Posted by : VANITY Blog Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Today’s Ted Talk Tuesday is about the immigration story of Tan Le. Tan Le’s talk grabbed my attention because of her puzzle pieces analogy. She compared each of her family members and her immigration adventures to a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. Her story, she said, is not yet finished; it is a one big puzzle that is still being put together.

What captivated me the most from her story was how her mother worked two jobs whilst getting a college degree. I can personally relate to this. Ever since I moved here to Canada with my family, my mother has always protected and nurtured us. During my first few days here, it was like being a child again; I had to rely heavily on my parents. Looking back, I actually think it was a good thing for it strengthened my bond with my parents.

Going back to Tan Le’s story, she shared their journey to Australia where they had to hide in a concealed boat to escape her mother’s cruel life. Her mother brought poison with her, which they were ready to drink in case their boat got caught.  I cannot possibly imagine myself having the same courage that she had—the courage of walking in a thin thread, to be ready to jump off a cliff when the situation begs it.

Tan Le ended her story by revealing the last piece of her puzzle.  As she stabled her life and finished her law degree, she realized that she could not get a career in law. She thought that there had to be another piece. Soon enough, she found it. And that is, the realization that is okay to be an outsider, a recent arrival, new on the scene. She says that it's even “something to be thankful for” because “being an insider can so easily mean collapsing the horizons, can so easily mean accepting the presumptions of your province”. Sometimes, it is better when we are in a strange place. It gives us the chance to grow, be braver and be smarter. 

Favourite quote from the talk: “I have stepped outside my comfort zone enough now to know that, yes, the world does fall apart, but not in the way that you fear.” 

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Vancouver Immigrant Youth (VANITY) Blog is an online space made for youth, by youth. Here, you will find stories and experiences written by youth immigrants who once felt how challenging it was to be a newcomer in Vancouver. If you are a newcomer in Vancouver (or anywhere in Canada), we hope to give you all the resources you need to feel comfortable in this country. We hope to give you tips and advices on how we adjusted to our lives here as youth immigrants. Through this site, we want to empower you to bring out your full potential.





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