While both of my parents said they didn’t feel consciously traumatized by their internments, both of their families were quite poor before, during and after the war.  My mother’s parents felt that the best way to escape poverty was for their kids to go onto post-secondary education and pursue well-paying jobs using their brains rather than doing physical labour. While university education was fairly rare during those days, especially for non-Caucasians, six of 11 children ended up getting at least Bachelor’s degrees, two of them attained Master’s degrees and one reached a doctorate level. These were amazing accomplishments for such a large and financially poor family.

My father’s family also thought highly of pursuing post-secondary education but only one of my uncles was able to go on to technical school after high school.  In addition to higher education, they felt that the best way to succeed in Canada was to outwork your peers and colleagues. In other words, my father always taught me to make sure that I was either smarter and or harder working than the person next to me in order to survive in the working world.  This same philosophy applied to school and it definitely rubbed off on me and my siblings.

Today, as a parent of two children of my own, I feel compelled to make sure my kids are also honest, smart and hardworking individuals.


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