I'm a Canadian

The 1st of July 2023 marks Canada's 156th birthday. I'm a Canadian. I have left Serbia where I was born and I'm living across the ocean on the other continent.

Can you imagine moving to a country 10,000 km away from your home and leaving your family and friends and everything behind, knowing that if you are lucky, you can only go back and see them once a year. Does it hurt? Do you think you would ever be able to do it?

I did it. And I'm proud of myself. Yes, it hurts! But I have never regretted coming here, it’s not the end of the world.

Let me tell you my immigration story. 

When war started in former Yugoslavia in 1991, my ex wife and I decided to move out from that shitty place, anywhere. We applied for immigration to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada. In 1992, we left to Sweden to her brother and we stayed there. We were in Sweden for 14 months. In Sweden our immigration papers to Canada were approved and we came to Toronto in 1995.

When we arrived to Toronto my daughter was 8 months old, we had $6,000 of borrowed money for life nevertheless we rented a small apartment on Bloor/Parliament and we started living on our own. I started working two days upon arrival. I washed dishes in a restaurant while I was learning the English language. It was tough but we had a bright future ahead of us.

28 years after, I had already paid one mortgage, the second pay off is coming. I can say, I have everything what I need thanks to my hard work and of course thanks to Canada.

My major accomplishment in life is that I have found the reason to live for. It's my major goal of life, to attain self-realization and move beyond the circle of births and deaths. If I would stay in Serbia I would never come to this. So I am grateful to Canada.

It's Canadian way of life that enabled me to go forward and spiritually advance. Many of you, especially now living in Serbia and reading my blog, have no clue what I'm talking about in AWAKENING category. I'm sorry for you, but your time has not come yet.

I love Serbia but I will never go back there to live again. Nothing is changed in Serbia since I went. Maybe there is more things to buy but the life is so hard; corruption is everywhere; social values are turned upside down; criminals, prostitutes and reality shows became a model for young people; the percentage of the violence in the family is the greatest in the whole Europe; the social assistance non-existent; 80% of all people in Serbia are poor; their existential needs are not fulfilled so there is no way to even mention spirituality. I blame the religion in general and the Orthodox Serbian church in particular for the miserable condition of Serbian people.

Serbia is good to be visited in a short period of time, to have a fun, go out, eat well, drink well and spend a lot of money... and then return back. I carry Serbia in my heart, it's my birth-country however I'm not nostalgic.

I live in Toronto and here I will stay for the rest of my life. I'm proud about my city. We have unique advantage in having so many people here from diverse cultures and backgrounds. 

The proportion of our population that’s foreign born remains higher than just about any major city in the world. In Toronto, 51% of residents were not born in Canada. This is higher than any other cities in North America, and higher than London, Sydney, Melbourne, Paris, and Amsterdam.

But the numbers only tell part of the story. Spend a bit of time in the Toronto and you’ll quickly realize that this multiculturalism is woven into every aspect of our way of life here, whether it’s food, art, festivals, sports, or businesses.

There are problems here like everywhere in the world. Economic crisis is looming ahead of us, uncertainty etc. etc. but Canada is the most educated country in the OECD. This is proving to be a major asset in times to come.  

Happy Birthday Canada!