My Thick Accent

Finding Home Abroad: Tale of Cultural Integration and Self-Acceptance | Ft. Luna Daniel Ep. 047

September 21, 2023 Gurasis Singh Season 1 Episode 47
My Thick Accent
Finding Home Abroad: Tale of Cultural Integration and Self-Acceptance | Ft. Luna Daniel Ep. 047
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever wondered what it's like to move to a new country, adapt to a whole new culture and try to find your identity there? Our guest, Luna, takes us on her riveting journey of self-discovery and growth, as she navigates the complexities of relocating and adjusting to a new environment. It's a tale of courage, introspection, and resilience that's sure to resonate with anyone who's ever stepped out of their comfort zone.

Luna opens up about her experience moving from the familiar confines of her home in Calcutta, India, to the competitive world of Australia. Her story is not just about geographical relocation, but also an internal journey towards self-acceptance. Luna delves into the rich cultural heritage of Calcutta and her personal trials of finding a sense of belonging in a new land. She also explores the layers of cross-cultural communication that she has had to navigate, highlighting the challenges and the rewards it offers.

The podcast moves on to provide much-needed guidance for international students in Canada, with a focus on goal-setting, the power of a growth mindset, and the importance of networking. Luna emphasizes the critical act of self-advocacy and taking ownership of one's happiness. Towards the end, the conversation revolves around Luna's impact and experiences, painting a vivid picture of the importance of kindness, respect, and authenticity.
Join us for an insightful discourse that promises to illuminate the immigrant experience, and offer lessons we can all incorporate in our personal and professional lives.

Follow the host and the podcast on Social Media channels below:  

__________________________________________

To contact Luna:


Want to share your story? Or know someone I should invite next on the show? DM us or write to us at Hello@mythickaccent.com


Gurasis:

Hi, this is Gurasis Singh and you're listening to My Thick Accent podcast. Okay, picture this you have left your homeland, your roots and everything that's familiar to you in a pursuit of a better life in a foreign land. The journey of an immigrant is a profound one, filled with unique challenges and profound transformations. Yet amidst the external adjustments, there's an equally compelling internal journey, a voyage towards self-acceptance in a new world. And today we'll not only explore the hurdles they encounter, but also the courage it takes to fully embrace their identity and the inner conversations that guide them through this transformative path. The story of my guest today mirrors the lives of countless immigrants who have braved these trails. Her tale is one of a post-in evolution, an additive that unfolds through moments of cultural shock and identity exploration. Join us as we delve into the multifaceted world of immigrants, where every step is a testament to their courage. Every day, a page in their transformative story. Please welcome Luna.

Luna:

Thank you so much, Gurasis. It is my pleasure to be a part of this and I'm so happy to share my learnings with you. It's an honor to be here with you today.

Gurasis:

Pleasure, pleasure to have you, Luna, on the podcast. Thank you for doing this and really excited for this conversation. So now I want to start by asking you if you have any favorite inspirational quote or saying that resonates with you.

Luna:

I think one thing which I think is very, very, I say, as you saw, is what you reap is one thing, and very cliche changes the only thing constant, I think, because those are two of my very, very guiding compass, which I nobody taught me this, nobody has told me this, but I think my journey in life has made me believe that sometimes you just don't need to think of the results, sometimes you just need to give.

Luna:

The universe has its way of giving it back to you, and I strongly strongly believe that. So that's one, and change is the other thing. To be honest, Gurasis, when I was thinking about what are some of the learnings and failures that I wanted to share, I went back to my 15 year old self, I went back to my 21 year old self, I went back to my 25 year old self, I went back to my 30 year old self and I realized that the only thing that was constant at all these portions is me myself and the change that came with it. So I think these are the two things I strongly strongly go by, these two.

Gurasis:

I love them and I think the change is the only constant is also something which is very close to me, because the biggest change for an immigrant's life is to leave everything behind and coming to the new world, accepting this and then even moving cities for various purposes, for PR and points etc. So I think, because that thing stayed with me, the change is only constant. That kept moving rather than kind of dwelling into my current state that this is gone, this is various, but it might change as well. So, yeah, I really love that.

Luna:

Yeah, Thank you, and it's a given, not not only for me. I think a human evolves only when he or she knows that no two days are the same, and if your two days are the same, you're not learning. So I think that's something that I consciously look out for.

Gurasis:

And is there any habit, luna, that has you, that you have adopted and that has changed your life, or something that has become your second nature?

Luna:

I think, introspection every single day versus I take out maybe five or 10 minutes, especially when it's a tough day to look back at. Okay, and this is, I think, over COVID. When I had a little bit of time to learn about and go inward, I realized that it's very easy to bash yourself up. I didn't do that presentation well, I could do this better. I didn't do that interview well Okay, somebody told me this, I could have answered this better.

Luna:

So I think one thing which I've realized is one is gratitude and introspection. So every day, sit what really went well, what didn't go well, what did it? What is it that you learn? Be kind to yourself. It just gives you that, okay, I did my best, have you done your best? If not, why you didn't do it? And then go back and say, okay, this is the lesson I learned today.

Luna:

So I think that is very humbling, because sometimes things go well for you back to back and you feel that, oh, everything is going well and suddenly you will have especially, I think, from a South Asian culture, because we always have so much of high expectations of self from our childhood it's very easy to bash yourself. So I think the last, again, this is not. It doesn't didn't come easy. I think the last two, three years I consciously make it. I think it could be end of the day, it could be the evening when I go for work, it could be just when I'm just listening to a nice music piece and I feel that, you know, I just need to breathe. I think that has made a lot of difference to how I see myself. Okay, I'm not perfect, but yeah, if I cannot love myself or I cannot accept myself, nobody would Absolutely.

Gurasis:

Yeah, I love Saloon. Thank you for saying that. I really hope our listeners do that in their life. But tell me what are the questions that you ask yourself when you're in respect, what are the maybe, or just say what are the three main things that you focus on when you talk to yourself.

Luna:

I think that I talk to myself. One is we are humans, right, we start to think that, okay, this is what I need to achieve. Okay, we always have these, you know, by 20,. We need to do is 25. And sometimes you don't it could be, and sometimes these are factors which you can't control, right.

Luna:

So I ask myself the only question I specifically overall ask have you done it whole heartedly? Have you given it to your 100%? If something tells me I've done it, my 100%, I just don't really think about it because I know that genuinely, I have done what I could. And then you have other you know variables who are acting and doing this one. I always ask when I did that, do I? Did I do it 100%? And if I did not, I just say it's okay, what could I have done better? I think about it, maybe make a note, or maybe just consciously talk to the talk about it to somebody who might feel comfortable with and say that this is how I'm feeling, is it okay? So yeah, and these are the two questions Basically, I always ask myself, like have you given it to your all? It's okay? And if not, did you learn from it? Let's do it right the second time, or the third time, or the fourth time?

Gurasis:

Yeah, I think it happens right that we all have those days where we are at our 100% of the energy, and sometimes we are like 80% and that is our 100%. Sometimes we might be at 40 and that is our 100% of the day, and sometimes we keep on questioning I would have done better, I would have done better. But we should, we should cut some slack to ourselves also, rather than, you know, saying that you would have done better all the time.

Luna:

Yeah, and I think, as I said, it's always about when we have our own milestones and sometimes we miss it, and it's okay to miss it because you know it is the way. There's a reason why you've missed it. Maybe there's something else that's been given to you. So work on that. So that's what I strongly believe in.

