Contrasting immigrant experiences in remote regions and metropolitan centres of Canada.
In this richly detailed study, Kamala Nayar documents the social and cultural transformation of the Punjabi community in British Columbia. From their initial settlement in the rural Skeena region to the communities that later developed in larger urban centres, The Punjabis in British Columbia illustrates the complex and diverse experiences of an immigrant community that merits greater attention.
Exploring themes of gender, employment, rural and urban migrant life, and the relationships between the Punjabis and surrounding First Nations and other immigrant groups, Nayar creates a portrait of a community in transition. Shedding light on the ways in which economic circumstances affect immigrant communities, Nayar presents findings from interviews conducted with over one hundred participants. She details the relocation of Punjabi populations from the Skeena region to British Columbia's lower mainland during the decline of the forestry and fishery industries, how their second migration changed their professional and personal lives, and how their history continues to shape the identities and experiences of Punjabis in Canada today.
A nuanced look at the complexities of social and cultural adaptation, The Punjabis in British Columbia adds an essential perspective to what it means to be Canadian.