Monday, August 27, 2012

Maya

Maya is a tale, but meant to convey a dark reality.
One, that there is an horrible tradition of child rape practised in India, and that its practice continued despite being illegal.

This movie will not give you any happy feelings. If anything, it shows how one little girl's spirit is grinded bit by bit before a crushing blow finishes the job.

The backdrop is a portrait of rural India, with all of its beauty and all of its horror.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

On Becoming a Daddy

So, it is official, I am a daddy.

It has been a year that we've been thinking about it and 9 months preparing it. It has been two days of contractions to a happy ending.

And then trying to do everything right, even though you, and everybody else knows, that you have no idea what you're doing.

Of course, the government book rocks (really, they should sell it everywhere in the world, with local updates), the midwives of the Maison Bleue are awesome, the government's health info line is good at filling the gap when the latter are done for the day, our neighbour is as supportive as she can, and the regular food delivery from our fellow disciples of Christ help us save some energy. And I'm super grateful for all of that help.

But I'm really really grateful to God who helped us in all this - in the way my wife got the governement health coverage a few days before the delivery, in the way the delivery went from "we might need an emergency section" to "the baby is coming out", and in the way that I was filled with pure joy when that little girl was born. It was months that I had been waiting for her.

Now, my life is all about doing shhh, rocking her gently, changing diapers, filling forms, and updating the waiting lists on the CPEs we registered her, etc. I am so glad for the QPIP that allows me to take some time off without guilt.

Marriage is beautiful, parenting is sweet. Enjoy both :)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Canadian Citizenship test

The Globe and Mail has reported how much people are failing at the new citizenship test.

My first reaction is 'Man, these guys should just study'. Then I decided to try it out.

I am a Canadian citizen and I was a good student in the history class (which also detailed the constitution and the power structures), and I barely passed.

Of course, I didn't study before doing it. But, still, I can tell that some questions are just trick questions. Like 'what are the 3 parts of Parliament?'

Anyone who studied well should pass this exam, for sure. The book is given for free to all newcomers and is only 50-odd pages.

But I don't know how many people are able to 'study well' if they have screaming children at home and have a level 2 or 3 French or English competency...

I was thinking... should we have a test in the first place? I know many immigrants are are not making much efforts to really 'get into' our culture. The problem is that we can't rate effort easily. A test is a shortcut for that, but a bad one. The same applies for all forms of learning, whether it is in college or whatever.

I think one of the better kinds of test would be to have more down-to-earth questions. e.g. "Your landlord increases the rent by 10%. Is he allowed to? If not, what do you do about it?" Answer: Go to the Régie du Logement.
The bottom line is that most Canadians need not care about constitutional matters. And those who do will know and learn accordingly.

I'd like you to take a shot at the citizenship test online and put a comment on how well you do. It will be informal, but interesting.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Misteur Vallaire

After some weeks listening to it, I finally decided: its a keeper.

Misteur Vallaire is a rising band from the province of Quebec and their music is... something else.

They have 3 CDs on the net that you can sample as you wish, with a pay-as-you-want scheme. You have to give them extra credit for "getting it".

But that doesn't matter if the music isn't good, right?

Overall, some of the electronic beats really stick and I recommend listening to the last two studio albums. Their first album is way too weird for me. But you have to be on your guard for weird things here and there. So you can't "just listen" to an album, but a tailored playlist is in order.

My favorite songs (Ave Mucho, November Number 3) are in the Golden Bombay album, in collaboration with other artists. I also like Gordon Bombay from the middle until the end.

As a sidenote, it is the one that has the least weird things in it. They've got some real potential and deserve to stay in your playlist and your radar.