Saturday, 18 June 2016

Where Am I From?

Where Do I Come From?
Exploring My Roots

Hmmm... Where does it all begin?? To be quite honest, I am quite familiar with my roots. I come from just two sets of roots... Irish and Italian. Today I am focusing on the "Luck of the Irish"...
Faithful Place picture
My roots travel from Dublin, Ireland all the way to Brampton, Ontario and now, of course, Orangeville, Ontario. For this project, I am starting with my great grandparents and their life in Ireland. The reason that I am starting with my great grandparents is that I don't have access to any information before then either through interviews or online. My great grandmother was named Rosanna Rooney, and she was married to Patrick Mulvany (interview Carolan. They were both born in Dublin, Ireland in the year 1896. Rosanna was born in January and Patrick was born in December, so Rosanna was almost a year older than him. They had the first of their seven kids in 1917 named Patrick Junior. Next was Sean in 1921, then Sheila in 1925, after that Rosaleen in 1929, Mary in 1932, Pauline in1934 and lastly Sadie in 1937  (interview McDermott).

 What stands out to me is the amount of children that my great-grandparents had in these times. The reason that this is shocking is that during the 1900's Dublin was a city filled with poverty and it's quoted that "[it had the worst housing conditions of any town in the United Kingdom"(site: Archives of Ireland). My grandmother is Mary, the 5th oldest in her family. My grandfather was Joseph Carolan, and his parents were Michael Carolan, born in 1901 in Drogheda, and Mary Mills, born 1900 in Dublin. They had two children named Gertrude, born 1927, and Joseph, born 1930. Similarly, they too lived in Dublin, Ireland. Here is a picture of a typical street in Dublin during the 1900's. This is comparable to the living conditions of my family back then. Interesting fact, my great grandfather Michael Carolan fought at Ypres for four years in the first World War. More interesting information is that both my grandmother and grandfather and their siblings learned Gaelic in school, but their parents did know how to speak it. I find that surprising that my great grandparents didn't even know the root language of Ireland, they only knew English.

 My grandparents first met at a steel company called Smith & Pearson (site Sculpture Britain and Ireland) around 20 years of age. They began seeing each other for four years and then decided to immigrate to Canada in June 1957 (interview Carolan). Another large thing going on in Ireland at this time was the division between the north and south. The north of Ireland was almost all Protestants while the south was nearly all Catholics. My ancestors were Catholic because they were from the south and even in my family today we are still Catholic so that tradition carried on. The root of the problem was in the 1800's, generally speaking, the Protestants and Catholics differed in their socio-economic classes. The two groups divided over the "Home Rule"(site info please) and its objective was to have self-government. It leads the two groups just not wanting either or taking over the country. Then in 1920 Britain, which still technically owned Ireland, passed an Act, which divided Ireland into two separate political entities and allowed them to have self-government. The Catholics were unhappy with this because they wanted total independence for all of the Ireland. Years later both sides just carried a lot of tension and hate towards one another, and it led to violent riots and killings. Soldiers from England were sent to restore some of the peace but again it led to more fighting and even bombings, more specifically from the north.

 My grandparents were alive when all of this was occurring, and it was one of the {push} factors that lead them to Canada. From an interview with my grandmother, she recalls the events being "Very disturbing,"Horrific", & "Inexplainable." One of the immense {pull} factors were the jobs in Canada, and my grandmother told me that was the biggest reasons for the move to Canada. There was such a variety of employment and they all paid very well. Another factor that attracted them to Canada was that they had many friends already immigrated here. Most of their friends had to migrate by boat, but my grandparents had the luxury of flying. When they first arrived, they lived in a basement apartment with their friends in Toronto. Once they got sufficient jobs and started earning better money, they moved to Bramalea and started a family. If I were living in Ireland, my life overall would be pretty comparable. 

The unemployment rate in Ireland is 7.9 percent while Canada it's 6.9 percent (site Trading Economics). Education is 13 years total for Ireland and Canada it's 12. You also start school at the same age but in Ireland, there's just one extra year. After high school, University is offered in Ireland and the same for College. Regarding health care Ireland requires you to have a private health insurance and that covers all of your hospital visits and doctors visits but it doesn't cover medication and extended doctors visits. The private medical insurance costs about the same as would Canada's taxes that includes our health care. 