Gurasis:

We'll definitely dive deeper into that, but let me take you back to the time we spent in India, specifically Kolkata. Tell us a little bit about your childhood, a little bit about your formative years and also what the focus was on growing up.

Luna:

It was a typical middle class family background. Now, when I look at it, it was I was. My parents are from Kerala, so we are South Indian. So they moved to Kolkata in the late 50s 60s, so they were immigrants, in a way, from a different state, trying to build their lives and their homes. My father came from my. Both my parents were from agricultural background, so they were the first to actually go out of their comforts. So sometimes when I look back I think maybe it's a genetic thing. It's gone, it's difficult because they had everything working for them. Their parents were pretty well off in the village that they were. And now when I look back I think my dad did a huge and both my dad and mom did a huge to say that, okay, this is what I have, but let's see what's out there, and that was quite coming from that background.

Luna:

To actually make that choice was huge so, but it was just a normal any kid very, very protected. I was the younger one in the house, very pampered never, when I say pampered like we were taught to be independent, but parents took care of most of our needs. The only focus was you study. This is the best gift and I think that is very important, that both my parents, my father, he, inculcated that education is a gift not everyone has. So when you have it, make the most out of it, every little opportunity that you get, learn from it and give it your best shot, and don't get us into trouble. That was you do whatever you want, don't get parents into trouble. So that was the normal, very, very normal kid of the block.

Luna:

I was in a convent, educated school, very sheltered I would say. But as a kid I think now again, when I look back, because I was a South Indian, when I used to say I'm from Calcutta, they used to say, oh, you don't, you are not a Bengali, right? So at that time too, people tend to box you right. So when I look at my cultural misfit, I always feel that, oh, when I was a kid, people, when I used to go back for vacations back to Kerala, I used to not gel in there because I was from Bengal, like I was born and brought up there, right?

Luna:

So technically somebody outside of that village. So you know, there was a lot of change going on and I was trying to figure out who I was, what is my identity. So that was something that I think used to think a lot as a child. But yeah, I was quite naughty at home but very, very quiet in school and you know teachers is really like me because I used to be the kid who did not get into trouble. So, yeah, so that's a little bit of my background, but, as I said, very sheltered, very pampered, typical middle class where you know it was told to us that you need to be independent and education is something that you cannot take for granted.

Gurasis:

So yeah, yeah, I actually want to mention to our non Indian speaker in non Indian listeners that she's like you said. You know, like you moved from Kerala to, you know, in Calcutta, Bengal, and you, as you're saying, you're talking as if you have moved to like a different countries. So I feel like people might be assuming that is this the same place, but this is. This is the thing about India, right?

Gurasis:

It's so diverse, and so different cultures are there in different parts of within India that it comes as a shock to you. That is, that it is that different. So tell me, luna, that how did you cope up with that? Like something that that has stayed with you from these cultures, or or something you feel like you would have, maybe, like, even done better in any way?

Luna:

So when I was a kid it really didn't bother me because, again, when you are in that sheltered environment my school was just 10 kilometers around my house, my friends were there. I never actually moved out. I the first I think 15 years it was everything was. Everyone knew each other, so it was very sheltered. I used to find it that I was not fitting the box when I used to go back for vacations, back to my village.

Luna:

The thought process I was from a city, my parents were from a village I used to visit once in maybe two or three years. For some of the occasions people used to think she looks like us, but she's not like us. She speaks English. She's a little different. You know the way she. You know manditisms can be a little different based on where you are. So it didn't really strike me. But I think the first thing that I got was when I moved to high school.

Luna:

When I moved to school basically it was completely before I was only competing with girls. I had a specific set of you know I've from when I was kindergarten to when I was 15, I was in the same school. So it was 10 years meeting the same teachers and everything, and suddenly I moved into, out of my comfort zone, competing with probably how you would do in the real world. You are not really competing only with women. So it was in the school which I joined. They basically used to coach students for IITs. So usual schools had cut off of 35 as a past percentage. In my school it was 15. So very high performing individuals who already going getting into IIT coaching. And I actually joined the school three months late. So I did it. Like you know, there was a first cut off. I only got admission after the second cut off because I wanted science and things like that. So I was in that flux where the environment is new. I was already three months back. I joined in June in the classes started in April.

Luna:

Then this gender difference, the language difference. I was in the same city but I felt like I was in an alien space, right. So it took me a lot of time. It took me a lot of time to understand that, hey, I was living in a bubble. I was living in a place which was so sheltered by my parents, with those same friends, with those same neighbors, with the same relatives, that I don't know what's going on in this world.

Luna:

And this was my first experience to the real, real world. The competition was there. You have different type of people you are interacting with, you have, you are competing in sports, you're competing in education. You know how you would do in a real. So that was kind of a shock for me. So that was my first take on a change. And then, obviously, I moved to cities again, for professionally I moved back to Bangalore. That was another shock for me because again, that's very cosmopolitan melting pot. People are there. Again there's a question oh, you saw the name, but you've come from the North, because back in Bangalore anything above the deck in is not in the question. Where are you from, from? Yeah, so that question has never, ever left me to be honest, because it's where are you from?

Gurasis:

Yeah.

Luna:

And I ask myself that every day where are you from and where do you want to belong? I think that's where that's. That's a question, and if you ask me, do you know the answer? I don't. I'm still kind of. I think it is. It's always a moving phase and, yeah, so this question, while many of us, as immigrants, faced when we moved to a different country, this is something that I've always had to go back to we before you even immigrated.

Luna:

Yes. So who am I and where do I belong, more than where I'm from right, where do you belong? So I think that's very important and that can be a very difficult question for a kid to answer, very difficult even for an adult to answer Right, because it questions you know where do you really belong? Who do you think are your? You know where's?

Gurasis:

your home, was there, like anybody you talked to about it or you discussed this with, because, like you said, you were a kid, right, you were a teenager probably. And how did you like you didn't know how to really like tackle those things, how to process it? What did you do then?

Luna:

I think at that time, people, it's a part of growing up and I, to be honest, I did have friends, but now when I look back, I didn't really discuss. It was always like self introspection, like how I, how am I? It's like people wanted to box you but I didn't want to be boxed. Okay, I am this, I am from all these places. All these places have made me who I am, and to be one of those is that's what I continue to believe. I, all these places where I have stayed, have taught me. Every single place has made me who I am.

Luna:

So, while it's it's, it's kind of difficult to say where I am from. Actually I think I belong everywhere because I've learned and I have given also right To these places, my friends. So, again, to answer your question, I really didn't discuss. I think that's what you, you kind of processes internally and then when you grow up as an adult, you realize that, yes, this is something that probably if you were, if I would have discussed, maybe it would have been easier. I could get a lot of learning experiences from others. But you don't think so much about those things when you're in the rat race or getting your admission job and everything like that. So no, I really didn't discuss this.

Gurasis:

Yeah, I do like when you said you know, all these things have made you and I think I've said this so many times the podcast, that we are all blessed with this. You know, unique amalgamation of gifts, obviously, some experiences, and that's what makes us like who we are. Nobody is us and we are nobody and that's what makes us unique. And all these things which are unique to us is something which nobody can even take from us. They are us so. So I think I think that that's how, like I see these things.

Luna:

Yeah, yeah, that's beautiful and I think to realize that, as you said, it cannot be taken away from me, right?

