Somewhere over the Rainbow…
14 Sep, 2015
According to UNESCO the term migrant can be understood as "any person who lives temporarily or permanently in a country where he or she was not born, and has acquired some significant social ties to this country."*
Although this may be a very narrow definition it does shed light on the various migrants who have left their homeland and are now here in Canberra. And unfortunately not every one of these migrants has social ties here. The idea of moving to a new country to start a new and better life might sound as easy as packing a bag and leaving on a jet plane. But in reality it can be quite difficult. From finding the desired job (which takes time and patience) and making friends, to getting your head around all the paperwork that needs to be done.
Most Indian migrants, like myself, are always looking for a little slice of home away from home. We are always trying to find the best Indian restaurant or grocery store in town. Searching for Bollywood dance classes or an Indian tailor to fix up our sarees and blouses!!
What if there was a place you could go to and ask questions to make this whole process a little easier? Well there is! It is called Indian Australians in Canberra (IAIC).
Sean Pinto who has been with this group for a little more than a year says, “IAIC has been a very welcoming group. The sharing of experiences among members has definitely helped my wife and I make better choices as we start a new life in Canberra. I personally got introduced to the group after getting here and regret not being a part of it during the most difficult time during the pre-move period. I understand how busy it is for everyone but to still have people volunteering their time with inputs to help everyone is just amazing.”
IAIC has been actively present on social media since 2007 and now has over 1000 members. Most of our members offer their valuable advice and experiences making the group function and helping new or potential migrants with their queries. Local Indian entrepreneurs also offer special discounts to members and job opportunities are advertised.
We also have informal gatherings which have resulted in a lot of friendships.
“So maybe friendship can't begin until someone chooses you or you choose someone. It's about putting yourself out there, I'd say. One fine Canberra arvo, at an IAIC BBQ, I found my friend-in-the-making. Sometimes, we ask ourselves... Why do we wind up chatting with one person by a BBQ Grill and not another? The answer is pretty simple. She laughs at my jokes, and I laugh at hers. In short, we have things in common and zany wavelengths to boot. It's about making that connection even if it's just with one person at a time, it's alright... There's always more occasions to find potential partners in crime. So get yourself out there!” says Rose John about meeting her now good friend Pallavi.
The next few months are going to be very exciting for IAIC members with lots of opportunities to make new friends. We are organising a men’s trek on September 26, ladies afternoon tea, mid- October and an IAIC end of year Christmas event in November. Curious now? Head on over and join our Facebook group.
Find the links below:
Ask away and find out about our upcoming events on our Facebook group:
Join and like our Facebook page:
Lian Kiley - Indian Australians In Canberra.
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