"When I came from India everything was new to me. I wasn't used to wearing Canadian clothes but my father and father-in-law didn't allow us to wear Punjabi clothes because, at that time, they wanted to do the same thing as the white people. I wore dresses, skirts and pants. I liked it because I was young at that time, I was just like a kid. But everything was different from the old country. It was lonely sometimes. My kids would go to school and I would stay home with the small kids and the baby. Sometimes I was lonely, sometimes I would cry, but most of the time I was happy with my husband and my family. The first time I saw snow I was so excited. I moved here in May 1936 and we got snow in November. It was about two feet high. I never saw that in India. I played in the snow with my two small kids. I enjoyed it with them."
This interview originally appeared in the November 1996 edition of **Mehfil Magazine.**
Pritam Kaur Johl passed away in August 2012. She moved from Punjab to Vancouver in 1936 with her husband and child, and subsequently had eight more. She and her late husband, Gurbachan, were founding members of the Ross Street Temple in Vancouver and The India Culture Centre in Richmond.