Gurasis:

Absolutely.

Luna:

That, I think, is one the first step of self acceptance that this is what I am and it cannot be taken from me.

Gurasis:

Yeah, yeah, even in terms of the story, you are telling the story. Only Luna can tell the story, because you have had these experiences. No, I cannot tell this because I've never been through these situations. Right, yeah, so you have lived like all around India, here and there. Tell me something that people might not know about these three places or, more specifically, where you spend most of your time in Calcutta, something about Calcutta that people might not know that you would like to share.

Luna:

I think Calcutta is. It's known as one of the metruses. So many people even outside would know that it's got a history, culture. But I think what makes character different is, while it's a metro, it's got an old world charm. So even if I go back right now, it is a different space. It's not that fast movies, not like a Mumbai, delhi or Bangalore, that you would notice. It has its old world charm. So it's a beautiful place.

Luna:

I think I really love my childhood Even now. I think if I would get a chance to go back and live in any other place in the world, I would always choose Calcutta because that is a beautiful place. So it's a very rich culture, wise heritage, wise, great education system. Very, very like your, I think. Even kids were pushed to do a lot creatively then. Only education is one of the places where education is not only the only thing that you do, you are pushed to do to explore sports, culture and art. So I think that way it's a very holistic place to grow. So, as I said, I lived, I was born there, brought up there, I spent even now, if I kind of add the years, calcutta the highest number of years I have stayed is still there, so a lot of me is from that place.

Gurasis:

Yeah, and I think when you said old world charm, I think that explains everything how Calcutta is.

Luna:

Yeah, you still. Yeah, you still, like, I still have my family up there and I see that you know they still have the same way of life which probably we would have 15 years back or 20 years back, as compared to other cities which are constantly changing. If you go to see Bangalore three years time, you'll not see, it won't probably be the same. Or if you go to Delhi, it would probably some places of it won't be the same. Or Mumbai, it won't be the same.

Gurasis:

So, yeah, so while you were still battling this, you know, identity crisis or to say, and finding yourself so you decided to move to Australia. Tell us like what prompted the decision to move there and, obviously, the life there.

Luna:

I think moving to Australia was never like because we were looking at moving to Canada because our family was here and it was taking a while and Express Sentry is pretty like it's the you do have the draws and stuff, so it was taking time. And the person helping us with our file mentioned that you know, this part of the, the western part of Australia, is actually having a regional nomination for my for HR profession. So it was quite shocking because usually in skilled nomination HR doesn't come up that often, obviously because you do have local talent and it's not like a scale shortage. So she said that why don't you apply? And I was like, okay, if you think so, we can. And there was no research done. There was nothing done because we were we were all almost in the last phases of Canada. So we thought that in case that, you know, something comes up that will happen. But we got it like in four months time we got the visa and then we were like, oh my God, now what do we do? Like this is, this is something that we've got. So we waited and thought about. Then we started doing our research. It was a mining town of birth that I got a nomination to and mining was not doing that well at that time. So there was a little bit of question mark into both.

Luna:

Me and my husband were doing extremely well in India with respect to jobs. I was talking to a lot of people. Many people kind of dissuaded me. This is like a career suicide you're going to do If you're going to be here is the next five or six years. You are going to kind of reach a very good position, what you want to do. So, and to be honest, I think every individual in India at some point has this dream of going abroad. Right, my dad really wanted to go. He couldn't go. He always used to say that I want you guys to, you know at least explore that. So but for me, I think I never. It never, because it was not like you know I have to go abroad or you know I need that. I was very content as a kid. Even now I'm quite content. I'm not the kind of person who will say you know, I need to do this now. My husband was like, oh, this is an experience, let's not lose it. Right, there's a reason why we got it. So just let's, let's go. So we didn't have any anything like it was just just adventure. Let's go and we moved and, to be honest, the transition was pretty smooth from you know getting a job and things like that. Luckily I got a job quickly, as one did get a job.

Luna:

It culturally it was very different because it's a different country, right? So you're completely approving your social circle and your you know what you're familiar with to a place where no one knows anything. I don't know. It's all about trial and error. That was one thing, but I really enjoyed the place. I learned a lot about self acceptance there. There's when I realized that you know what culture is, something that we think like when we are in India or back home. We always think that these are some of the things that make us. But it's a huge learning and unlearning journey when you're in a different country Because you think you don't fit in. But it's not that. It's not that you don't fit in. You have to take those steps to learn. Sometimes it's something totally different from what you do.

Luna:

And then I had some really really, you know, I got a chance of educating people from where I came. I had this really funny incident which I shared in one of my sessions in the office as well. So there was somebody in my office who asked me oh Luna, do you come from India? Does everything she had seen only slumdog millionaire? So she actually asked me like, is India like what I see in slumdog millionaire? I was so taken aback. I felt bad. My first reaction was like, and then I was like, what do I do? So I went back. I was very quiet. Usually that's my approach. When I something, I'm shocked, I usually kind of quiet. So I went back and I was like I didn't talk to anyone about it, not even my husband, and I was like thinking about it, like, and I felt really bad. Then I took the opportunity and some.

Luna:

When I went back to the work the next day, somebody said that you know, you should address this. This is like a racial slur and people, you know if she, she passed out. So I actually went back to this person and I said that you know, let me teach you where I come from. So I took that not as an opportunity to bring put that person down or to say that this is a racial attack on me or this is something which I truly understood. It was a teaching point about what my culture is. And when I showed the palaces in Rajasthan and the Victoria Memorial back in Calcutta and she was stunned. She's like this looks like somewhere in Europe and I was like, yeah.

Luna:

So sometimes I think Teachable moments happen when you are working with somebody who comes from a different culture and we kind of take it as an offense. I learned that lesson which I take very deeply If somebody says something which is incorrect, I don't take it personally, I don't take it as a personal attack. I take some time to go back to that person and actually take it as a teachable moment. Sometimes the person takes it, sometimes the person does, but 99% of the time because I have seen people do accept when you teach them Like this is what I am. I mean I do have a different name. So many people ask me oh, have you? Have you? How do you speak such good English?

Gurasis:

Classic question again. Yeah.

Luna:

Right. So I always say you know, most of the spelling bees are one by Indian kids, right, like all our schools are. So a lot of those stereotypes are still making to be broken and I think, as I said, I always take an opportunity to share my culture with people around me rather than taking offense to it, and it has worked well for me. I think many people respect me and I also respect. Sometimes I don't know about certain things, but instead of assuming and stereotyping, I think it's important, as I said, I don't want to box. I've never wanted to be boxed. I don't want to box people. So that's what I've learned in my journey when I was in Australia. I think that's just the biggest learning I have.

Gurasis:

I think that's the right approach to take and that's what this podcast is about, you know, breaking those stereotypical molds and some, some like prejudices which people have. And the funny story I also have like a very similar story. So somebody saw this movie. You know Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Have you seen that movie? Yes, yes, I think it's the only reason. I think it's like a wish putty. A wish putty is there and all that thing is happening. Somebody saw it and they said people actually eat those animals hearts.

Gurasis:

And I was like no, we don't do that, that's a movie. Take that as a movie. That's a character, a fictional character. Nobody does like that. So I remember correcting them as well. But but I think you said it right. Also, Like, sometimes it's important to give the benefit of the doubt that they genuinely they might be curious or unaware about the things you know. And I think I always say that in my case, that I always say that I'm happy to educate you if you're unaware about the colors of my turban or my religion, because I do meet people who don't know about Sikhism and it's absolutely fine If people might not know about it. But but also, don't you think, luna, like, sometimes we have to, not sometimes they think it's not necessary to explain them also.

