Canadian Sikh Heritage | Hardial Singh Dhaliwal
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Hardial Singh Dhaliwal

Hardial Singh Dhaliwal was born in village Pammi Balichak, District Lajpur, Pakistan on 4th September, 1934. His father Arjun Singh was from Pakistan and his mother Raj Kaur, was from Punjab. Hardial Singh was the youngest amongst his two sisters and two brothers. His sister who is the only surviving sibling still resides in India.

Hardial Singh first came to Canada on 3 June, 1996 when his son Sukhminder Singh, who had been in Canada for four years, sponsored him. When Hardial Singh first came to Canada he felt good but after sometime he started facing some difficulties as he didn’t know how to speak in English. He was also missing his four children who were still in India. He has 6 children, out of which 3 are still in India. He came to Canada with his wife and one son and the other 3 sons followed later. Initially he stayed in Surrey for a month and found a job picking berries in Abbotsford. Thereafter he moved to Abbotsford permanently. Right now he doesn’t work and is on pension.

For Hardial Singh working in Canada was a huge challenge because he had never worked in India and his sons managed his agricultural land back home. He faced difficulties here because he thinks that not everyone treats the labour class equally. While some considered him their brother others wouldn’t care about him at all. Hardial Singh visits India once in a year because of his children. Though he misses his 2 grandchildren back in India but he is still comfortable living in Abbotsford as his whole family is here. He currently stays with his son, wife, daughter-in-law and one grandchild. Hardial Singh never faced any discrimination and racism when he came to Canada. He however did feel that there was a communication gap between him and his Canadian counterparts .He never felt comfortable when he used to go grocery shopping or roam in the mall because of the communication barrier. Hardial Singh mentioned that white people don’t seem to get bothered about his dressing sense but he feels uncomfortable being in their company. Earlier he used to go to the temple to meet friends and spend some time there and now he goes there only on certain occasions.