Immigrants, how and why do people leave their native country and settle in a different country. This has been happening for many years and is happening till today. But do we ever wonder why people do this? Why would they just have to leave their native land, their own people, their families and friends and try to live a different country with a different life style? I had a great pleasure of interviewing an immigrant who is very close to me. I had any eye opening interview with my own mother, who is an immigrant from Fiji Islands. My mom was 14 years old when she migrated to United States of American from Fiji Islands seeking for better future and life with her parents and 2 sisters. She heard wonderful stories about a country called United States of America. How everything in this country was so advanced and everything is like a fairy tale. As excited as she was to go to a new country for the first time with better and bigger opportunities, she was sadden to leave all her friends, relatives and her house behind with her memories to take only. But nothing was as it was describe to her about United States. It was just a beginning of her new life and long journey of struggle.
1) Who did you migrate with? (already on the 1st paragraph) 2) Who & what did you leave behind?
My mom was born in 1973 in Suva capital of Fiji Islands and lived in Fiji until August 22, 1987. My mom is an Indian and follows Hinduism cultural. According to my mom they had a pretty good and relaxed life until they were forced to leave Fiji. Due to coup in 1987, they were forced to live the country for survival and better future. In August 1987, the Fiji government was taken over by the Fijian military commander when an Indian person was selected as the Fiji Prime Minister. Fiji Prime Minister and other Indian parliament members were taken as hostage and was threatened to give up their positions or their lives will be taken. Military commander wanted all the Indian parliament members to resign from their positions and give it to native Fijian people. Her uncle was selected as the Chief Justice of High court and was one of the hostages. Their families and relatives were involved with in the coup and all their lives were threatened. While the hostage was held in a remote place all the native Fijian were destroying Suva city, the capital of Fiji Islands by burning the Indian business owners stores, stealing from their stores, putting thieves to their throat, threatening their life’s , burning the whole town , taking over their farm land and beating them to death. After held for a week or so, the Indian Prime Minister and parliament member gave up their positions for their life’s and things in Fiji was never the same! There were always fights between Indian and Fijian people. Indian people lived in fear day and night thinking when it will be they turn to die. It became very difficult for the Indians in Fiji to live a normal life as they used to. Having everything in life for what my grandfather worked hard for, he was forced by family members to leave Fiji. Pressurized by relatives, my grandfather left all his belongings, he’s house, all the things in the house and left Fiji forever. My grandfather left Fiji for better future and opportunities for he’s daughters, but life was never the same again for my mom’s families. 3) How did you feel when you first came to the US?
When she first arrived at San Francisco airport, she left like an outsider immediately. She did not feel that she belonged here. My mom wanted to turn around and leave. It did not feel like home. She was very upset and just wanted to scream on top of her voice and ask God why you even sent us here. This is not home and she remembered asking God, over and over again, why? First of all the weather was cold according to her in August. Everything she saw was bigger than what she was used to. People at the airport looked at them differently and stared. My mom stated she...
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