Country of Origin:
Citizenship, Immigration, Identity & Heritage, Multiculturalism & Diversity, Adjusting to Life in Canada
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My name is Dr. Lorelei Silverman I was born in Romania, EU. I came to Canada in 1996 together with my twin sister Dr. Rosalind Silverman. Canada offered us a great opportunity too study. We received our M.Sc and PhD with distinction from York University and got many prestigious awards including two postdoctoral fellowships from NSERC and HSF as well as top 25 Canadian Immigrant award in 2009. As a neuroscientist with University of Toronto I have been contributed to my research many papers and I have participated in many international conferences. Similarly, Rosalind has contributed as a scientist with University of Toronto to the field of cancer and atherosclerosis. To give back to my community we are involved with over 40 charities and created an International Conference "Models of Human Diseases", the first ever in Canada to be both online and onsite. We have created also a workshop series to help students (especially newcomers) with their applications for medical and dental school (http://modelsofdiseases.wordpress.com) as well as we mentor many foreign trained biomedical professionals in colaboration with LSO, JIAS, and JVS. Rosalind has taught at Sheridan College and I taught at University of Toronto, Scarborough.
We were born in Romania in a very educated family and came to Canada to further our postgraduate education. We are fully immersed in the multicultural Canadian society and try to bring to it our European background and perspective.
On becoming Canadian
One of the major landmarks of becoming Canadian was when we received our citizenship. After three years, you are actually eligible to apply for citizenship and we did it right away. The very first day that we were able, we applied. After one year we went for the interview.
The day that we received the citizenship, the celebration was one of our happiest moment in our life in Canada. We were extremely proud of receiving the citizenship. When we received our passport, we travelled with a lot of pride all over the world. Showing our Canadian passport, we were always excited to be called Canadian citizens at the border.
To become Canadian or to feel Canadian, is a process both ways. In one way, you get to know more about the society, you get to know more Canadian people. But at the same time, there is the other process in which you start to contribute to the Canadian society. So the more you also give back to other people, to your community, to your work, the more you feel that you are part of this community.
L'obtention de notre citoyenneté fait partie des étapes déterminantes qui nous ont permis de devenir Canadiennes. Après trois ans, on devient admissible à la demande de citoyenneté, ce que nous avons fait tout de suite. Le tout premier jour de notre admissibilité, nous avons transmis notre demande. Après un an, nous avons passé l'entrevue.
Le jour où nous avons obtenu notre citoyenneté, la célébration compte parmi les moments les plus heureux de notre vie au Canada. Nous étions très fières d'accéder à la citoyenneté. Après que nous avons reçu notre passeport, nous avons voyagé dans le monde entier avec grande fierté. Lorsque nous présentions notre passeport canadien, nous étions toujours remplies d'enthousiasme à l'idée qu'on nous appelle « citoyennes canadiennes » à la frontière des pays.
Devenir Canadienne ou se sentir Canadienne est un processus de réciprocité. D'une part, on apprend à mieux connaître la société, on apprend à mieux connaître le peuple canadien. Mais d'autre part, il existe un processus par lequel on commence à fournir son apport à la société canadienne. Alors plus on se montre redevable envers les autres, envers sa collectivité, dans son milieu de travail, plus on sent qu'on fait partie de cette collectivité.