Celebrating Indo-Canadian Life
Vol. 2 NO. 8
Serving BC’s Interior
Community puts family at centre of celebration By Larkin Schmiedl
ith Diwali coming right before Christmas, it’s an easy time for Indo-Canadians to ease into another holiday before the Canadian New Year begins. Strings of lights often already adorn homes, “diyas” from Diwali, the festival of lights, are also used by some families to double as Christmas lights.
Commonly divorced from its religious context, Christmas is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and non-religious people alike. “I think for us it’s more meaningful in that we get to be with our family,” said Inder Sharma from Abbotsford. “I don’t know the religious context. We do understand the meaning behind it, of why Christmas is here, and why it’s celebrated, but I think we kind of take on more of a family-oriented role.” Sharma was born and raised in Canada, and she notices a generational difference among family members.
“Our parents would do Christmas, especially the gift-giving portion, just to make sure that we as kids also got gifts on Christmas. “I think our generation, we kind of took it to the next level, we’re decorating a whole lot more, following more of the traditions as far as the Christmas stocking, the little details, we’re also doing that just because we want to experience it more for ourselves.” She said for her family it’s about being festive and combining the two traditions of her generation and the older generation. “My newer generation, we’re more excited to be a part of Christmas and we kind of go all out.” Sharma and her husband Ravi have already taken their one-year-old to see Santa Claus and have a photo on his lap, “and we plan on doing that every year,” she said. “This is going to be a major thing for her this year.” When it comes to family gettogethers, Sharma said she caters to the older generation’s needs, mainly in terms of food. Christmas Eve the Sharmas will cook a turkey, and a vegetarian dinner as well. continued on page 3
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S2 insight MONDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2013
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2013 insight S3
Feature Story ~ Events ~ Viewpoint ~ News
Keith Anderson/The Daily News
Sikh Community members Picku Multani, left, and Sushma Plested, right, sit with Rae Samson, who was attending the Know Your Neighbour festivities at the Sikh Gudwara Sahib Temple on Cambridge Crescent on Nov. 17. Samson was accepting donations of food and money for the Kamloops Food Bank.
continued from cover
“We’ll do a vegetarian lasagne or something; maybe do some Indian dishes because mostly they’re vegetarian — and kind of mix the two together.”
Bhangra and Chutney music will also replace traditional Christmas carols.
“The older generation kind of sits together and has their . . . Indian food.”
At the Sharma’s house this Christmas, 15 to 20 family and neighbours will be eating together and the family will put up its Christmas tree, hang stockings and decorate the house in preparation. “We do the full wreath and garlands and the tree, stockings, the lights, all of that,” Sharma said.
Selekha.com notes that some Indo-Canadian families find biryani rice, samosas, aloo, chicken curry and other traditional Indian foods replace the North American traditional turkey at Christmastime. Sometimes Bollywood songs,
Christmas and New Year’s are eagerly awaited by many Indo-Canadians, and the exchange of presents among family at Diwali is sometimes extended to friends and others at Christmas as well.
Premier Clark commemorates birth of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji
remier Christy Clark issued the following statement on the birth of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji:
“Greetings and best wishes to everyone celebrating the birth of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, founder of the Sikh religion and an ambassador of peace and unity for people around the world. “British Columbia is home to a large and dynamic Sikh community, which for over 100 years has made great contributions to our
province. As we commemorate the birth of Guru Nanak, we also celebrate our province’s rich cultural diversity, that welcomes new ideas and cherishes old traditions. “Guru Nanak’s legacy has changed the world we live in. He believed in equality, honesty, and serving one’s community — values that underpin the cultural fabric of British Columbia today. “On behalf of all British Columbians, I congratulate all those celebrating the birth of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.”
A mix of two traditions
S4 insight MONDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2013
Roopam Plawn, left, and Jasmeet Ahtuwalia from the TRU Bollywood Club, below (L to r) Goddess laxmi puja; carnatic vocal singing by sushma sree; chnese-indian fusion dancelina cai and boliyan (traditional vocal singing) by sonveer and ajwinder
Diwali delight TRU Bhangra team during diwali celebrations organised by hindu cultural society
Bhangra, a high energy folk dance from the state of punjab. tru bhangra group performing as a part of the hindu cultural society diwali celebrations.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2013 insight S5
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Enterprise S6 insight MONDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2013
Business ~ Profiles ~ Columns
‘I am passionate about helping patients to stay on top of their golf game’ — Robinder Gill Calgary. Understanding that pain should never keep you from doing what you love most, said Gill, who has advanced his training in treatment golf injuries
By Rajeshwari Rajimwale
obinder (Robin) Gill, owner of North Kamloops Physiotherapy, believes that research is important before making any major decisions in life.
