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Cultural Practice

"Lend me your light" is a fictional likeness on emigration from India to Canada; it is one of the eleven short stories by Rohinton Mistry in his collection of Tales from Firozsha Baag about the residents of Firozsha Baag, a Parsi-dominated apartment complex in Mumbai

Underlying the Parsis' belief is that, their liberalism matches the endeavors of western civilizations suggests that Parsis and the white people of North America share a universal Aryan custom, the in-migrants of Bombay are ethnically other and are thus not entitled to enter Canada and the United States as immigrants. In "Lend Me Your Light," Kersi's parents suppose that Canadian emigration authorities do not want masses of uncivilized Indians to submit an application for status this indicated on the story: "'who would want these bloody ghatis to come charging into their fine land?'" (Mistry, 1997) however the authorities are convinced that Kersi, being a Parsi, is highly qualified to apply and will thus be admitted. Kersi remarks, "According to my parents, I would have no difficulty being approved, what with my education, and my westernized background, and my fluency in the English language" (Mistry, 1997).

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In 1910, immigrants from India hoping to obtain American citizenship would therefore argue that they were "white" by lieu of being "Aryan" and pointed to the strict observation of the endogamy of the caste system as proof of their biological limpidness (Mazumdar 50).

Sikhs, Brahmins, and Parsis pushed their hypothetical Aryan heritage, one Zoroastrian stating that "Parsees belong to the white race". Despite the hostility that Indian immigrants experience in the west this continued when they returned to India to visit. The Parsis see hopelessness in India and see financial opportunity and cultural superiority in the west; this is depicted when Kersi's friends boast about obtaining antiques in India at bargains prices and joke about the shopkeepers' ignorance: "[...] what did bloody ghatis know about such things anyway" Percy starts a non-profit organization that provides interest-free loans to poor families, Jamshed his friend moves to New York mentioning his disgust with the inconveniences of the day to day life in Bombay as well as the inaccessibility of material goods in India "bloody corruption everywhere and you can't buy any of the things you want, don't even get to see a decent English movie.

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First chance I get I'm going abroad preferably the U.S" Jamshed believes that India's problems are caused by the depravity of India's low class and low social group people. He simply means that the United States and Canada do not hold "the ghati mentality" since no "ghatis" resides there, so North America is less fraudulent and more stylish than India. Jamshed consider that being American or Canadian is better than being Indian. The immigrant's failure to completely assimilate implies that the United States and Canada still harbor the prejudices of white racism according to Mystry assimilation of Indian immigrants is often hindered because of race, ethnicity, religion, and complexion.

"Memories of Montreal and richness" is a story by Moses Milstein that depicts his youth as a complex broth of poverty, the rag trade, Yiddish newspapers, slaughtered chickens and Chinese laundries. For his son however, it's cherry blossoms and tennis courts.

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In April of his son's youth, his son saunters to school in a mild shower of cherry blossoms. Down the slopes of West Vancouver's Hollyburn Mountain he can see the houses snuggled among tall cedars. Bursts of rhododendrons protect the yards and over their tops he can see the sun shining on the placid waters of Howe Sound. He strolls through this tranquil neighborhood unmolested, the quiet punctuated by the thwack of tennis balls coming from cozy courts nearby the author feels sorry for his son as he compares his eventful walk to school back in the days.

In Moses Milstein's April of his childhood in the Montreal of the fifties, the way to school was still studded with chunks of sandy moraine from winter's receding ice. With the menace of storm gone, he could shed his profound winter boots, and feel the sidewalk bizarrely close beneath the thin soles of his shoes. The corners of their street, like every street then, were held by the four corner stores. The Jewish store that was manned by Mr. Auerbach who virtually lived in this, across the street were Mr. Auerbach's French competitors who lived amidst their crowded displays of soft drinks, fly-paper rolls and potato chips; then one could buy a tiny bag of potato chips for a penny. Around the corner was Wing Ling, the Chinese laundry, painted green on the outside. With, great vats seething with steam where Mr. Lee and his family washed and ironed our sheets, after which he would wrap the sheets in a package wrapped in brown paper and string.

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Next to the laundry, was the Jewish tailor, his narrow house extended backwards from his work room and housed his wife and daughter, a sewing machine and a steam iron. An air of unhappiness shrouded the place. One block after this house was the Lawrence Street, noisy and bursting with commerce. Moses' father was a tailor and worked on this street, the rows of tall, brown brick buildings housed the workers and restaurants that fed them.

The scents of the delicatessen mixed with the forest of urban smells welling out of each block; bakeries, fruit stores, fish stores, pubs(for men only), fowl and egg stores, bagel bakeries, steak houses, all of which were slavering. The Jewish Peretz School was presently around the corner on Duluth Street. The pupils were educated in Yiddish, spoke to each other in English and lived in a French neighborhood. The author remembers every building and business along the two blocks to school and the tranquility as well the safety and happiness he felt on the streets. The author bought a house in the gentle forests of the Pacific and now his son walks to school among the cherry blossom.

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