Luna:

I for me, for my personal experience, versus, I feel that sometimes I don't lose the chance. Sometimes you do get that wall right. People don't want to listen to you. Then I take that step back If I see that the person is generally for. For this example, my colleague when.

Luna:

So she felt really bad because after like this happened and the next day people were like, oh, you shouldn't have spoken like that, like that, that borders on something. Maybe if she complains, then each of us will get involved and stuff like that. So she genuinely came to me and just said I've never traveled the world Like. I've been born up, bought up here. I've probably gone to Europe because she's you know, her just came from there, so she's being there. But she's like I'm really sorry, like after that, you know, I didn't really know when, probably I should have framed it differently and I think that I didn't expect that from her and I wanted to tell her, to tell me sorry, it came automatically, it came genuinely. That okay, it is, you know, through my ignorance, but I feel it's important because we also have a voice and I think using that voice to educate is never wrong. Right Again, you, you go get, if you feel as person is shut off, then it's a different story. But I think, especially when it comes to culture you're also here too.

Luna:

It's like I always say, you know, especially in the context of Canada, because we are from so, so many different places, we are like a quilt, right, every one of us is a different pattern. I love that. We, we, we may be a bigger patch. Sometimes we need to cut it down, sometimes we need to join another patch which may not be of the same color. I love the analogy, yeah, so I think, yeah, and in the end the quilt is warm, fuzzy and it brings that warmth right. So I always say that sometimes you have to. Somebody has to take that extra step. You may choose not to. If you take it, it's okay, but I do. Sometimes I get like why do you have to say I have? I know people back home say why do you have to go there? Like you don't leave that Maybe the person would not understand. But yeah, I just take it. I think it's important for me because if I don't do it, then probably I'll be like, oh, I should have at least explained my side of the story, yeah.

Gurasis:

No regrets. Yeah, yeah, the way you explain this. You know we are a quilt. This analogy. I think you should write a poem about it. I loved it, Absolutely beautiful, yeah.

Luna:

I think we all are different, right Everything that when we come together we are this beautiful, beautiful stuff that comes together. So we have to ensure that we we may be different I mean we blue, you may be brown, somebody else may be yellow but we all come together to make this warm and fuzzy for society as a whole.

Gurasis:

So tell us about the culture that you experienced in Australia, anyway, like how was it like different from India or how was it life there in general?

Luna:

It's beautiful. Again, because I think it's different. The very first thing that I learned was communication for me, because in India, typically, why some of us are opinionated, we always take that okay, let's listen, let's absorb, right, and sometimes we like to sandwich. So we are not really upfront with there's nothing wrong, because it's a culture we want to be, not that they want to be disrespectful, it's just that we, even if you have to break a bad news or we say that you're done a shawty job, you'll never hear anyone saying that that was, you know, not a good job or whatever. So we try and kind of say this was good, but this could be done better. But when I moved to Australia, I think one thing which I learned is being upfront. Direct communication is quite something which I saw and I think I absolutely loved it, because what you see is what you get right. So if you've done a bad job or you've done a great job, it's there for you to see. They will tell you that on your face there's no question mark. Sometimes you have like, oh, you said this, but you know, I thought you said it was a great thing, right, and then your interpretation because you're not directing it. So I think communication was something that I learned. Be more direct in communication, that is something which I keep very close to my heart. I think it makes life very, very simple when you again there's a way of saying yeah, it makes life simple by just being honest about what you feel. That's one thing which I learned. And third is a second thing which I understood.

Luna:

Guresh is is while we move countries, when I started expanding my social circle, I realized that there are people who kind of want to come together in their own communities. So I personally didn't want to do that. I came into this country to learn something. So not that I not that because I did not want to interact with fellow Indians. I had many friends, but I just realized that that's something which kind of doesn't make you experience the country as a whole.

Luna:

Right, enjoying, you know, living with somebody who's from you know locally, enjoying their festivities locally. It's very easy for us to go back to what's comfortable for us. Okay. So even I think as an immigrant, that was again my second that you've taken that step of going outside your comfort zone in a new country. Don't lose that. There's always that inertia to bring you back Indians. Everywhere you have your friends, you have communities, not that I'm saying go ahead, enjoy your community as well, but don't limit yourself to your community. So that's another thing which I learned, and I think I made friends for life out there in Australia because I had both from Indians as well as fellow Australians there, because I think I took each and every moment to learn and I wanted to make the most out of it. How is it that I can make my batch join with them so that we can make this beautiful piece?

Gurasis:

Yeah, and this has also been a common denominator amongst all my guests who have been on the podcast. Everybody has said the same thing that, yes, it's important to have a familiar group to go back to all the time, but it's also very necessary to embrace the country you are in and try to integrate in their culture and with the people, and I think that really helps you, that really really helps you to grow in a foreign land.

Luna:

Yeah, and I think it's also about respecting, like you say, respecting the land right, like even understanding the nuances, what they like. It's very important when you're coming in, you need to respect what they see is sacrosanct to their land and their culture and their rituals too. So I think that's important to understand that as adults, as we grow, we always have that pull. You know she had to not have that change. It's responsibility of us to say that. You know I'm not going to go into this pull that's coming. I need to move and see. You know what I can learn out of this.

Gurasis:

After immigrating from India, you decided to immigrate for the second time and you decided to move to Canada. So tell us what motivated the decision to move there. I believe you just mentioned that you wanted to move to Canada initially, but you end up going to Australia.

Luna:

Yeah, we were like, while this paperwork was going on for Canada, we loved us stay in Australia. Australia was beautiful. As I said, we already based our careers well there. We had great. We started building our own social circles and it was beautiful. The weather was amazing. It was very close to India because we were in the western side, you know, within. It was not the long duration. If you just wanted to go back home, you could visit and stuff. So everything was going well.

Luna:

And then we got this opportunity and I think it, the universe has its way Sometimes again and I see this is a constant theme probably in my life of moving away from comfort. So, knowingly or unknowingly. So, when this opportunity came, this was a move which was a little bit more difficult because, as I said, the first move, we didn't have any check boxes, right. We just wanted to experience, see how it's going. This was a second time, again moving, and when you start basing that, the first time you realize that you know this is a lot. It's emotional, australian, it's spiritual, it's physical, it's financial. There's a lot of moving components when you move from trees, right. So do we want to go through it again? So there was a lot of questions and when we got this we thought okay. And because you know, some extended family was here, we thought okay, just let's take the plunge. So we were happy and then came just before winter. So everyone did tell us that the winter is going to be brutal and everything we never experienced Really. It was never the coldest.

Luna:

It would go probably three to four degrees on the coldest day that you would have where we lived. So it was brutal and yeah, it is a different. I thought, to be honest, you know, done it first time how different difficulty can be. Yeah, like, how like it's. You've had that experience, you have international experience, how is it? But I think the universe has its way of humbling you, right, you think you know yourself, you think you know how to clap the cold. And then it was like no, this is something which was totally different.