“We specialize in intramuscular stimulation (IMS),” said Gill. “This technique helps relieve chronic pain. By using fine acupuncture-type needles, our physiotherapist can treat tight, shortened and tensed-up muscle bands, which can contribute to abnormal functioning of the nervous system.”
Born and raised in Chandigarh, India, Gill completed his bachelor’s degree at University of Kolkatta, India. Immediately after his graduation, Gill worked for a year in Punjab before moving to Australia to complete his master’s in orthopedics (specialization in sports injuries). “After completing my education in Australia, I decided to move to Canada,” said Gill. “I came to Canada in 2001 and took up a job at Lethbridge Hospital. From 2003-2011, I worked in Edmonton in a private practice.” He bought the North Kamloops Physiotherapy Clinic in October 2011.
ROBINDER GILL ATTRIBUTES HIS SUCCESS TO DEDICATION AND HARD WORK.
“At this point, I thought I was ready to put my 14 years’ experience in physiotherapy by purchasing something I can call my business,” said Gill. “I am passionate about helping patients to stay on top
of their golf game.” Gill has also learned advanced assessment and rehabilitation techniques for golf-related injuries from FITforeGOLF Institute in
Gill says dedication and hard work are the two pillars of his success, but he feels along with these two, research is imperative. “I had my whole career path wellplanned,” said Gill. “I would like to advise people who plan to migrate to Canada, to do your research about your career and scope for a job well in advance. Sometimes its not meant to be for everyone.”
BACK ON YOUR FEET Combining in-depth knowledge of how the body works with specialized hands-on clinical skills, we assess, diagnose and treat a variety of symptoms. Whether illness, injury or disability, we strive for your independence from pain and discomfort. With your independence in mind, a physiotherapist’s goal is to restore, maintain and maximize your strength, function, movement and overall well-being. Physiotherapists, who can be considered movement specialists, prescribe personalized therapeutic exercises and provide essential education about the body, what keeps it from moving well, how to restore mobility and how to avoid bodily harm.
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S8 insight MONDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2013
Financial planning for families Y
ou may even have set up a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for your child — and that’s always a good savings strategy — but you might not be taking full advantage of the benefits of your RESP or have all the info you need to access other savings and grant options that can significantly add to your child’s education nest egg. So here’s a quick rundown of the educational funding issues and options for disabled children.
to continue contributing to your child’s RESP and enjoy the considerable added value that comes from the magic of compounding inside a tax-deferred plan. Government sources of educational funding When a disabled child is ready for college or university, they may qualify for the Canada Study and/or Access Grants funded by the Government of Canada. They may also be eligible for assistance from provincial bursary programs. p The Canada Study Grant for the Accommodation of Students with Permanent Disabilities can provide up to $8,000 per loan year to help pay for exceptional educationrelated costs associated with a disability.
The Basics of an RESP Taxes on the earnings inside an RESP are payable in the hands of the child and are deferred until the child withdraws the money while attending a post-secondary institution. Currently, a lifetime maximum of $50,000 can be contributed per child. An RESP also offers the added incentive of “free” government money in the form of the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) program that provides a minimum 20 per cent top-up grant to the first $2,500 contributed each year and could add as much as $7,200 in extra capital over time. Additional grants may also be available to RESP holders through the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) and various provincial programs. The added value of an RESP for a disabled child An RESP for a disabled beneficiary who is
eligible for the disability tax credit must be collapsed at the end of the 40th year after it was started. This means that you have five extra years
p A Financial Aid Directory is available through the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) www.neads.ca. Other investment options You need every advantage you can get when saving to help your children pay for a postsecondary education. Consider non-registered investment strategies that can deliver important savings beyond RESPs. p Most people think of life insurance as basic financial protection for loved ones but a universal life insurance policy can also help fund your child’s education.
p The Canada Access Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities is awarded to students with permanent disabilities who have demonstrated financial need.
p A properly structured age 40 trust can be an effective means of accumulating capital for education. With this strategy, it is important to keep in mind government assistance guidelines.
p Contact your provincial student aid authority to find out more about programs available in your province.
p Tax-advantaged mutual funds and monthly income portfolios are mutual fund options for education savings.