Overall the quality of my life in Ireland would be very comparable as it is to Canada. From education to health care to employment they are almost identical stats. I still have many cousins that live in Ireland and of whom I still communicate with very often. I'm glad my grandparents moved to Canada because I think Canada is the greatest country in the world, but I still have a great attachment and appreciation for my roots in Ireland. I always try my best to stay connected with my roots, and so I will sometimes use Irish expressions around my family or even say numbers in Gaelic. No matter which of these countries I may be in, I still love and appreciate both of them. 

"National Archives of Ireland." National Archives of Ireland. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 June 2016.

McDermott, Pauline, Mrs. "Your Memories of Ireland." Telephone interview. 27 May 2016.

"Ireland Unemployment Rate | 1983-2016 | Data | Chart | Calendar | Forecast."Ireland Unemployment Rate | 1983-2016 | Data | Chart | Calendar | Forecast. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 June 2016.

Infoplease. Infoplease, n.d. Web. 18 June 2016.

"News." Home · The Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain & Ireland. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 June 2016.

Carolan, Mary, Mrs. "My Roots in Ireland." Personal interview. 8 June 2016.

"Compare." Canada To Ireland. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 June 2016.

Monday, 13 June 2016


Before starting this assignment, I rarely knew anything about where my family had emigrated from. The very brief information that I did know was that my family had an Irish background. To expand my knowledge on the subject I asked my grand-parents on my father's side of my family who are Irish. After I spoke to my grandparents they told me many things I had not known about my European background before. My nanny told me that her great grand-mother Teresa O'connor was the first in the family along with her husband Patrick O'connor to immigrate to Canada. They emigrated from Killarney, Republic of Ireland in the early 1900's to Toronto, Canada. By doing so she believed it would influence her life in a positive way. After all a new country meant new beginnings.

Ultimately Patrick and Teresa O'connor were tired of working in the farmlands and wanted a new challenge in the newly technological Canada. They immigrated to Toronto, Ontario and had one goal which was to find work and make money. My nanny told me that Teresa's first job in Canada was as a cleaner and Patrick's first job was working on railroad. Later on in their life in Canada they moved to Pickering, Ontario. My nanny could not provide any other details about the life of her great grand-mother but, ultimately she believes that a new country provided Teresa with new opportunities which led to her living a happy life in Canada.

Push Factors (Ireland)
Pull Factors (Canada)
Poor land, difficult to grow crops
Better agricultural industry
Poverty and Unemployment
Opportunity to become more financially stable
Economic depression
More jobs
Collapse of social structure in Europe
Promoted Multiculturalism

            After doing some research on Ireland I came to the conclusion that the culture, economy and way of living is somewhat different then Canada although there are no huge differences. Ireland's culture is very similar to other Western countries but one thing that stands out is pub culture. Canadians often view pubs or bars simply as a place to turn up and consume alcohol with their friends and family. In Ireland pubs are not only viewed as a place to go out drinking they are also viewed as meeting places where people can go to hangout with their friends and neighbors for hours. To put it in other words the Irish view their local pubs as a home away from home. Major sports in Ireland are football (soccer), Gaelic football, and rugby. These sports are pretty different compared to Canada's major sports being hockey and lacrosse. Gaelic football is a combination of rugby's physicality and football's (soccer) technical ability all put into one sport. As for the economy If I were to live in Dublin, Ireland right now everything would be much more expensive. This is because euros are worth much more than Canadian dollars. For example a one bedroom apartment Dublin would cost about 2000$ to rent. While in Toronto it would cost a much cheaper 1200$. One other thing that is different is the landscape and architecture of Ireland compared to Canada. Ireland has a lot of hilly rugged terrain in rural areas while Canada is more modern with it;s geologic appearance. Ireland's buildings also look much older and more traditional compared to something like the more modern CN Tower in Toronto.

 Overall I am happy my ancestors made the move to Canada because not only is it such a great place to live and start a family but because it is also huge on multiculturalism which means my Irish customs will always be encouraged.

In conclusion I feel that if I had to live in Ireland my life would not be too different because the sport that I love which is football is absolutely huge there. Furthermore even though the landscape and way of living of Ireland is pretty different from my life now I feel although that I could develop a special love for the small Celtic country. The same love that I have developed over the years for the greatest country in the world which is Canada.

