider their youngsters’s future could be brighter and that objective retains them working the roles that ‘common’ Canadians would by no means assume of doing.
We are Not The Others ought to be touring our excessive faculties. Students, employees, and administration might study a factor or two about life as an immigrant lady in current day Canada and maybe understand that a little empathy and endurance might go a very great distance.
The play also needs to be carried out at Queen’s Park and on Parliament Hill as a result of in any case, MP’s and MPP’s may discover they study a factor or two.
We Are Not The Others is at Mills Hardware (95 King St. East, Hamilton) July 28, 29, and 30. The 14th Hamilton Fringe Festival is on till Sunday, July 30, 2017.
Image: Facebook/We Are Not The Others at the Hamilton Fringe
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