Luna:

And then within a few months, it was difficult, like I got my first gig, again, good, I says, did a lot of mistakes, like, obviously the whole focus was so driven about getting a job, got into a wrong kind of an employer and it really went bad. Right, I couldn't, it really affected me a lot mentally. And then I was like, okay, I can't do this anymore. Like, so I quit that organization and COVID hit. You know, from the time we came to the time COVID hit, we didn't really have that. So we were so caught up in getting everything sorted, like the basic stuff, we really didn't have the chance to socialize much. So we just all of a sudden, while we had people whom we could meet. We were just at home for two years.

Luna:

So that brought itself challenges, because that kind of we always have ways to what to say? Distract ourselves, right. We constantly doing things, we are constantly trying to achieve things or going out. And then suddenly COVID came and you're just stuck in a place where you have yourself Okay, job and how, what do you do? Right? So I think that was a huge. It again got back to self introspection, going back inside to figure out what is it? What is your purpose? Why are you here? What do you want to do? There are so many difficulties. There were days when we were like, oh, do you really want to do it? You always can go back, right. And we couldn't even go back because, of course, okay. So it was like it's like God's, we've seen and you're here now, yeah, stay here.

Luna:

Deal with it, like, yeah, deal with it, and this is what it is. So it was quite humbling. Again, lots of unlearning and learning because, as you grow older, also because you think, as I said, you think you know yourself, you're aware of certain things, you, you think that you know, you have operated in a specific way and that all went out of the door. So I was used to networking face to face, meeting people, and now I had to completely change that. How do I ask somebody to spend half an hour on a video call when I don't know? And it's more weird, right, like how would you want? And nobody's done it before.

Gurasis:

Yeah.

Luna:

So I had to build a social connect, had to do all these things sitting in the confines of my four walls, and I am the kind of person who gets a lot of energy because, again, my job is like that. I am that kind of person I get energy from people. So it was like putting you inside a box and say, hey, this is what you have now, make magic out of it. So it was difficult and, yeah, that was my first experience with Canada. First year was stuff, but then I realized that, yeah, you have to think outside the box again. You, if you've been given this, what can you make most of it? So I did a lot of volunteering. I started doing a lot of work with new immigrants.

Luna:

Even now, I don't think this is I have achieved everything and you know, whatever I have learned I only share. I'm still. I'm still in that five year new immigrant bracket, what they say. I'm just going to complete four years. I'm still learning, but I take every opportunity to help because I know how difficult it is when you come to a new country and you have no one. And the older you get, the more difficult I think it gets. Maybe it's. I'm against stereotyping, but I think as you grow older, because you have such set patterns, it's very difficult to do that. So I'll just try and and that during that time I think I got into that I want to help others. I went through this time when, you know, I was struggling a bit and I kind of found these ways to get my sanity. I want to share that with other people, right? So that's what I did during my time when I first came from Canada.

Gurasis:

You know, listening to you, I feel like it. The second immigration to Canada might not be that difficult, but, COVID, was that added pressure that made it really hard for you for you both, actually, you know to really get started in this new country? I believe you told me you came in September 2019, right? So tell us about your first day that. How was the first day? Initial thoughts and emotions when you landed.

Luna:

I think it was like obviously it was Toronto and you know it was. It was very nice to see because you know I've been like I was in Calcutta. Then when I moved to Bangalore, it was a big city. Then I went to both, which is a smaller city, very, very quiet, a quaint place. That was again a smaller city and when I came to all this hustle, bus was, it was really nice and it was a fall.

Luna:

I really loved that it was during that time and everything was beautiful and the pumpkin spice and everything like the first thoughts were really good and, to be honest with us, to my experience I will always give it time. I don't make first assumptions because sometimes you know you judge based on first. So I was like, okay, this looks nice, it's a place, and again we had support systems and we did have people who could probably give us some guidance. So I was kind of comfortable at that stage. But again, the North American market is another beast. Right, your education and your licensing and everything is another beast. And solely when we started understanding the nuances of it it was like, yeah, you're coming, especially when you come to a GTA, there's so many immigrants, you're competing with the local population. So those things started like Bearing in that. You know that Canada's got huge and when we came I think that's the time also, like every year the number of immigrants was huge.

Luna:

So, yeah, it was a scary proposition because and again, that's when you start questioning yourself sometimes you feel like, will I be able to do it? I've done it once, it might not be so difficult. But what if I don't do it? Yeah, right, so you know, what would the pierce, they, what would the family say? So you also come with that added pressure. Sometimes it's just what you bring on yourself, sometimes you just need to eliminate the noise is what I have learned after that experience. But I think my first assumptions were definitely positive, even the snow, I think. When I sit inside the house I really enjoy it, like the cup of coffee, the beautiful moonlight on the snow. It looks. Yeah, it's just that when you go out it kind of is, but I think, yeah, every country is beautiful.

Gurasis:

So you were telling earlier. You know how in India people have a certain way of getting things done. And then you go to Australia and people are very direct. But then you come to Canada where people have a way of sugarcoating things and you know the all that politeness kind of is translated sometimes in a passive, aggressive manner as well at times. You know which is the truth, but tell me, do you have any like similar experience or anything else that you would like to highlight signifying the cultural difference between Australia, india and Canada?

Luna:

I'll speak specifically for Canada is it's a melting pot, so you have different people who make those subtle differences. But one thing which I always say is make your difference, your USB right. So I consciously said I'm going to keep this is a beautiful gift of direct communication that's given to me and I think it's. It makes like, as I said, it makes life easier. It doesn't mean that you're rude. You can say the thing directly but, with empathy.

Luna:

So I consistently thought that I don't want to lose that. Yeah right, this is something that I learned. It's a golden what do you call it gift that I got in those years. Yeah, and it took me a lot of time to inculcate. That was not easy.

Gurasis:

I'm sure.

Luna:

Yeah Right, because I didn't come from that, so I didn't want to lose that. Why you're different? You have to be authentic to yourself. You don't really. So this is the other thing which I feel that people say oh, the culture is different. Culture is what you bring to it. Okay, it's not necessary you change completely to suit, and when you do that, you will never be authentic to yourself, nor will you be authentic to others.

Luna:

100% kindness, respect are two things which I think will always work for you. So I would say, even if you find that something is different from how you do it, ask your question is it respectful? If it is it kind, the way you do it? If it is, go ahead and do it. So I always tell people don't think too much, because sometimes people keep wanting to become Canadian in some definition of different people, that you lose yourself. That is not what you want to do.

Luna:

So I think I always tell you when I interact with students, I interact with people, it's okay to be different, but did you accept your difference? Do you think it is? You know, is it kind, is it respectful the way you come across? Sometimes you think, but you're getting this feedback consistently that you are a certain way or you mean work on it, right, ask feedback, so things like that. So I think again versus culture. While we say this culture, that culture, the culture of kindness and respect, is common across any country. So as long as you can do that, you will always be welcome, you will always be a great citizen, will be always be a great community member.

Gurasis:

Yeah, I also remember reading, you know, some posts on LinkedIn from your profile and I think kindness and empathy were like your common words. You have used them everywhere.

Luna:

Yeah, I think that's something which versus I feel kindness is always seen very negatively in today's because it shows that you are softer. But no, kindness is a huge, huge power that you have. Sometimes you can, you know, kind of get across people only with a kind smile or even silence. You know kind silence to give it to them. So I think I constantly say that if you can just think when you are doing something and you are, just see, are you respectful, are you kind? If answer to both is no, then you need to redirect your strategy or plan of action. You cannot either be kind or respectful. It has to go Take on kindness, take on hand and hand, yeah. So that's something which I always say.