Works Cited

 "Cost of Living in Ireland | Expat Arrivals." Expat Arrivals. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 June 2016. 

 "Ireland to Be EU’s Fastest-growing Economy in 2016." The Irish Times. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 June 2016. 

 "Living in Ireland | Culture & Society." Living in Ireland | Culture & Society. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 June 2016. 

O'connor, Mary. Personal interview. June 2016 June 2016

Sunday, 12 June 2016

  The Life of the Lowe's:
Seeking The Life I Could've Lived

When the ISU was first assigned in class, I had absolutely no idea of what my family’s heritage was, or what it was about. I somewhat had an idea of my background involving some Irish. As it turns out I was partially right. After talking with some of my family members, and discussing about my family’s past I learned a few things. I found out that majority of my family members contain the heritages of being Irish, Scottish, German.

Some more information that I discovered from my Aunt helped me figure out on how far back I needed to look into my family history. My Great-Grandpa (known as Pa in my family) was born in 1927. Both of his parents were born in Nova Scotia. Therefore, while discussing more about the topic I came to the conclusion that my Pa's parents must have been mid age in the early 1900’s. Concluding to when they immigrated into to Canada. As I began to learn more information about my families past, this is what I eventually found.

Majority of my family are from Germany, and had immigrated into Canada moving to Nova Scotia. My Pa’s parents names were Annie Lowe, and Jim Lowe. They were both born in Hants County, Nova Scotia.  Although, my family doesn’t have a lot of information as to who exactly came from Germany or why. Here are some push and pull factors of possible reasons as to why they didn't stay and left.

In the 1900’s Germany had a population close to the amount of 410,392 people, and yet Germany had a 5% unemployment rate.Germany had split into two cultures. One was a conservative, authoritarian, business-driven group that was very wary of the working class while the other was the working class that greatly benefited in the time in Germany known as the Gr┼▒nderzeit – the good times” (The Learning History).  They thrived in power. Industries grew bigger, stronger, and began to have higher rates. And railroads began to grow larger in order to help the industries flourish. "This created an extraordinarily explosive mixture where the most powerful nation in the world, Germany, had the most powerful revolutionary movement in the world – the German Social Democratic Party. And it's a function of the pace of change, and the pace of urbanization, that you both had this amazing growth of military power and growth of working class power – and they were both evident together (THE GREAT WAR, 2004). Although the good times did not last long, and Germany was then taken place to war! 

     As I was told my Great-Great Grandparents had immigrated out of Germany before the war was taken place. I believe my Great-Great Grandparents made the right choice by immigrating to Canada, because even if they had no knowledge as to what was happening in the place they call home, they were still able to escape the horrible things that were coming their way if they had stayed. 

     If my Great-Great Grandparents would have stayed in Germany, and not immigrated to Canada my life wouldn't be as different compared to how it is now living in Canada. Although some things in Germany are better, than some things in Canada. For example, Germany's unemployment rate is at a rate of 4.5% as of March 2016, and Canada's unemployment rate is a rate of 6.9% as of May 2016. Employment in Germany has a higher chance of being employed next to the employment line in Canada by 2.4%. Therefore, it would be better living in Germany at this time if I was in seek of an occupation. 
This image shows the percentage rates for each type of occupation in each country, comparing  the rates from highest to lowest from each country. 
     If I were living in Germany at this age my education can go very far in both countries. In Canada "Secondary Schooling begins at the age of 12-13 years of age" (Nation Master, 2016), but in Germany the "Secondary Schooling begins at the age of 10 years of age" (Nation Master). The Government in Canada is spending "5.5% on education" (Nation Master), and Germany is "spending 5.08%" (Nation Master) making Canada more accountable for getting a better education. It has now been brought up that in Germany University Tuitions will now be free in soem areas. As when looking at Canada they only allow loans through OSAP, or if someone in the household makes collectively less than 50000 a year, you are able to receive free tuition. Therefore, in some circumstances getting an education in Canada would benefit me in many ways during Primary and Secondary Schooling, but once university comes around Germany would be my best option to get the best education. 

