What does being a ‘Canadian’ mean to you?

Polly Sidher Culture, Family, Immigration, Parenting, Self Development Leave a Comment

When I was growing up as a young girl, I wanted to desperately ‘fit in’ with the rest of my classmates.  During our primary school days, my sister and I were the only children who looked racially ‘different’ from the rest of the students in our elementary school.  We had ‘brown skin’ and many of the children were unwelcoming to …

Mental Health & Addiction Issues for Newcomers

Polly Sidher Culture, Health, Immigration, Self Development Leave a Comment

Mental health and addictions services for Canadian newcomers have huge gaps to help understand and support our communities as they are increasingly becoming more culturally diverse. People who are new to this country and who are experiencing the migration or settlement and re-settlement stages are under a tremendous amount of stress.  During the stages of resettlement: loss, and adaptation, and …

Immigrant Parenting

Polly Sidher Culture, Family, Immigration, Parenting, Self Development Leave a Comment

Every immigrant parent who has moved to a new country has come here with hopes, expectations and intentions of creating a better life.  There are dreams and long-term plans to start a journey that will be ‘successful’ and comfortable not only for themselves and their children, but also for their future generations. However, with the challenges of starting a new …

Immigrant Women’s Health Resource Clinic

Polly Sidher Culture, Family, Immigration, Leisure, Parenting, Women’s Issues Leave a Comment

I was very fortunate to attend the very inspirational local community grand opening of an Immigrant Women’s Health Resource Clinic recently on December 2, 2010 in Surrey, British Columbia.  It is a fabulous initiative that recognizes the critical needs and gaps in health care services provided for immigrant women.  And it is the hope of all partners in this project …

Sacred Balance & Happiness

Polly Sidher Culture, Family, Health, Immigration, Relationships, Self Development, Women’s Issues Leave a Comment

As the first day of 2011 approaches, this day commemorates the start of another year and a new beginning.  Along with celebrations, this day should also be a time to reflect, mourn the passing of 2010 and to move forward into 2011.  When you think back about this year in solitude and in a peaceful state of mind – what …

Cultural Time Warp

Polly Sidher Culture, Family, Health, Immigration, Relationships, Self Development Leave a Comment

Newcomers can take several months, years and even generations to successfully accept and integrate into their new identity. Many struggle with the need to live their life according to the rules and values they left behind in their home country, and, as a result, will find themselves living as if they are in a cultural time warp. Change, after all, …

Nothing to fear…

Polly Sidher Culture, Immigration, Self Development, Work Related Leave a Comment

Canadian Immigrant Magazine’s Health Section of the Mind, Body, Soul Column Nothing to fear … The ‘frightening’ trap that newcomers face I recently had the honour of leading a roundtable discussion with the wonderful students of Ed Denison’s Adult English as a Second Language class. Although these awe-inspiring students spoke of many positive experiences since immigrating, a common yet negative …

Roadblocks to Resettlement

Polly Sidher Culture, Family, Immigration Leave a Comment

Newcomers have to overcome marginalization and ethnocentrism to successfully integrate. Every immigrant no doubt hopes to live a long life of emotional and psychological health. Generally a newcomer has to completely grieve, feel loss and transition before they can fully adapt to their new worlds, but sometimes they get “stuck” somewhere along the way. Many are often trapped between feeling …

South Asian Marriages

Polly Sidher Family, Health, Immigration, Relationships Leave a Comment

Marriage is one of the most significant events that each of us has or ever will experience in our lives. When focusing our lens even closer onto South Asian families, such a life-changing event can have a noticeable impact not only on each family, but also on the bride and groom. A tremendous amount of transitioning is inevitable for the …

Settlement Shift

Polly Sidher Culture, Family, Immigration, Self Development Leave a Comment

Perhaps some immigrants have a unique mix of courage, naivety and resilience that enables their smooth transition to a new homeland. But it’s not easy for everyone to integrate into a new culture. What makes one newcomer’s integration more successful than another? Shifting one’s cultural identity with new roles, values and beliefs in the new society is a start. Also, …