Darshan Singh-1958

A quota on Indian immigration until the 1960s meant that South Asian communities in Canada were relatively small, and as a result, closely-knit. With little knowledge of English, Darshan must rely on the social ties already established by friends and family as he searches for employment at plywood mills and logging camps.

If you are wondering why his prospects are mostly limited to labour jobs consider the comments of the two, as the narrator puts it, “pale complexion strangers” at the counter upon his arrival at Patricia Bay airport. As Darshan passes by, the one fellow queries, “Hindoo?” The long held assumption that all Indian immigrants were Hindoos hints at the barriers that would have prevented an Indian immigrant from accessing the strata of Garden City society in the 1950s.

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