Longing to Belong is the candid story of Sasi Kala, a woman who left her native Nepal three decades ago to raise a family in North America. Her observations of life in Canada, advice on navigating a new and confusing cultural landscape, and astonishment at the rapid changes transforming the homeland she left behind will resonate with many in our increasingly globalized and mobile world. A quintessential immigrant story of when dreams and expectations clash with reality, Sasi recounts her experiences with hope, humour and optimism, offering the same to those who have found themselves in the same situation.
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Sasi and her husband, Dev, were the very first Nepalese immigrants settling in New Brunswick, Canada many years ago. As young non-traditional immigrants, they were eager to integrate into the local community and quickly mixed with many cultural groups in Fredericton. Sasi was a concerned citizen from the beginning and her social entrepreneurship helped her family get along with the new community fairly quickly. For example, Sasi actively volunteered at her children’s school libraries, drove school children to field trips, canvassed and fundraised for her community’s worthy causes for many years. She was also a member of the Block Parents neighborhood watch program for her community for over 20 years, and was one of the six founding Directors of the Fredericton Intercultural Centre Inc. in Fredericton. In addition, Sasi occasionally voices her concerns on social issues through her blog and Facebook pages. A few of her articles on public issues have also been appeared in the major newspaper in her town. Sasi went back to school at the age of 43 and completed both the BBA and MBA degrees from University of New Brunswick (UNB). Right after graduation, she taught a human resource course at UNB as a part-time instructor for a year. During the same year, she was offered a contract position by the provincial government, first by the Department of Health and Wellness and later by the Department of Environment and Local Government. This is the second edition of her book Longing to Belong: An Immigrant Woman’s Story. With an addition of “updates” at the end of her book, most of her stories from the first edition are carried over in this one. As before, Sasi is honest about her stories and has managed to give voices to some of her friends and family members, who for whatever reason were not able to express themselves. Sasi’s latest adventure has been container-gardening, cooking, reading, writing and sharing her thoughts surrounding cultural issues and food. She is currently working to complete her second book, “Cuisines of Nepal with Cultural Contents”. She is also a certified food handler and occasionally offers exclusive cooking classes for people with a special interest in international cuisines and cultures through UNB.
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