International Student @ HMC -Vaibhav Soin
My name is Vaibhav Soin. I moved here from Chandigarh in September 2016. I lived up north, so basically my city was in the foothills of the largest mountains of the world, the Himalayas. When you live there, you are seriously obsessed with mountains because in just one hour you can go there. Whenever the temperatures rise, my friends and I would drive to Shimla, the Queen of Hills. We used to drive there in the morning and we would come back in the evening. I really miss that. Sometimes there’s snow; we really loved it when we used to go in the winter. Our parents didn't know we went because they don't agree, but somehow, we did it, we escaped *laughs*
What program are you in? Why did you choose that program?
I am in the architectural technologist program. I love making architectural plans. I love the construction of houses… the way they beautify them, the way they create them, and the way they put life into the homes; I love it. I came from a city which was made by a French architect named Le Corbusier. I’m his biggest fan! My city was the first city which was made very professionally, and very synchronized after the independence of India. So, when you come from that kind of city - it's obvious that you want to see more and more and you want to create the same type of thing. Whenever I try and draw something, I keep his own thoughts in mind: the way he wants sunlight inside and the way he wants air inside. I also try and make more and more windows instead of lighting and all. I just love the way he has carved out the whole city. I am not only influenced by Le Corbusier, but also by city and sundials -- just from the ray of sun they can tell the exact time in the local area. It was made back way in the 1800’s. It just gets me thinking, if the architects at that time were able to do something like that what else can we accomplish now.
What are your goals and aspirations?
My main goal is to become a professional architect. After that I would like to do something towards my commerce. Though eventually, I intend to move to Europe because I love the architecture there. Europe is like god… it's like heaven for an architect.
How did you make decision to come? How do you feel about the transition of moving here?
I really wasn't in the mood to come here, but I wanted to try it. Where I live, people would move to Canada, especially this whole Punjabi region… so my father said, “Let’s try this out”. You should go and maybe you can do something with your life over there; it's much better.” However, it was kind of hard to come here because you need a lot of documents, and getting those documents takes 3-4 months.
What do you miss most?
The food is the best thing. I love Indian food, and I love Indian environment - you can really do anything there, you don’t need anyone’s agreement to do anything - here you need permission to go here. I came here and had to work to get food and to afford living somewhere - you really need money and it really ruins many of my things: I don't have that much time to go to Toronto and do my hobbies and my passions. I come to home, I go to school, work, and then back; that's it. My program really demands a lot of time.
Just as a side note, back home we don't have adult education. Indian society is that once you complete your education your parents will force to get married. When you come here at a young age, surviving here is very difficult. It’s expensive to live. Back home it was cheap because they manufacture everything there including diamonds, gold, and silver. Indian households hold 11% of the world's gold, oh my god and Indian temples, they have gold in the temple, so much gold in there and in their donation boxes. Nobody steals the gold from there. It's because the gold there used to be kings who ruled different regions believed that gold is something that everyone should have. It should be something no one wants to lose - because you can lose money, but it’s okay because money can change in value, and different currencies have different values. However, the value of gold remains the same. That's why gold is used today as well for exchange purposes, it was prominent back then and it still is now.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy Bollywood music, because I come from India - Bollywood movies, and I love swimming, especially in an open environment; open pools. And mostly hanging out with people and socializing that's how I make friends - love making friends and meeting people with the same interest. When we a share common background - same taste in music, same taste in movies I really like talking about these things I dance a little bit sometimes too.
Did you have any self-doubt moving to Canada?
There aren't those many people who come to Canada from my city, because my city is like an exceptionally stable city in the country. Anyhow, it is my luck to come here... it is my fate to live here. I am Punjabi and it is common that if you go to Chandigarh or Canada, then you are set. So, I feel very lucky that I was able to live in Chandigarh and that now I am able to live in Canada. I feel lucky and it is a very good thing. People cry and feel desperate to move here and to even move to my home city. People haven’t gotten the chances that I have gotten, so I am really thankful to god that I had the chance to come.
What is your favourite thing about Canada?
My favourite thing about Canada is the politeness of people - even if someone strikes your table, they will say sorry to the table even when there's no one in the room *laughs*. They're whole sentence is so polite, with a thank you and a sorry; I love Canada because of it. I have never seen people apologizing so much... and appreciating beauty so much. Suppose you are looking at something, and people you don’t know are standing with you, they will share their thoughts with you. No one really did that in my country. I like the security here. It’s much better, law is strictly enforced here and I love it.
The second thing I love about Canada is that they support LGBT people. In India, you can't do that - the maximum sentencing is life imprisonment. They once changed the rules but they changed it back. I love that the prime minister of the world's second largest country [Justin Trudeau] is leading the pride parade. It’s like wow, wow; oh my god; best pride parade.
Do you intend on living in Canada after your program?
I will but not here, maybe in Vancouver because I heard it was a hilly area. Now I miss mountains oh my god - when I used to go to school, after the rainfall - you open the windows and fresh air would come in, it was the best thing -- it made me want to be like superman and just fly wherever. I would love to move back there but not now, there's so many things I want to complete here.