Newcomers love to socialize and help other immigrants overcome their challenges
Bincy Kurian’s motto in life is to be patient and confident.
Kurian, 29, works as a Host Communities Coordinator at the Timmins and District Multicultural Center.
“If we are patient and work for something, we can do it,” she says.
Kurian is from Kerala, a state located in southwest India. There she studied nursing and worked in a neural surgery department. She worked there for a year and a half before coming to Canada.
“We are helping someone get healthy. We help them heal, we provide care. Once they are cured of an illness, we feel so good, ”she says.
With her passion for helping people, she wanted to get into counseling or a field related to mental health. In 2017, she moved to Timmins for the Social Service Worker program at Northern College.
Her first impression of Timmins was that it was small, calm and peaceful. Kurian’s owner, who lived in the same house, was a nice Canadian who was helpful and made him feel at home.
“It was so nice. I felt like it was home. I didn’t feel very homesick when I was with her,” she recalls. “After a year , I moved when my husband arrived.
Her husband Jerin Edwin now works as a chef at Cedar Meadows Resort. A year after joining Kiruan in Timmins, they welcomed a son into their family.
Kurian had an arranged marriage. She says she liked him when she first met him. On May 18, 2017, they got engaged and four days later they got married.
Kurian says she will teach her son both languages, English and Malayalam.
“We try to speak both languages. If my parents tell him something, he will understand. And he’s here, he’s a Canadian, so he has to learn English too, ”she said. “He has to learn both languages. He must also know our culture.
In Timmins, the Kerala community is about 50 people. They celebrate the traditional festival of Onam, Christmas and Easter. With more people coming to study here, Kurian believes the community will grow.
In August, the community celebrated the feast of Onam. Following safety protocols, they rented a hall, did traditional dancing, put floral decorations on the floor, and prepared more than 20 foods served on a plastic banana leaf. The women wore a white sari, while the men wore a white dhoti.
“We didn’t celebrate in a large group at home, we didn’t get together in groups. Here in Canada, we all celebrate together, the whole community together, it’s so beautiful, ”she says. “We meet new people and the community grows.
When Kurian first arrived in Timmins, there weren’t many people from South India.
“Before I came here, I searched on Google and did some research. I have a family name and we got in touch. In 2018, 10 people also came to Timmins, so we created a WhatsApp group, ”says Kurian. “Whoever else comes, we add them to the WhatsApp group. ”
In Timmins, Kurian, who is Catholic, attends St. Anthony Padua and Notre-Dame De La Paix Parish weekly. Kurian says she has always been a nun because it plays a big part in her life. In her youth, she engaged in church groups and activities.
After graduating as a social worker, she tried to enroll in a university. Because she was not a permanent resident and the tuition fees were expensive, she decided to be patient and wait. Now, as a permanent resident, she can study at a lower rate.
Kurian worked at the Anti-Hunger Coalition as a community engagement intern. After six months, she left and started working at the multicultural center.
Socializing and helping immigrants overcome their challenges is what she loves about her job.
“As an immigrant, I know the challenges and what they suffer, so it’s easier to get a message across, find the resources and help them,” she says.
“There will be difficulties when you come for the first time, but if you have the will to adapt, we will overcome them,” she says. “Everyone has a hard work mentality. ”
Kurian says she has faced racism and discrimination in the city and still grapples with it. There are a lot of newcomers to Timmins, she says, but a lot of them are also moving.
“There are people who help, but there are people who don’t. That’s the biggest (challenge), ”she says. “It hurts me emotionally, my family… We came here, we paid a lot of money, we came here not to cause problems. But they say we came to their country.
In the future, Kurian wants to pursue social work and, if possible, get a master’s degree. She also wants to travel.
“Dream for the best, and we’ll get something,” she said.