Gurasis:

I see kindness as a way of you know accepting people the way they are and not imposing your ideologies on them. Such a beautiful example you gave me.

Luna:

You respect them. That's how you accept. If you don't respect, you don't accept. And sometimes it's different, difficult to accept somebody who's different from you. It's a learning opportunity for you. Then you don't know enough about something. As human beings, I think each one of us has two things Either you accept or you learn from it and you think. This is not my cup of tea. I don't understand this concept, but respect it otherwise also, and then move on.

Gurasis:

So, when you touch briefly upon your profession, that you work in human resources, I wanted to tell us a little bit more about your journey in Canada, the job journey. I would say, because I remember you sharing that with me, that you did go down multiple levels just when you moved to Canada, and you also use this line where you said that you know I have so much in me, but we don't like boasting about it and I wanted to expand on that, this aspect of the culture that we grow up in, and how did you overcome that and also tell our listeners about your profession as well?

Luna:

I think this is I learned the hard way because, again, I was learning to accept myself. The other thing which I will tell everyone is, when you come, there will be a lot of voices who will tell you that you know, you have to start as a warehouse worker, you have to start. So I think, psychologically, sometimes people already put it that you have to go to levels down, or a level down it may be, but some people even stop trying and I think that had some effect on me, even though I had an Australian and then, as I said, this is the first stink that I had with an employer was not that great. Obviously, I would not like to name them. It was basically, you know, because I was new to the country. I was, you know, obviously I was still learning about. I had it was a very, very toxic culture that I had to endure. So I was still going, reeling through that and I my my. The reason why is I just wanted to get out of that place. To be honest with us, I myself questioned my ability. Right, I didn't take the opportunity.

Luna:

Sometimes we are in that comfort zone. So, while I talk about moving outside the comfort zone, sometimes we get comfort. Okay, we got this, let's just make the best out of it, which is great. But I think if that's not what you think you are technically worth, you should explore so that fear of losing what you have and things like that. And then the added thing of COVID came in, and you know there was a lot. So then that's when, the two years that I sat in, I realized that oh, you know there are.

Luna:

You may be good, but there are strategies for you to work on yourself, because sometimes we are taught back culturally. They don't talk about certain, you don't boast about yourself, and boasting though it's a negative tone if there's nothing we want to see. If you've done something in your life, right, what's wrong to say, like, if you've built a software which is life changing, why not? What's wrong in saying that? So I think that, again, it is wrong if you are saying it, you know making it up, but I think that's something that we need to consciously. It's okay to say you are good. It's okay to say that you have done something that somebody else has not done. It's okay to say, because sometimes people may not say that so you are your voice.

Luna:

I always say this in the end of the day you're living with. If you don't accept yourself, you don't love yourself. If you don't talk about yourself, you don't appreciate yourself, don't expect anyone else to do it. So if something inside is telling you that no, I'm not worth it, then maybe you're worth it, but you don't think you are. So I think it's that, again, you give out positive thoughts, you get positive thoughts right. So I think that's also while I'm talking to it from a very professionally I think it's important if you think that you are a manager and you have specific grades to go for it.

Gurasis:

I feel like I'm talking to like a clone of mine, because sometimes I literally say the same things to my friends or people I speak to like you know, always be your own cheerleader. Nobody's gonna come and advocate for yourself. You have to do it yourself. And another quote you know, aluna, I came across it maybe like two years ago, probably sometime in being 21,.

Gurasis:

Be COVID, you know, just logged in the house and nothing else to do on LinkedIn, here and there, and I took on this like a 30 days challenge, and then that I was just kind of researching about the one thing I can talk about, I came across this quote that you cannot hold anybody accountable for your happiness, because if you do that, you are not only giving person the power, but you're also putting the pressure on the other person to make you happy all the time, and nobody in the world can do that. At some of the other point they are going to disappoint you. So the best thing is don't give them the power to make you happy. You know you should be responsible for your own happiness. You should come from within.

Luna:

Yeah, that is so true. This is I think that's something which I tell everyone that you have to the first step to any job searches. Look inward, I think. Also the other thing is when you start coming to a different country, you're always meeting people with the aim of getting something out of that person.

Gurasis:

I think that's wrong.

Luna:

You know you can take, you can learn from somebody. But if you only go with the fact that I'm going to speak to this person and my aim is to get a job and I'm going to get this out of this person, it's not going to happen.

Gurasis:

So you also work very closely with international students, saying you were also being a mentor at various organizations. You are a mentor at Toronto region immigrant employment council. You are up and you're also the operations manager at winning inclusive solutions wins. You're responsible for the Canadian market research around diversity, equity, inclusion. You're also an ambassador for immigrant networks and now you work as a talent acquisition specialist and co-chair for multiculturalism for Kalian group. I want to tell you a little bit about your role and also what are like some of the common questions or challenges that the students often see guidance on. Apart from, you know, like how you just mentioned, that people come and ask you like for the job and everything about from that, what else?

Luna:

My role, specifically Kaelian is works a lot with government agencies. So we work on projects that they have, so work with various things like CBSA, the IRCC, you know, department of National Defence, so we do a lot of federal based contracts. So my role is basically working for those and ensuring that the statement of work for those individuals and because our company has four divisions, I'm in the health, so for me mostly it's healthcare roles across. So we as a team we look for physicians, doctors anything that you can think of social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, anything that you can think of in that space. So that's something which is extremely what to say? Fulfilling because in the end of the day, you're placing these people who are making a difference to people's lives. So I think, consciously, that's something which I am very proud of. I also, as you said, I am, you know, co-chairing the multi diversity, which is again a great experience for me because I'm working with a lot of people indigenous groups, women groups, young professional groups, on mental health and things like that. So I get the opportunity to educate and also learn from various people throughout Kaelian, across the business, and really, as you might have seen, I work part time as an instructor for one of the colleges too.

Luna:

So my interaction with international students I always have a great, great respect for them, because I told you this in our initial chat as well. This is like. I think the amount of change that they are supposed to in allocate in themselves is through the roof, and I know it because you know you come from a very, very secluded not secluded, I think protected environment, and then you are coming into this country where you are supposed to do everything on your own. So they have to do a lot, and some of them don't do it with any prior experience. They've never done it, or they don't have people to guide them. From international students, I think, one which I tell recently, I've told all my students what is your goal when you are studying? Make the most out of it, right? I know some of them who don't network at all, who don't have LinkedIn accounts, who don't do anything in those two years. They are so much into the rat race already of having that minimum wage job or the warehouse job that they are not looking at the big picture. So I always tell them what are you here for? I know this is important. You cannot say that I will. You know, let go of this job, but in the end of the day, this is not what you have come for. You have come for this. So, while you have all these things, at least spend one hour. You have resources in your college. You have alumni in your college. Start and build that. I know there's so much in your plate, but don't lose sight of your integral. Where do you want to be? I know, in the end of the day, it's the whole thing of the visa and getting all these things, but make the most out of these years. You're not going to get back these two, three years and these are critical, that accelerator. So you have to put all you have in these two or three years to get that push for your future.

Luna:

I would say that second is go out, meet different people. You've come here. Try and explore, try and speak about what's the music that they, what's the movies they see. You know, inculcate your own. You have your own interests to that, but don't forget that you are here for a bigger experience. Learning is not only about textbooks. While I'm saying it, sometimes you have no option, but I say you can spend half an hour, one hour a day to kind of learn a little bit more and prepare yourself for your career. I know many of them are so much into technology that you know they're always online. So I said, make more use of that I try and see, help them with that, because sometimes they there's so much happening that they lose sight on what they're actually here for. So and there are lots of people to help I always tell them that look out. You will see genuine people who've been in your same situation here to help you.