Scholarships, awards and bursaries
It’s important to put educational and financial plans in place as early as possible. We can help establish a welldesigned program that will consider the many available options, help your children to reach their full potential and help you to achieve your hopes for their future.
To further complement education savings, investigate the many scholarships, awards and bursaries available through non-governmental associations and the schools themselves.
p Contact the Awards office at your college or university of choice.
p Associations such as the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada and the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada offer awards.
Surander Singh is a financial consultant with the Investors Group.
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44th International Wine & Spirits Competition, London, May p Silver — 2011 LH Viognier, 2010 Pinot Gris p Bronze — 2009 Zweigelt 2013 All Canadian Wine Championships, May p Double Gold — 2009 Dostana Merlot p Bronze — 2011 3 Cru Wanderlust, 2010 3 Cru Traveller 2013 Decanter, May p Bronze — 2010 Gewürztraminer p Commended — 2010 Pinot Gris Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, New York, March p Silver — 2010 Gewürztraminer, 2010 Riesling, 2010 Pinot Gris, 2011 3Cru Wanderlust p Bronze — 2010 Dostana Riesling, 2010 Harmony White, 2011 LH Viognier, 2009 Zweigelt
Organic campaigner Kalala winery meeting increasing demand for organic wine in India By Rajeshwari Rajimwale
alala Organic Estate Winery is on the Upper Bench of scenic West Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley. Founded by Karnail Singh Sidhu, Kalala has been making award-winning wine since 2006. Kalala Organic Estate Winery derives its name from a legend of a village in India. The story says that long ago, in Northern Bharat, India, farmers were tending to their animals when they came across a wolf and lamb sitting together in a beautiful valley. This peaceful coexistence was so inspiring, that they moved their village to this very spot, in hopes that the same harmony would be reflected in their village, and named it “Miracle Place,” or “Kalala” in Punjabi. Karnail Singh Sidhu, proprietor and managing director of Kalala Organic Estate Winery, felt that this was reflective of the Okanagan Valley and his pursuit to grow grapes in harmony with nature. So in a tribute to his hometown, he named the winery after this miraculous place. Kalala Organic Estate Winery is one among the pioneers in exporting B.C. organic wine to India. “Wine culture in India has changed over the years,” said Sidhu. “I have been doing research in this field since 2003. At that point, wine was not so much in
Media in India has helped in generating the awareness and bringing about the change.” In the past, Sidhu has worked in various roles — at packaging houses, in wineries throughout the Okanagan region and in orchards. “My family background and knowledge has been always useful,” said Sidhu. “But I really worked hard when I came to Canada. It was all the efforts and experience I gained here that helped me in the winery.” Kalala winery also has been in the news for manufacturing organic wine.
demand. Wine was initially considered a drink mostly for women. But I saw a drastic change in the wine scene during 2009-11, when I attended the Mumbai and Bengaluru Wine Festival.” B.C. Premier Christy Clark formally introduced organic wines and wines from Kalala Organic Estate Winery at a ceremony in Bengaluru, as a part of her trade mission to China and India. “When I was back in India, I always saw hard liquor being commonly used,” said Sidhu. “But after I attended the Bangalore International Wine Festival 2011, I was really impressed by the demand for wine in India. The younger generation and upper middle class are more interested in wine.
Organic viticulture is defined as the application of organic agriculture practices to produce grapes and wines of the best possible quality. Organic viticulture focuses on the use of natural processes wherever possible for nutrient production and recycling, as well as pest, disease and weed management. “In an organic vineyard, grapevines and other plant species grow in much harmony by supplementing each other’s nutrient needs and hosting beneficial pests,” said Sidhu. “Kalala organic vineyards are micromanaged for crop canopy, soil fertility, pest and disease control to maximize the quality and the healthiness of the organically produced wine grapes.”
