Asian Heritage Month – Mehul Patel shares his immigration journey from India to Canada
Asian Heritage Month is an opportunity to learn and reflect on the experiences and triumphs of Canadians of Asian heritage.
As we continue to celebrate Asian Heritage Month, we want to highlight the lived experiences of Asian-Canadian immigrants, like Mehul Patel, Business Care Manager at Rogers, who have shown resilience in their journey to Canada.
Today, Mehul shares his experience of finding community and a sense of belonging in a new country as an Asian immigrant.
You moved to Canada from India with your wife and two daughters in 2010. Tell us about your experience during your first few days in Canada.
By moving to Canada, my family and I were very hopeful for a better future and a more advanced education for my daughters. My experiences during the first few days in Canada were quite hectic and uncertain, but also full of gratitude. There were a lot of mixed emotions as we landed on July 1 – Canada Day! There were a lot of celebrations happening and it made me feel good seeing a small part of the country look so diverse.
We had a lot of challenges during the initial few days because we had to start from scratch, and I immediately began searching for a place to reside. I had to find a job, but it was difficult because no company wanted to hire an applicant with zero Canadian work experience. I was fortunate to meet other immigrants who shared similar struggles which sparked friendships that made me and my family feel more at ease.
You mentioned that your role at Rogers has provided you with a sense of purpose, both for you and your family. What has this job meant to you?
It was always a dream of mine to join the Rogers team. Working at Rogers has helped me grow significantly by allowing me to assist in different departments and make many great connections within the Consumer and Business teams. I feel a sense of purpose when I am connecting with people from diverse backgrounds.
Rogers has made me more passionate in the work I do by providing me with an equal opportunity.
Why is Asian Heritage Month an important moment of significance for you and your family?
Asian Heritage Month is very important to me and my family as it keeps us intact with our roots, allowing us to engage in different social events within the Indian community and highlight Asian culture in Canada. This allows my children to understand why we celebrate the events that we do and makes them feel a sense of unity. We migrated from India and my daughters have already seen all the festivals and lively celebrations. It’s important that they continue to see them so they can feel connected to the traditions in Canada and know the importance of where they originated from.
I instill the hopes and dreams for my daughters to keep pursuing things that they love: our Indian roots and their desire for a better education! One of my daughters is currently enrolled at University of Windsor, where she is learning all about Architecture. My other daughter is in middle school and loving every moment!
I am a proud member of this community; I like to share my culture with others, and I like to learn about different ones too. I think we can all connect to Indian culture outside the month of May, because there are so many different celebrations and events throughout the year.