CHRISTMAS SPIRIT: A Surrey family’s first Canadian Christmas

Indian family excited to ‘observe’ Canadian traditions

Rashmi and Deepak Rohilla stand with their daughter Priyanshi at Surrey City Hall. They look forward to their first Christmas in Canada.

The Rohilla’s are celebrating their first Canadian Christmas in Surrey.

The Indian immigrants landed in Surrey last June and are excited to see how Christmas is celebrated in their new home.

Deepak Rohilla, a physiotherapist, and Rashmi Rohilla, a teacher, came to Canada with their five-year-old daughter Priyanshi with dreams of a better and safer life for their family.

Priyanshi entered kindergarten this year and loved all the Christmas activities in school – exchanging cards and candy canes, in particular.

“Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,” the youngster sang. She learned that at school, Priyanshi stated proudly.

Meeting Santa was a highlight for Priyanshi this year, as well.

Christmas is not a new concept for the family, though. India makes almost as big a deal about the holiday as Canada does.

“It’s a multicultural society there as well,” said Deepak. “The malls are all decorated, and everyone celebrates.”

Christmas parades were new to them, though, and they look forward to seeing how the holiday is celebrated on the big day.

They plan to open gifts on Christmas morning, then head down to Stanley Park for the day.“We want to look at how Christmas is celebrated, observation in a way,” said Deepak.

They will later join several other families for a dinner get-together.

But one crucial thing is missing to make their Christmas merry this year – family.

“That’s the one thing we miss from home,” said Ramshi.

“We hope they can join us here one day.”

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