Wine awards won in 2013
Life & Culture S10 insight MONDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2013
Entertainment ~ Food ~ Fashion ~ Celebrations ~ Health & Wellness
“It is just the right time to bring up a small family” — Jack Nijjer You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them. — Desmond Tutu
he Nijjer family is exemplary of classic Indian joint family system. A young man leaves behind his country, family and friends to a foreign land to pursue his dreams. Jasvinder Nijjer was born in Domeli province of Punjab, India. He came to Canada (Kamloops, specifically) in 1976, while his entire family stayed in India. The task was not easy — new country, different language and culture and, to top it all, the loneliness. But this did not stop Jasvinder from fulfilling his dreams.
Family ties: (l to R) Ranbir, Monique, simer and jack nijjer below : jack and Jasvinder Nijjer
It’s a story of courage, dedication and hard work. It’s a story about two brothers Jaswinder and Jagdip Nijjer.
us. In most of the businesses, we seldom hired people. We were mostly supported by family members. “
After reaching Canada, Jasvinder’s first job was at Canadian National Railway Company. He eventually married Balbir Nijjer and accepted the land as his own. But the only thing that made him feel incomplete was the rest of his family in India. Family has always been a priority for him. In 1982, he managed to bring his entire family — parents, two sisters and younger brother Jagdip (Jack) Nijjer.
After completing his course, Jack got his first job was with the forestry industry. In no time he got a second job with Canada Post driving a courier van. “I started working with Canada Post in 1986 and still to this
date, I am working with them on a contract basis,” said Jack. In 1993, the two brothers started their own real estate business. In 1995, they obtained a franchise for Robin’s Donuts at North Shore and Valleyview locations. “In the past few years, we have undertaken a lot of different initiatives,” added Jack. “But the best part was during the tough times, it was our family that stood with
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They say behind every successful man there is a woman. Jack got married in 1990 to Simer Nijjer. Simer has been the support system for him at home and work. “We are a family respecting each other,” said Jack. “For 27 years me and my brother stayed together. Not many families do this. I respect the idea of Indian joint family system.”
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After trying his hands at a few jobs, Jack realized that it was in his best interest to upgrade his education for better job opportunities. “It was not an easy task to get a job in Canada,” said Jack Nijjer. “I had to join an ESL course to update my language skills and to eliminate any barriers.”
The Nijjer family has a strong background in transportation. “In India, my grandfather and father worked in the transportation sector,” said Jack. “This is our third generation venturing into this business.”
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2013 insight S11
Life & Culture
Seattle offers visits everything from seaside piers and large parks to museums and a gritty urban scene. The ‘Emerald City’ is also a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts.
U.S. travel destination
‘Emerald city’ a reflection of diversity By Larkin Schmiedl
he Pacific Northwest is known for its rainforests, its laid-back people and its coffee. The Emerald City, otherwise known as Seattle, is the hub in the centre of it. Built on a peninsula in Puget Sound, the oceanside city is home to more than half a million people, as well as a wide variety of museums, outdoor activities, shopping and sports to keep anyone entertained no matter what their interests. Located three hours south of Vancouver, with the Olympic mountains to the west and the Cascades to the east, Seattle is a city made up of many neighbourhoods. From seaside piers to old cobblestone, large parks, posh areas, down-to-earth neighbourhoods and the gritty urban scene, the city reflects a diversity of influences. The top two Seattle tourists attractions are the Pike Place market and the original Starbucks. Both are downtown. The year-round Pike Place market is nine acres, and has been around for longer than a century. Home to more than 200 businesses, 190 craftspeople and about 100 farmers, more than 10 million visitors visit it annually. The iconic Space Needle is another way to get a higher-up vantage point on the city. Seattle is full of interesting architecture, including the library and the Experience Music Project, a colourful asymmetrical rounded metal building that houses a rock ’n’ roll museum with a special Jimi Hendrix exhibit. For those who like museums, there’s the interactive Pacific Science Centre as well as the
Science Fiction Museum, which is home to the sci-fi hall of fame. For art lovers there is the renowned Seattle Art Museum and the Seattle Asian Art Museum in the Central District. The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience is the only Asian Pacific American museum in the U.S. One fun way to get to know more about the city is to take the Underground Tour. When else does a visitor get to go underneath a city to where the city used to exist? The streets in today’s Seattle sit up to 22 feet above the original street levels. After the Great Fire of 1889, storefronts and sidewalks were encased underground when Seattle rebuilt itself on top of itself. Home to the University of Washington, as well as a vibrant music scene, Seattle is also home to Microsoft, and Boeing’s aircraft assembly plants. One good way to get to know the city is by bicycle. But watch out for the hills — they are steep and plentiful. Another way to take in Seattle is by leaving for a bit, by boat. Washington State Ferries runs a couple of ferries out of Seattle, one to nearby Bainbridge Island, which is perfect to explore for half a day. Visitors can take another ferry to Bremerton, which provides access to the Olympic peninsula with its many hikes and explorations. In wintertime, Seattle can be wet, but Mount Rainier provides the opportunity to snowshoe and ski. Those wishing to make an escape from snowy winter weather might even find a feeling of spring fever in the warmer coastal winter. It’s very green. Seattle can be reached by car, by rail (Amtrak), by boat from Victoria, or by plane to SeattleTacoma International Airport.
