Canada Day

No, the old dude in the old coupe is not me – d’you think I’ve just won the lottery? Canada may be a Fair Country, but they don’t just hand out the lottery money to anyone. I’ve got wads and wads of unpaid tickets to prove there is bias. No, the old dude is just an old dude, in an old car – the car is pretty cool though, huh? – riding along in the Canada Day Parade on Pelee Island, on the first day of July 2012, four years ago. July 2012 was my first Canada Day in Canada, as a newly minted landed immigrant, or permanent resident – of more general interest is the fact that Pelee Island, where Rob and I marked that most memorable of occasions, is the southernmost point in Canada, and a lekker place to chill out for the long weekend, after you’ve made the leisurely trip across Lake Erie on the ferry from Kingsville. The old

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The Ambivalent Diaspora: What South African Canadians Think

I was referred to this blog this morning, by someone I’d just met, a new professional contact and herself the child of immigrants from Africa. It’s a piece on the South African diaspora in Canada, based on research undertaken by the Southern African Migration Program, and it makes for depressing reading. According to the research, the 50,000-strong South African diaspora here ‘maintains a very strong sense of themselves as South Africans [but] … Their depictions of the country of origin are extremely negative…. They have no desire to be involved in South Africa’s development nor the they ever intend to return.’ Slightly more positive is the fact that one in five Canadian South Africans, around 20%, ‘took a very different view of South Africa and their possible role in its future. Clearly, just because the vast majority are disengaged, it does not mean that everyone is.’ So let me nail my colours to the mast: it’s because of the first kind

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