After battling the usual crowd at the usual places on Boxing Day (the Future Shop deal on the 1 gig SD card MP3 player was awesome) I drove to Danforth-Victoria Park to pick up some furniture that mom had ordered. For those not from Toronto, Danforth-Victoria Park is the Bengali area of Toronto - lots of Bengali shops and people.
That area is as Bengali as you can get in North America. Once I was waiting outside (it was summer) while my parents shopped for groceries inside one of those crowded Bengali shops (I hate those) I even saw a chintai - purse snatching. One Bengali lady suddenly started shouting, then two Bengali gentlemen started to chase a young hoodlum, who also looked Bengali. There was a policeman nearby who helped give chase as well. As a sidenote, Victoria Park subway station (known as Bengali station amongst desis) seems to always have a policeman on duty. Probably a good idea.
As I walked to the furniture shop, I spotted a family entering Marhaba, a big, Bengali, grocery store. Father, mother and a young child (probably no older than 8). Now I could hazard a guess that the family was new to Canada. Even though it was a calm +5 degrees centigrade today, no wind, rain or snow, they were dressed as if it was -40. Woolen gloves, thick parkas with layers, a ninja-type ski mask covering half the face and thick snow boots. I could see people give them the stares. I guess I can call myself Canadian now as I can brave +5 degrees wearing just a jacket over my T-shirts and normal jeans. It's almost BBQ weather!
As I passed by Marhaba I could see that the child was half way to being a Canadian. He didn't want to enter the store, saying it was crowded. Then the mother started to shout, "Come inside or you will be taken by chele doras (child kidnappers)."
Boy, I haven't heard that threat since I was ten, and in Bangladesh. And even at that time, I, brought up outside Bangladesh, thought it was funny. Outside of Bangladesh, does that threat work?
One sign of being Canadian, I think, is the dumbing down of winter. I was at my cousin's place the other night, and stepped out on the balcony along with her daughter. My niece exclaimed, "Hey! It's not too bad, it's only -2!"
They are now studying for their citizenship exams.
Tags: Boxing Day Danforth Victoria Park Canadian Winter