Seattle is home to a variety of interesting architecture, including the Seattle Central Library, above, and the Experience Music Project, below.
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IN NORTH AMERICA!
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 29 9AM - 9PM 12 HOURS OF INCREDIBLE SAVINGS!
NO INTEREST โข NO PAYMENTS โข UNTIL 2015 โข ON FURNITURE & MATTRESSES NEVER TURN FRENCH PILLOWTOP
STEA AM PAIR R
BUY 3 KITCHEN APPLIANCES GET THE OTR
s v %COTEX FOAM s 3TRETCH KNIT FABRIC s %DGE GUARDS SUPPORT %COT
KING SIZE 3!6).'3
FRONT LOAD WASHER & DRYER
See your local store for details
% 50OFF $599
CASH & CARRY
28.5 tom 26 cu. ft. French Door Bottom Mount Refrigerator s 4WIN COOLING SYS-
TEMMULTI AIR mOW s &ULL WIDTH PANTRY DRAWER s ,%$ LIGHTING 3UPERIOR ICE PRODUCTION
624 TECHNOLOGY s 0URE CYCLE
s CYCLES TEMP LEVELS s 3TEAM REFRESH HELPS REMOVE ODORS AND FRESHENS CLOTHES s 3TEAM WRINKLE RELAXES CLOTHES TO REDUCE IRONING
ft. s )NTERNAL WATER HEATER s
PLACE SETTING CAPACITY 3TAINLESS STEEL TUB(IDDEN HEATER (ARD FOOD DISPOSER
CERAMIC GLASS COOK TOP s 4RUE CONVECTION s 3TEAM1UICK MIN CLEAN TIME
Storage drawers optional
Steam Washer 4.1 cu. Steam Dryer 7.3 cu. ft.
Stainless ess es sS Steell TallTall llTub Built-in Dishwasher
30โ Convection ction Self-Clean Self Selflf Clea Clean n Range 5.9 cu. ft. s ELEMENT
PAIR P A
RECLINING LOVE SEAT
3pc. Reclining Sofa Set
*Sold as sets
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2 Piece"MTP"WBJMBCMF3JHIU)BOE$IBJTF Sectional with Chaise $899 Storage drawers optional
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DVGU5PQ.PVOU 18 3FGSJHFSBUPS(with optional ice maker) tTQJMMTBWFSยHMBTTTIFMWFT t%BJSZESBXFSEFMJDFOUSF
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.BYJNBDVGU $BQBDJUZ*&$4UFBN8BTIFS t1PXFSXBTIFS31. tIPVSGSFTITQJO t4UFBNGPSTUBJOT
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#PUUPN.PVOU # UU . U 3FGSJHFSBUPSXJUI'SFF[FS#BTLFU t(BMMPOEPPSTUPSBHF t'VMMXJEUIBEKVTUBCMFTIFMWFT
%SZFSDVGU t%SZJOHDZDMFTUFNQT t&MFDUSPOJDDPOUSPMTXJUI cycle indicator
Storage drawers optional
4HIS 3EALY 0OSTUREPEDIC #LASSIC MODEL FEATURES our patented orthopedically correct support and is designed to last for years and years. Now with our EXCLUSIVE 5NICASED &OAM %DGE 3UPPORTยSIMPLY THE best edge support in the industry.
KITCHEN APPLIANCES GET THE OTR
See your local store for details
Also available in stainless steel $ 60โ FULL HD LED TV
s P 8 s 'AME -ODE s ($-) )NPUTS 2EAR 3IDE s 0# 6'! 53"