Gurasis:

And I think now we have like so many resources you know sort of like platforms, reach out to people One of them you work with the immigrant networks as well, you know who connect people with other individuals who can help them. So many of these things were just not there, at least like five years ago when I moved to Canada. It just wasn't there. But I can be a little hesitant to ask for that help. So I think I'm a very courage, international students, that nobody's.

Gurasis:

It's the truth that nobody's coming to help you. You really have to take that effort and ask for that help. I remember you also mentioning this line. You know it's a lot of you pushing yourself out. Nobody's coming to push you on that.

Luna:

It's like the crying child gets the food right, like so you have to see again. That's the fear versus I think it's also fear of failure is so high in us that we are so scared. But you know the failure or regret that you will have of not doing it will be far more. So I always tell people the max that you will get from somebody is no, I can't do it, that's fine, move on. If this person doesn't help, there will be somebody else. Don't have that fear stopping you from doing it. The most silly question you ask me make you feel that, oh, this person is inquisitive, curious. Let me take this person under my wing and mentor him or her. It could just mean that one right person comes into your life.

Gurasis:

And what would you say, luna, to the people or I would say international students who are questioning their decision to move to Canada? Because I am in contact with few, few students and they asked this question to me all the time that you are here, from five years. Did you have any times or did you have any situations or phase where you were question decision that? Why did I come here? Things are not working out, things are not happening, so I want you to answer this question. How would you answer this?

Luna:

I think it's just all of us in some point, no matter how great our journeys have been. It could be like our jobs are going, financially, everything is going well, but maybe connect twice. Or social-wise it's not all the other way. You have great friends but nothing is happening. It's all of us. So I think that's the pain that everyone has to endure, like there's every change everything has, and sometimes I know it can be. That's why I say have those two or three people whom you can reach out to. Sometimes I also know Gurus. Is that maybe people? You don't?

Luna:

This is something which students tell me. I don't want to speak to people back home because I don't want to load them with thinking that I am doing this. So they don't have people whom they can call back home because they feel that, oh my God, they will feel upset, my father will feel upset, my mother will feel or my sister will feel upset. So take one or two. It would be a friend that you have. Talk about it because, to be honest, none of us I think maybe the degrees are varying None of us have had an easy journey.

Luna:

Everyone has gone through that that. Have I come here to do this? Why did I do this? I had such a comfortable, even if I go back. So it's always, as I said, that inertia is always going to push you.

Luna:

Having said that, gurus always look at have you done everything? Somebody who asks me this, I will say think very, very practically. Have you done everything that is in your mind to make it happen? 99% of the people have not Right because they're so stressed sometimes. It is a natural process when you're stressed, when you're upset, you don't think straight. So just one person or two people speak to them, write down what is your course and have a plan. Always have a plan B. If this is not working, what do I do next? So I think it's like anything never don't give up. Second is try as much as you can. Third is block noise. Sometimes you will hear more people saying things that you want to hear rather than what you don't want to hear. So when you're feeling down and somebody's saying that, oh, I think you should, just you know don't do this.

Luna:

As I said, this is all of us have gone through irrespective, and I can understand. International students would probably have more because they have more added pressures too.

Gurasis:

So you have mentioned it throughout our conversation, luna, that you have had that discovery and that whole process, or took your ears to find yourself and you're basically, you know, saying that I love yourself, you love yourself. And but tell me, if any of our listeners is going through maybe like a similar phase or similar discovery, what advice would you give to them or any sort of like insights that you can share, that they should like follow, that can help they can basically learn to love themselves a little more?

Luna:

I think one again. While I say that, I'm still in the process. I've been a little bit better of self accepting, but again, we all again are human beings, right, every time we see ourselves in certain situations. I would say that ensure that, especially when you I say this even for people who go for interviews right, when you go in for an interview and some of us take the public transport I used to do it and this helped me. It was a very clinical way take a diary, okay, and immediately, once you sit in the train, just after you've had an interview which was extremely good for extremely bad take down notes. How are you feeling? What are some of the points you thought are going well, did well, what's something that you absolutely did, a future of right. So, writing those things down and then just keep, because sometimes what happens is time plays with you. When you think about that thing in two days time, it becomes a little colored. So I realized that this helped me, even when I was having conversations with new people. How did I present myself? Was there anything? And then I started asking feedback from people. Okay, I took a lot of mock interviews or anything like that. People used to say we take my mock interview. I used to ask them when I asked you a question, did you feel comfortable? Did my body language come? So I did a lot of like that from people. I asked a lot of my friends. I took a lot of help from my family members and I'm comfortable with like, what do you think works, what works, and it's constantly that feedback from others and how you're feeling about it.

Luna:

But sometimes you're over critical about yourself. I'll stop doing that and it's a good sign you're over critical. That means you have high expectations of yourself, right. So I always tell people make notes of how you are feeling. If you're feeling bad about something, if you're feeling not so great, write it down or vocalize it. Some people don't like to write it, vocalize it or just record it on your phone, right? So when you start hearing yourself after the few, why did I feel that? And then sometimes some of these things that I wrote down, I read two years down and was like, how silly was I? Like you know, this is not such a big deal. Why was I feeling that way? Because I think I brain also kind of fuzzes out certain things how you feel, how you are doing, and things like. So it's important. I think that helped me.

Luna:

Second is if you've really not done something well, it's okay, just forget about it. Like you just write down what you could do better, then just move on. I've seen so many people who like, have this, they've done, they've given it all in their interview, they've really done well or really bombed, and then they feel bad and then that affects their further conversations down the line too. End of the day, one thing which I do is just if you can just try and write down three things that you would really proud about. I have done it.

Luna:

During COVID, I used to keep a bowl and I used to keep one thing which I did well today, and then after I think I did it for about eight, nine months it was so beautiful the days when I used to feel bad, I used to just open it and read it. I was like, oh, I did this, also, I did this. So I used to do that like a gratitude bowl kind of thing, which just helps you and then work on yourself. That's all, with whatever feedback it's important that you do, with what feedback that you get. I have somebody saying that you need to do this good, or you could do this better, and you feel that, yeah, I do need to do it and you don't do anything about it. It's not going to go any better.

Gurasis:

So yeah, yeah, great, great suggestions. Luna, you know what I do. I actually don't write, I do the audio journaling, literally, Like you just mentioned. Sometimes you can do call. I do that not every day, to be very honest, but I do that at times when I'm feeling a little low at times or something amazing. At times I do record it because I really wanna record the emotion I am, so that I can, whenever I can go back and listen to it, I can feel that emotion again. That's how I do it at times. Yeah, that's beautiful because it's also.

Luna:

It's so humbling because sometimes you're like, oh, my God, I've grown so much from there. Oh, I did that at that time. That was such a big thing, Big thing for me, and it's so humbling. So I think people should look at this.

Gurasis:

I think it also helps me sometimes see the mystery around our lives. Basically, you see the, for example, if you really join the dots, you really see that why certain thing didn't work out because I was supposed to reach here or why that thing worked out because it was supposed to take me to the next journey of mine. So you really have that time to really see the bigger picture at times you have this documentation.

