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From the age of seven, dark clouds would follow me around. A haunting nightmare that would leave my eyes soaked in tears. Although closing my eyes was frightening, keeping them open was another battle. I would desperately try to hold onto any shred of reality as if I was drowning and gasping for air.
I grew up in a refugee camp to begin with, and since my parents didn't speak German, I was not able to pick up the language very quickly, so I went to kindergarten and was picked on for not knowing German. Not just by fellow kids, but also the teachers, who isolated me and never included me in anything.
That's what my dad asked when I told him I had found the one. He was only half-joking. I think. I'm currently in a long-distance relationship with a girl of Caucasian descent, otherwise known as a vella pettai. We consistently have issues that we need to work around.
When I was a kid, I wasn't up on a Saturday morning watching cartoons while eating fruit loops. Instead, like many Tamil children, I was usually half asleep trying to learn the language that I first learned to speak. I didn't hate going to Tamil school because I missed out on cartoons. I think I hated going because it was a hard language to learn.
We as a diaspora, watched the curtain fall on a decades-long conflict we could never fully understand. And although the impact of the war varies drastically between us, what remains consistent is the recognition of a profound loss and the silent mourning of a forgotten identity.
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My older sister and I moved to Canada from Sri Lanka in the early 90s when I was nine, after both of our parents had passed away. We were fortunate enough to have family members who had been living here since the 70s with the means to sponsor us through a formal process.
This past December, I was finally home for the holidays, after missing two years of the holiday season with my family and friends in Toronto. In fact, in the past two years, I have only been home for a total of three times and each of those three times, there's been an emerging trend: "When did my parents get so cool?"
I'm a happily married Tamil man sharing my insights in terms of where I think Tamil singles will have the most luck with meeting other Tamil singles. This list was a result of recent discussions I've had with single friends. By discussion, I mean more of a debate with me trying to get them to think beyond the standard club or bar/lounge.
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The one thing I realize now is being beautiful isn't about being skinny or size zero. It's loving every inch and curve of your body and embracing everything about you. If you don't love yourself, the number means nothing. Telling the world my story was the final stage.
As Tamils, we find unwed pregnancy to be such a crime that it restricts those who need someone to lean on in times of despair. I had no one I could go to.My partner did not want anyone to know. From the day we found out we were pregnant to months after we had aborted the child, I had to keep all of my emotions to myself.
Our arrival in Canada started in earnest after the 1983 anti-Tamil riot in Sri Lanka. The mass exodus accelerated in the last decade of the last century, resulting in largest Sri Lankan Tamil population outside of Sri Lanka. Since then, collectively the lives of Tamils were "rewired".
It was almost 30 years ago. War has began. The sounds of chirping birds were replaced with blasting bombs. My husband had come back from town to get me and my daughter. We are leaving tomorrow morning. It was the beginning of our journey. A journey to a new place, a new beginning.
Every year we all make new year's resolutions that ultimately never get resolved. We purchase gym memberships and have sudden health kicks that stop kicking after two weeks and 10 chicken wings later. Trust me, I was supposed to lose those ten pounds, three years ago.
With a headstrong career spanning over 20 years, it was humbling to hear 42-year-old Indhu Rubasingham, artistic director of Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, London, admit that she still gets nervous. Being critiqued is nothing new to this theatre veteran, whose work has been consistently well received and has even earned her a handful of distinguished awards.