     While living in Germany at my age my health would be in pretty good shape. Both for Germany and Canada "life expectancy is at a rate of 81%" (Find The Data, 2016). Although the "obesity rate in Canada is at percentage of "26.2%, and Germany is at a percentage rate of 25.1%" (Find The Data). This shows my health could possibly be more at risk while living in Canada vs. Germany. Germany believes "everyone should have access to medical services, regardless of employment, income, or ability to pay" (Context Institution, 2016). "The Canadian health care system expresses the fundamental equality of Canadian citizens. The plan’s coverage is comprehensive, universal, and accessible. Patients are free to choose among providers, and physicians serve primarily in private practice on a fee-for-service basis. Hospitals are independent, nonprofit institutions overseen by boards of trustees" (Context Institution).


  • Coverage is universal.
  • Benefits include dental care and drugs, as well as cash payments for eyeglasses, grants for young mothers, wages while ill, and convalescent therapy ("cures").
  • Physician payments are fee-for-service, negotiated between the sickness funds and the medical associations within a global state budget. This guarantees cost containment and maximizes clinical freedom. There are no cost over-runs because fees are pro-rated downward when budget ceilings are approached.
  • Care is financed through a payroll tax based on income (averaging 12.6 percent in 1992), half paid by employers, half by employees.
  • Germany is the first nation to mandate that health care expenditures not rise faster than wages.
  • Health care costs within each fund are redistributed from the young and healthy to the elderly and ill. Because people stay with the same fund for life, these costs even out over a person’s lifetime.
(Context Institutions)
  • The plan is simple and very easy to use.
  • All citizens have access to care; no one may be denied services on the basis of income, age, or health status. Coverage is "portable," meaning residents retain their health benefits wherever they move. Health care has no relationship to employment.
  • Benefits are the same for all citizens.
  • The plan relies extensively on primary care physicians; 63 percent of all active physicians in Canada are in primary care, versus one-third in the US.
  • Canada achieves substantial administrative cost savings, since providers and insurers do not need to market themselves or employ vast staffs to process paperwork. Physicians bill the provinces directly and avoid the expense of verifying coverage, seeking approval to provide services, completing paperwork for multiple private insurers, or coping with double-billing and uninsured patients.
(Context Institutions)

  • Contributions by employers and employees vary by fund.
  • Ambulatory care and hospital care are structured separately, and there is no coordination between them. This results in long hospital stays because hospital physicians do all the follow up before patients are released. There are also no incentives in the fee schedules to shorten lengths of stay.
  • Health care is administratively complex in Germany. Some of the savings are derived by paying health care workers (but not physicians) much less, and employing fewer workers, than the US or Canada.
  • Physicians prescribe almost three times more drugs in Germany than in the US; drug prices are higher than in other countries.
  • More nursing homes are needed. Typically hospitals now care for the chronically disabled.
  • Integration with East Germany is creating turmoil because of the large numbers of new people entering the system, the need to modernize severely outdated hospitals and equipment, and the lack of East German know-how among professionals to deal with private enterprise.
  • The future demand for geriatric health services will strain the sickness funds, since they are financed on a pay-as-you-go basis. Contribution rates are estimated to increase from an average of 12.6 percent of wages now to 21.6 percent by 2030.
(Context Institutions) 
  • Financing of Canada’s health plan has been generous during periods of growth and tight when government must control its deficits – a major problem recently, since payments have been frozen for the last several years.
  • Access to some high-tech procedures has been limited by a shortage of some equipment and hospital beds.
  • Benefits are basic – only procedures deemed "medically necessary," are covered (e.g. optometrists and dentists may not be covered.)
  • Cost over-runs – primarily in physician services – prompt provincial governments to increase cost controls, resulting in outcries of "rationing" by providers and, on several occasions, political uproars.
(Context Institutions) 

     Overall, with the comparison of Health Care between Germany and Canada. If I were to be living in Germany I would roughly still have the same amount of protection and coverage as I do living in Canada. 

     For Rights and Freedoms when it comes to Canada and Germany they are more similar than different. Canada has their Rights and Freedoms in order by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, while Germany contains a book of the "Basic Law For the Federal Republic of Germany" (juris, 2016). Germany and Canada both have simliar rules applying to the Rights and Freedoms of citizens in their countries. Therefore, if I lived in Germany I would have almost the same life as I do living in Canada now. 