Luna:

I totally agree with this. This is something again which I if something is not happening and you're trying too hard, it's just not meant to be Sometimes. You just need to give it time, it will come in the right time, right. So that's an amazing thing that you're saying.

Gurasis:

Okay, luna. So now we're in the final segment of the podcast. I call it Beneath the Accent because we are knowing each other beneath the accent. I'm going to ask a couple of questions. You can answer them in one word or a sentence, or however you feel like. The idea is just to know more about you and since you are a listener of the podcast, I have changed the questions a little bit to make it a little more difficult for you. So ready, yeah. So what advice would you give to Luna who is in the initial months of landing in Canada? Don't stress, it will get better. Is this something you recently bought that you now regret?

Luna:

I'm actually a quite a conscious buyer. I was somebody who used to buy a lot, so I do that thing. I put it on the cart, wait for 24 hours to see if I really need it or not. So really not purchase. Actually, I don't regret no, it's something that I regretted. Right, I didn't. I don't have anything that I regret.

Gurasis:

If you had to describe yourself as any creature, what would it be? I would say a dog.

Luna:

I think I have two dogs. I connect so much with them I just feel that in some birth of mine I might have been a dog, like I sometimes think. I connect with them somehow better than humans sometimes. Yeah, I think, yeah, I would say a dog.

Gurasis:

I connect. So what's next on your bucket list?

Luna:

I actually want to explore a little bit more about the student community. I really want to do something more. I know I have done a little bit of work, but this is I won't say that I've really spent time. I know people directly have contacted me and I've helped in whatever capacity. I want to do something a little bit more focused on it. I'm still thinking about it. Thankfully I've gotten to that space within the college and trying and seeing what I can do, but that's something. I want to do something more for the immigrant and student community.

Gurasis:

Who's your go-to person?

Luna:

The past three years. It's my sister, I think my older sister. She is about seven years older to me. I think I go to her because there's no judgment at all, so I can just say the most interesting, the most silly thing. And then, even if I think about something silly, I just message her on WhatsApp and this is what I'm feeling in them. She'd be like it's okay. So if somebody really listens to my conversation with her, she's like oh my God, this girl is so confused. Sometimes she's saying that she's so my sister.

Gurasis:

Okay, what's the most unusual or unique food you have tried and did you like it? I?

Luna:

actually had I don't know. It was a seafood with talons, some things, nails, okay. So I was thinking it's prawn and I was like I was biting into it and it was like kind of rubbery and somebody told me it had a nail of some. So it smelled a little funny but it was tasty but I kind of okay, I have like, but yeah, that's something which I think is very weird.

Gurasis:

If you could swap lives with someone for a day, who would it be and why?

Luna:

Oh, this is such a nice question I would like to swap, probably with the Obamas. Hit the Barack Obama, michelle Obama, definitely, yeah, yeah, why I think they say the right thing. Right? They always say Always, yes, always. So how did they come? It's very intriguing, right? They say the right thing, they do the right things. What's happening in their lives that makes them say these right things? I know there's this political PR and everything like that, but it's interesting to see. I would love to live their life, maybe a week.

Gurasis:

It would be interesting to know what's the daily dose of wisdom that they get, which they're imparting.

Luna:

And it's not easy to be in that space where you're always scrutinized and to remain and say these things that you are doing. And Barack Obama, while he's won the Nobel Peace Prize, and there are some lot of controversial things Like there's a lot of things that you know intrigue me about them.

Gurasis:

Do you have any quirky habits or rituals that you follow in your daily routine?

Luna:

I actually need to have like masala tea every day, like that. I don't know, maybe it's an adage for my other, the ginger tea, that they have Indian ginger tea, that is. If I don't have it, I think psychologically I feel like I'm just having a bad day. So I think that's something which fuels my day. I really love, I think, when I start my day with a nice ginger tea, my day goes really well. I think it's a superstition of what I don't know, but yeah, so everyone my house, if my mood is not good, like, or I'm like looking down or something they'll say didn't you have your tea in the morning? And then it would be that that day maybe I missed it or I just had like hot water instead, or something.

Gurasis:

If you could be a contestant in a reality TV show, which one would you choose?

Luna:

It was something which I wanted to, because it's like I think I have a hidden dancer in me. I'm not I won't say I'm good, but I don't know. I get transported when I see dance in any form. I actually spent hours like my mom and I, and maybe Jill on these dance programs, I'll be sure so we both love it. So I think if I had to do that something in dance, it could be like even Indian classical dance. I just feel that dancers have a special blessing or gift from God, like that's something which they have. So, yeah, a dancer for sure.

Gurasis:

Have you ever tried to learn or train yourself, any of?

Luna:

the I actually, to be honest, because I'm Jack of all trade, master of none, so I did a little bit of classical dancing. I used to do a lot of Bollywood dance till, I think, my first job. I used to go for classes and all, so I always had that somewhere. That's something which I would like to bring back dancing in some form or the other. I feel a lot of it. But yeah, I think, yeah, it's a good reminder for me, but it's now that you're saying that start looking at something new to do next year.

Gurasis:

So describe Canada in one word or a sentence. What word can?

Luna:

I use.

Gurasis:

I think you already answered it by calling it a quilt, which I absolutely loved.

Luna:

Yeah, I think that I completely believe it, because there's so many of us wanting to make this beautiful piece bomb fuzzy and having everyone come together. We are constantly working on this huge quote, so yeah.

Gurasis:

Canada is. So if you could leave me with one piece of advice, what would it be?

Luna:

Continue doing what you're doing. But it says you are kind of bringing learnings and journey, and I know it's. I told you this before. It's not easy to spend your time to do something for others. Continue doing that. You never know. You're putting such a lot of positivity in the universe. It's bound to come back then fall to you. So continue doing this job. I look forward to seeing much more. I have learned so much from all your podcasts and I also kind of have one something. Whenever I listen to your podcast, I have one thing that I take back, either as a thought or something that I should do. So thank you for that, chris continue, thank you.

Gurasis:

Thank you for kind words. That's definitely my goal. So how would you describe your experience of being on the podcast as a guest, now, not only a listener?

Luna:

As I said, it was such a beautiful because this helped me go back to my 15 year old self, my 21 year old self, the time I moved and now how I am, and while I'm still on the journey of, you know, being a better version of me. I think I really loved it, because you don't do it every day, right. So it's a great experience and I hope that, with whatever little that I have shared, it makes a difference to at least one person, so I'd be happy if that happens.

Gurasis:

I'm sure about that. So, on that note, thank you so much, duna, for being on the podcast and adding value to my listeners. Thank you, thank you, marissa. Hey listener, thank you for making it to the end. I highly highly appreciate you listening to the podcast. Subscribe to the podcast if you haven't as yet, and please share with your friends or anybody you think would like it. And, like I always say, we encourage you to follow your heart but also ask. On Instagram, the handle is mythicaccent. You can also leave us a review or write to us at helloatmythicaccentcom. So stay tuned and let's continue knowing each other beneath the accent.

The Journey of Immigrants
Navigating Cultural Identity and Belonging
Calcutta, Australia, and Cultural Stereotypes
Communication and Integration in Foreign Country
The Second Immigration
Cultural Differences and Professional Challenges
Navigating Cultural Challenges and Professional Growth
Guidance for International Students in Canada
Getting to Know Beneath The Accent
Podcast Guest's Impact and Listener's Experience