I recently shopped at a local women’s clothing store where I have purchased several items in the past few years. In conversation with the owner, I was asked if I was from here. I said yes. But then further into our conversation, when I didn’t recognize a previous store as it closed before I moved here 20 years ago, I was told “Oh, you’re not from here!” All smiles and jocularity and I realize said in jest, but it gave me pause. I replied that I have lived here for 20 years and raised my children here. How many decades does it take to be “from here?”
I left the store feeling like I had just re-visited high school.
But it made me ponder that question. My parents were immigrants to Canada after the Second World War and were discriminated against for being poor, and particularly my mother, for being German. I left Ontario 30 years ago and have lived in BC since then, 10 on the Lower Mainland and 20 here. My husband and I have raised our children here. Many of my dear friends here were not born and raised in Nelson. We all contribute and support this community that we call home. Perhaps it is time to let go of that mentality as it certainly is not inclusive. At the end of the day we are all from somewhere.