Home-A College of many cultures

Massive state to tiny island to green New Zealand

From a massive state in India, then to the tiny island of Fiji and then, finally, to our green country, New Zealand. Through generations of stories and moving to different countries, my family decided to settle in the large area called Auckland. My name is Alia, and this is how my family got to New Zealand.

The story started off in South India (apparently), where my great grandfather was struggling to feed his mother. My family wasn’t very rich, in fact they lived in a small, slum area. One day, my great, great grandmother sent her son to buy food for the family, sent with very little amounts of money, he had gone out to the market with his friends. At the markets, they had come across a man offering them a job. They had accepted the offer in thought of being able to provide a better life for the family. Unfortunately, they were oblivious to the fact that these strangers who offered the job, were actually wanting to send them to Fiji, where their job was waiting for my great grandfather and his friends. So, the group was sent to Fiji, without the family knowing of their son’s whereabouts. I can’t imagine what grief my great, great grandmother went through, realising that her son was missing… never to return again.

My great grandfather settled in Fiji, he got married, had children and had a nice job, though they were still poor. My great granddad came from a Hindu community, but once he arrived in Fiji, he converted to Islam. He was planning to go back to India and tell his mother and family what happened and he planned to bring them back to Fiji. But he couldn’t help but think about how his family would react to him changing his religion and if his family would ever accept him again. With that thought in mind, he never went back.

Suva, Fiji was where my grandfather was born, he grew up hearing all these stories and seeing all these cool things. He eventually got married and my grandmother had children. And then, my dad came along. He lived a very interesting life, not having the everyday luxuries we use every day. Like how these days I would complain about being bored. My dad would reply with, and I quote “Back in my day, we never had ‘boring’ or ‘yuck’, we made use with what we got.” Anyway, my dad found my mother in Nadi, Fiji. They got married and they visited New Zealand a couple of times over the years. My elder sister, and two brothers were born. Unfortunately, my dad’s father passed away as well as my mother’s parents.

My parents made the decision to move to New Zealand with my brothers and sister. My dad worked hard and my brothers and sisters were going to school. My mother fell ill for quite some time as well. My family unfortunately couldn’t settle properly and they moved from house to house. They got told that they couldn’t stay longer. Then I came into the picture, my mom had found out that she was pregnant with me. When she had given birth, my family was informed that since I was a kiwi, they could have permanent residence in New Zealand.

In late March 2014, I went to five different countries. One of them being India. It was my first time going there and it was amazing. I experienced my true culture for the first time. Unfortunately, since we knew nothing of our ancestry so we didn’t have any family there. But we visited one of the 7 wonders of the world – The Taj Mahal, and many, forts and palaces. The people were something we did not expect. They were the nicest people I have ever met. India is completely different from what we see in media and it’s truly beautiful.

Alia

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