I recently had the privilege of attending the Royal LePage national sales conference in Las Vegas with 999 other excited Realtors®!
We had several motivation speakers lined up, along with Brian Buffini. It was my first time being at a “live” seminar with Brian and I was not disappointed! The thing that stood out most to me during his “talk” to us, was the fact that he made us aware that we all are immigrants, some of us may be first generation, others second, etc.
I was born in Trinidad and came to Canada for study, as fate would have it, met the love of my life here (married 33 years this past August) and ended up residing here. The point is I have always been aware that I am an immigrant, but never once have I thought of myself, as a first generation Immigrant.
Wow! That is a huge responsibility! I brought with me, all of my Trinidadian culture, or as much of it as a 22 year old could possibly amass, to my new country! I guess the fact that English is our first language in Trinidad (Granted, English with an accent), made it easier for me to adapt to my new Canadian Culture and for others to accept me! Maybe that is why, the burden or responsibility of being a first generation Immigrant never really dawned on me, until I heard #Brian Buffini address the topic.
I started thinking about the different cultural habits that I had unwittingly brought to the table. The first thing that came to mind was my “favourite foods”, namely: rice and curried chicken, Roti, Pelau, Callaloo, macaroni pie and Chinese food (Caribbean style) to name a few. Of course pepper sauce as a condiment was a “given”!
The second thing that came to mind was my desire to embrace all types of music and my love to express it through dance. I love to dance to anything with a “beat”!! Trinidadians love to “party”!
I am told by my very close friends that I have my own unique way of expressing myself, which reflects my heritage. I, wasn’t aware of it until it was brought to my attention. I think that is a good thing, as I had been told on many occasions by others, that they can hardly detect an accent any more.
The point is I feel a tremendous responsibility to my children and grand children to ensure that they know and remember my roots. My grand-children, ages ranging from 5 months to 6 years old, who are technically 3rd generation “Trini”, really have no idea what that culture is all about. They love their “Nan” and do not perceive me as being different to any of their other adult family members they hang out with! However, it is important to me that as they grow up, they understand that I am a blend of the two cultures, and so are they, by default!