06 January 2021

Anonymous – CANADA

I am from the Soviet Union and have lived in Canada for 24 years. I find that almost all the Russians whom I have met here feel very similar about the present situation. We had lived through years and decades of propaganda, especially everywhere in the media, the deficit of basic necessities,  restrictions, things you could not say or do, things being banned and so on.  However, we never felt the hatred or pressure from other people for thinking differently, except by the state or by the propaganda.  In Stalin’s time, it was common to snitch on one another, even on one’s friends or family members. Millions of people were arrested, their lives destroyed. But in my childhood and younger years we were happy and content, even though some things were scant. We all had a community where people supported one another.  We came to Canada to look for freedom, for opportunities, for individual rights, for better future for our children. Did our hopes come true? Well,  before the year 2020, my whole family did very well. But now, many people are starting to doubt or even regret their decision to immigrate here. In fact, at the time I was leaving Russia, the country had just begun to open and expanded the trade and connections with the world. We had begun to hope that life would be better (Unfortunately, with the newer version of state-oligarch capitalism, almost all those hopes soon disappeared 🙁 ).

We, the immigrants, came to Canada for freedom. But now it feels like we are losing it. We have already lived through propaganda and manipulation. We are extremely sensitive to that.  We can’t stand lies. Are we coming back to the worst things we have escaped? Was it all worth leaving your family and your community behind to end up in the same system, but worse, because nobody will care for you?

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