Nina Singh (Quanhai Tonthat)
It helps them to have a place to tell their story because they are going through a major transition in their lives.
—Nina Singh, co-facilitator and author
A creative writing program for new Canadians has just published its second anthology. It's called The Past Is Another Country - 12 Stories by New Canadians and it features writers from Sierra Leone to Kazakhstan to Bangladesh.
Nina Singh is originally from Guyana. She took part in the Finding Your Voice creative life writing program when she did her practicum. For her, it was an amazing experience. "I could really relate to a lot of the people and their stories so I got so much more out of it" she says.
Newcomers to Manitoba finding their voice in book
For the piece that Singh wrote for the anthology she drew inspiration from the positive and negative effects of moving to a new country. She describes her story as very dark and pessimistic. "It's about remnants of colonialism and its effect on people and their lives, even now."
Singh says it's programs like Finding Your Voice that are really important. "We get a lot of participants who have been here for a few weeks or even a couple of days who sign up for the program which is amazing" she enthuses.
"But they are lost a little bit because they aren't sure where to go for resources, friends, different things in their neighbourhoods. And it helps them to have a place to tell their story because they are going through a major transition in their lives."
"And it's so much more" she continues. "We do assignments, we do reading and evaluating. But it's really about communicating, eating together, sharing and laughing."
The launch for The Past Is Another Country, Volume Two takes place Thursday September 12 at 7 p.m. in the Millennium Library's Carol Shields Auditorium.