     Germany contains a great rating for employment, making it easier to attempt applying an occupation in Germany rather than Canada.  Education in Germany allows me to have high opportunities in order to receiving an education as well as in Canada although tuition in Germany are not required at all therefore making it better and easier to attempt to receive a diploma. Health Care in Germany allows great coverage and protection when dealing with my health, and has a great level of strengths as well as Canada. Finally, Rights and Freedoms allows me to have an equal amount of freedom to allow me to express myself just as well as I can in Canada. 
     Overall, if I were to be currently living in Germany I believe my life would be a little different as to the location of where I am, but when it comes to employment, education, health care, and rights and freedoms Germany wouldn't be that much different compared to me living in Canada now. I'm glad my family has immigrated to Canada, because then I would have never been able to experience life the way I do now. 

Saturday, 11 June 2016


I Would Be....
In India Dying of Heat Strokes

As this project was given to me, I had already known where my ancestors were from. My ancestors are from India, and when you think of India, bad images suddenly pop up, such as the traffic, the temperature, and car horns. But India is a great country believe or not, for example the food in India is spectacular and it is nothing compared to the food that we get at Indian restaurants in Orangeville, like the Coriander Kitchen. Also, India’s cultural holidays are amazing because it brings all the families together and lets them have a great time. The best holiday that I think in India are either Diwali, Lohri, and Holi, this is because during Diwali there are so many fireworks exploding in the sky, and there are so many sweets available to eat, and why Lohri is another one of my favorite holidays, it is because during the whole day in India, every single person is on top of roofs flying kites and trying to cut other kites and making the opponent rage and get another kite, also Holi is also my favorite holiday because everyone is out on the street running around the city and partying while throwing coloured powder or spraying each other with colour paint.

My School photo when I was in grade three

Furthermore, my ancestors or grandparents did not immigrate to Canada like the other students, I was the one to immigrate to Canada with my family on april/16/2007 . When I immigrated to Canada I was 8 years old. I was an 8-year-old boy, I went to St. Thomas Senior Secondary School for education, before april/16/2007 I was attending grade 3. I also played cricket with my dad, and I would go to a Cricket Academy, where I could eventually play for a college or the state of Punjab. During free time, I would do a lot of things, for example play Cricket. Marbles, Carrom board or even fly a kite, but the one thing I enjoyed doing the most was to watch English movies, and eat all the delicious food at restaurants. Moving on, I did not know why my family and I had moved to Canada, but I asked my father and he said “ We moved to Canada because it was a better and safer country to live in, unlike India where the rules/laws are broken every day, and if you have money in India you can bribe anyone to do anything ”( Kumar 2016 ). In other words, my dad wanted a safer environment where my sister and I could grow up, get educated, and still be able to have fun. Also,because in India no one follows the law, and because of that we decided to move to Canada where the law is not broken and if they are, there are police officers to enforce the rules, then there's India were the police officers can take any type of bribe to let you off the hooks and pretend like nothing happened or that the law was broken. Further, a table that compares India to Canada in 2007.
My Indian Passport
My School

Life expectancy at birth
80.34 years
68.59 years
Literacy rate
Unemployment rate
6 %
Fertility rate(1 women)
GDP- per capita ($US)

Looking at the table that compares Canada and India in 2007, Canada looks like the country to live in because the life expectancy of Canada is 80 years of age compared to India’s where it is only 69 years of age, also GDP per capita of Canada is 15 times more than India’s. This means that people in Canada have a better life compared to India, this is because people have a higher income, and the production of Canada is higher. Also, the literacy rate in Canada is 97% which means that a student will pass high school and eventually go off to university without any problems, but in India the literacy rate is low and that means less education and more dropouts because they will fail. Next, we will compare 2015 Canada and India.

Life expectancy at birth
81.76 years
68.13 years
Literacy rate
97.4 %
Unemployment rate
Fertility rate(1 women)
GDP- per capita ($US)

The table above shows that India has shown improvements, but Canada is still the better country to live in, because of the literacy rate, GDP - per capita, life expectancy at birth, and also unemployment rate. Doing my research about India, my life would be totally different compared to Canada, and this is because of the environment in India the I would not be able to live up to 80 years of age. Also, getting a good education would be hard when the country's literacy rate is not good as Canada’s.

In conclusion, even tho I was born in India, Canada has changed my life dramatically by giving me a better education, a safer environment where people are not dying a lot, and gave me a higher chance of living. But there still is a lot that I miss about India that I wish I could have in Canada.