Toronto Life has been publishing a series of stories under #TorontoIsFailingMe, which captures the lives and struggles of those living in Toronto’s inner suburbs. Within the series, two Tamil Torontonians shared their experiences growing up in the city.
1. #TorontoIsFailingMe: My parents worked round-the-clock to lift us out of poverty (Abirami Jeyaratnam, 29)
“…Today I live with my mother and look after her; she depends on me. I feel like I’ve been cut off from the Canadian dream—I can’t travel or schmooze downtown or worry about my LinkedIn profile. Money is tight:…” Read more at Toronto Life.
The comments relating to this article range from being downright harsh, to fully supportive.
One commenter writes: “So how exactly is Toronto failing this person? Is it because she can’t “travel or schmooze downtown or worry about (her) LinkedIn profile”? Many, many people have to cope with ill family members and untimely deaths, yet they carry on. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants to Toronto over the past centuries have felt “cut off from family” yet they did the best they could without resorting to sleeping all day. All this insufferable whining is wearing a little thin.”
And another followed with: “Insufferable whining? I am sorry you are suffering having heard this person’s story. I am sorry that you don’t have the empathy to understand the long lasting impacts and PTSD that arise from fleeing a civil war. I am sorry that that you have failed to comprehend the threads of systemic barriers that underlie Abirami’s story. But above all, I am sorry that you can’t look past your own experiences, and instead choose to diminish the voice of this woman whose story is meant to showcase those who actually are wearing a little thin.”
2. #TorontoIsFailingMe: I moved to Mississauga to get away from gang life (Rajeev Sathiyaseelan, 26)
“…I broke into cars to steal whatever was hidden in the glove compartment and was arrested three times. I got lucky: I was charged as a young offender but given community service, no jail time. My mom was in and out of courts, bailing me out, putting up money I knew she didn’t have. We had a lot of arguments. I thought she was just being mean; I felt like she didn’t understand what I was going through and what I wanted from life. Of course, I didn’t think about what she was going through—she had escaped a war-torn island so that her kids could go to university…” Read more at Toronto Life.
Some of the comments under the article:
“I’m glad he’s back on his feet after the ups and downs but this sounds to me like his own doing rather than “Toronto is failing me.” More like #ImFailingToronto I live near one of the most dangerous areas in Toronto and have never had anything happen to me. Why? Because I surrounded myself with positive people. People who wouldn’t attract violence. Most of these posts are a reach.”
“Being a rapper is really cool. I just wish there was another prototype that disadvantaged kids would look up to. It’s not fair that middle class feel successful with whatever they want, it just seems that the less advantaged kids are either successful rappers or they aren’t anything.”
-Featured image sourced from Toronto Life (Photographer: Eamon Mac Mahon)