Canadian Immigrants Share Their Stories: Meet the Nagra Family
Parminder Singh Nagra
Rajwinder Kaur Nagra
Gurnoor and Harnoor Singh Nagra
Leaving behind their homeland, Parminder and Rajwinder Nagra embarked on a new journey to Canada along with their sons Gurnoor and Harnoor in January of this year.
The move prompted mixed experiences for the family as Parminder, who received immigration as a pharmacist under the Skilled Worker’s category, says they had to adapt to a completely new environment to rebuild their lives.
We “had to face a new climate, atmosphere and community. Almost everything was different here when compared to India’s climate and atmosphere,” explains Parminder, who is originally from Batala, India.
Despite the changes, Parminder says the family has found people in Canada to be friendly and cooperative, even strangers “wish you good morning and good evening.”
When asked what he likes about Canada, he explains it’s nice how people “worship their work and not their designations” and every person, regardless of race or gender, and occupation is respected equally. The Nagra family also appreciates the reduced pollution and noise levels, the nature and greenery, the infrastructure and rules and regulations in Canada.
Parminder and Rajwinder feel it’s important for immigrants to come mentally prepared to work any occupation regardless of their previous professional experience because they have to carve out their own futures and not be dependent on anyone.
Still, they both agree that the support and guidance of their family and friends in Surrey made it easier for them to settle down in an unfamiliar land.
On a parting note, Parminder stresses on the importance of hard work. “Before I came, some people told me it’s very hard and difficult for new immigrants to settle here. But I have found that you have to work hard, you have to try your best and then everything works out!”
Parminder: “I am facing a problem in getting the right information regarding my profession. I am trying to get a job in the pharmacy profession but there is not a particular body/department who can help me and tell me what I should do to get it. ”
Rajwinder: “I can’t find a job in the teaching field even though I have lots of experience. I have a M.A., B. Ed, a Diploma in Arts and Crafts and a Diploma in Elementary Teacher Training. I started my career as a crafts instructor at a local college and soon became vice-principal in the same degree college in India.”
Parminder: “I am working as a security guard and at the same time, I am upgrading my education to become a pharmacy technician.I also can’t forget the help provided to me by Dharmvir Singh Bariana, his wife Gagandeep and their parents. I also want to thank Gurpreet Singh Bharat and his family and also everyone who has helped me directly/indirectly in Canada. They have all helped me overcome a lot of obstacles.”
Parminder: “Before moving to Canada, try to get as much knowledge as you can regarding your profession so that you can save your time and money.”
Rajwinder: “You might not get to work in the same profession that you did back home but everyone has skills they can use to be successful in other jobs. For example, when I came to Canada, I first worked at Subway and also worked as an anchor for a local Punjabi TV show called “Sat Samundaran Paar.” Now I work at a dry-cleaning business, and I am also looking for another job in media.”
Parminder: “My father is an army officer who retired in 1989 and my mother is my best friend. She motivated me to come here. I am the only child of my parents and I don’t have any siblings. Now my parents are in India and I miss them, however I am trying my best so they can join us in Canada as soon as possible.”
Rajwinder: “My parents, three sisters and brother are in India. My father is a retired electrical engineer and my mother is a retired school principal. I miss all of them.”