On Being a New Immigrant

My family and I moved to New Zealand 7 years ago. The first thing I remember was stepping out of the plane and seeing the lush greenery, inhaling the clean crisp air and hearing the calls and tweets of the wide variety of birds that inhabit New Zealand. In India we can very rarely find a clean patch of grass and the air is thick and polluted. Another thing that was different was seeing so many people of different colours.

The roads in New Zealand are very organized and clean and very different to those in India where the drivers run street lights and pay no attention to road signs.

The reason I moved to New Zealand was because of the education. The style of teaching in India is very strict and contains physical punishment but the standard of teaching is very high and the only way you could catch up was by attending private classes either in someone’s home or by a teacher.

In New Zealand I feel more accepted and comfortable mainly because of my religion which is Catholic as most of India is Hindu .

I can still imagine my first day at school everything was so foreign and new to me for example we had to share a table with other people and the teachers were so much kinder in New Zealand and there were a lot less students in a class where as in India the class would be packed with students on their separate desks. I was very scared but the kind students and teacher in my new school made me feel welcome and part of their community. It seemed that New Zealand had it all but there were clearly things I was missing. For example one of the great things I missed was the great food, it is very hard to find a dish in New Zealand that is similar to the unique Indian cooking, and my family because everyone but my mum dad and brother was in India. Every second week or so my mum or dad phone them or have a conversation with them on the computer, and I also like India because everything is so cheap you can almost buy anything from the shops on the street at a good price.The language I speak at home is English and I can understand a tiny bit of Hindi both my parents are form Mumbai, in the future I plan to stay in New Zealand and get a job.

Shane D’Silva