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Life in Canada

Starting Life in Canada:
Cooking Nepalese Food in Charlottetown - Madan Kumar Giri

Time 4:29


Madan Kumar Giri (MKG): We were sponsored by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. That’s what was written in the letter. So whatever the financial help that we were supposed to get, that was provided by Citizenship and Immigration Canada—all financial help for food, for apartment rent, for buying new clothes for the first time, like jackets and these things, once. They provided us everything, immigration. Our sponsor group from our community from the church were helping us to take us to the different places to do the paperwork. And, they also provided us some kitchen utensils, some chairs, tables, some clothes that people have donated. They did that and they introduced us with the other members of the church. When we stayed in the hotel in Quality Inn, everyday there used to be some members of the church—like, they came to see us in the hotel. But their sponsorship was not related with the financial part. The whole financial part was done by CIC.

Emily Burton (EB): So then you had an apartment?

MKG: Yeah, we got an apartment. For eighteen days, we simply, I still remember, for eighteen days we didn’t get a chance to cook our Nepalese food. That was the terrible part. That was only the terrible part that we have experienced while coming to Prince Edward Island. Everything went smoothly. But we were in a hotel, there was no oven, nothing else. We couldn’t cook our food. So, we simply depend upon the bread and the jam for eighteen days. So as soon as we shifted to our apartment, we got the groceries from Superstore and from some other places, and we got some pots to cook food. Then we cooked food and we just ate our Nepalese food.

EB: Were you able to find all of the ingredients, or most of the ingredients that you were used to?

MKG: Yes. Yeah, everything was there. We got the food items from Superstore and spices from Bulk Barn, stores like Bulk Barn, everything was there. So we got everything. We didn’t have any problem to get anything. We didn’t have any difficulties.

EB: What did you buy at the Superstore? Do you remember?

MKG: Yes. We got, I think, eight bags of rice—eight big, big bags. Because our people, we’re used to with rice only.

EB: Basmati rice?

MKG: Yeah, basmati rice, or something like that. So we eat rice in the morning as well as we eat rice in the evening. Rice is always a food. So I remember—eight bags of rice, then some vegetables, salt, sugar, juice, and some other, like, eggs. We didn’t find goat meat at the time. Because we only take goat meat, we don’t take other meat. Like, we don’t take beef or something like. We are Hindus, we pray for the cows. So cow is our god, so by religion it’s against our religious belief to eat goat, uh sorry, to eat cows. So we just eat goat and sometimes sheep, yes, sheep. And we do—some of poor people, if they like it, they do eat chicken and eggs. But we didn’t find goat at the time. But we did got lamb. So we bought lamb and we cooked food and we started our Nepalese food in our own apartment and that’s how we started our life.

Oral History 14.05.08MKG with Madan Kumar Giri
Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

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