7 kinds of Pakistani immigrants you’ll most likely come across in Canada

It’s been a little over a year since my immigrant status in Canada and I have met some interesting fellow Pakistanis. Immigrants who tend to fall in a certain ‘type’. Even I fit in there somewhere. This is based solely on my observation and interaction. At the risk of over-generalization, here goes:

1. Perpetual Complainers Inc. (PWI’s): I complained in Pakistan. I complain here. Stop me if you can!

In Pakistan they complained about the skin-sizzling heat. In Canada they complain about the mind-numbing cold. Back home the hoard of house helpers was too much to handle. Now, they whine about doing all the work themselves. Back home it was the terrorists. Around here it’s the serial killers and sociopaths. Trust them to come up with the worst possible scenario in the worst possible situation.

2. The un-settlers:Oh we are leaving as soon as we get our passports!
They never fully unpack, be it their material assets or minds They never buy a house. If it were up to them they’d live in a motel until their passport mission finished. They don’t travel. They don’t spend unnecessary money. Immigrant gypsies – they just won’t settle. All this trouble for what?Ā  For starters, they understand the power of their blue passports. Their children may come back to Canada for a higher education. Or they may even use the passports for better employment opportunities back home. Like a troop on a mission, they make little to none human connection.

3. East of West Canada is the best, but Pakistan….: There’s no place like Canada. Back home we never…..

Oh they are true lovers of Canada. Everything from the weather, to the people, to the infrastructure and welfare, their hearts sing for their new home. But they never stop comparing everything with Pakistan. Standing at a bank, they can be caught thinking: ‘Oh if this were Pakistan, I’d have high blood pressure by now, considering the lack of queues and a proper system’. Or when a police car passes by: ‘Look at those responsible, honest policemen. Back home police is the most despised profession.’ They’d be discussing Canadian Politics at someone’s dinner party and suddenly talks about corrupt Pakistani politicians would pop up. Canada is their utopia, so they wouldn’t be caught dead saying anything bad about the country. Like an over-competitive parent, maybe it is their inborn love for Pakistan that compels this insane criticism. Or maybe they just love finding faults. For them, it’s never greener on the other side.

4.The opportunistic clan: I will never mingle with these ‘goras’ but I will eat up their welfare:

These are people who might look at their surroundings with contempt. From their clothes to their actions, they make sure everyone knows how serious they are about their identity and more specifically, religion. They won’t let their children mingle with the locals. Nor will they enroll them in any activities that could lead to too much exposure of the new culture. They will hardly ever be seen in Parks, or theaters, or cultural events. Oh but they will find all possible methods to show eligibility for benefit options – unemployment, health, children, education, old age etc.

5. The forgetful: Pakistani? No no, I am Canadian! See I love Tim Horton’s and I have an accent and all

They buried their Pakistani passports the minute they landed. Or if they were born and bred here, they didn’t have much to forget in the first place. From their clothes to their beliefs, everything is Canadian. Their children have as much knowledge of their country, as Arabs may have about poverty. But that doesn’t change the reality. Once a Pakistani, always a Pakistani. Oh but they forget so easily.

6.The Homesick: Converting the price of a $5 toothbrush and saying: Oh 500 Rupees for a tooth-brush?!

These immigrants are stuck in a time warp. They can’t make peace with the fact that they are no longer in Pakistan. Grocery with them can be excruciating. Mental math conversions, fantasies of Pakistani tailors and Lawn designer exhibitions, hand-made roti (flat bread) are only some of their homesick remedies that make them feel better.

7.Ā  The assimilators: I will make the most of it. No matter what.

These people understand that they chose to immigrate. For a better future, for better education or whatever their reasons may be. No one forced them to come. So they try to make the most of it. A stark opposite of the ‘un-settlers’, these immigrants tend to assimilate in their environment without much trouble. They hold on to some important values they grew up with but are always open to new customs and ideas. They make new friends, travel and encourage relatives and friends back home to immigrate too! Yet their love for Pakistan doesn’t die. If anything it gets stronger. “Distance makes the hard grow fonder?”






22 thoughts on “7 kinds of Pakistani immigrants you’ll most likely come across in Canada

      1. haha I know. I am kind of struggling between number 3. and number 7. I feel more like an over critical parent when it comes to Pakistan. Homesickness is kind of an ongoing process in my case


  1. ASOA Nida, its folks likeyourself who are, and will contribute their best to this great country. I also am a friend of your father and live in Vancouver. Please do share you contact info and look forward to getting in touch. Regards.


  2. You forgot about the most annoying of them all…the chameleons šŸ™‚ The ones that switch back and forth in their pakistani and canadian selves so opportunistically and faster than you can say hypocrite. After an ‘aunty’ dismissed my mom’s potluck idea for a big gathering suggesting it was so insulting to tell other people to bring food to an event I was not amused when five minutes later her daughter was over the top rude to a couple in front of many and the aunty’s response was ‘u know it’s the canadian way to be blunt — we have to teach them to be so.’ I decided not to bother educating her on the difference between blunt and plain rude.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh yes! Thanks for the add-on! this kind sure sounds like the most messed up. Hypocrites galore! What an enlightening logic given by the aunti. ‘shudder’


      1. haha… actually I was getting inspiration for doing a followup piece on “7 kinds of Settled Pakistani Immigrants and their attitude towards new immigrants” … just the rough content playing in my head is entertaining enough for me… lol


  3. Thank you for sharing more about your culture and the difficulties settling – it made for an interesting read. I think even natives (of any country) do this – but they do it around towns and birth places compared to where they’ve moved to, some even do it between streets in the same town. What do you think?


    1. You are right. Maybe its more of an innate defence mechanism that automatically triggers when people are in new and unfamiliar surroundings. Some just handle it better than others I guess. Thank you so much for your inkriching words:)


  4. Is this a global phenomenon ? this are exactly the kinds of Indians in every country. plus one thing,we follow all foreign rules, but when we come back we ask ‘rules?’

    by the way,my second name too is kamal šŸ™‚


    1. Aah it must be global! I considered writing just about immigrants but I didn’t have much first hand contact with other immigrants to be sure. But your input helps set things into perspective. Thank you for reading:D


Any inkriching words for me:)?

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