Surinder Kaur Dhut

Date of Birth:
1939
Birthplace:
Amritsar, Punjab
Current City:
Duncan, BC

Surinder Kaur Dhut was born in Pakistan (modern day Amritsar), India on December 17, 1939. Surinder used to work in Hoshiarpur as a P.E teacher and was engaged to be married in 1954. Her and her husband married in 1963. Surinder’s husband was born in India but was a Canadian Citizen because of his father. Surinder came to Vancouver, BC by air via Hong Kong and Tokyo. She landed in Vancouver and went to Victoria, BC where she lived in Duncan, BC with her husband. When she first moved she faced challenges because she missed her parents and her sister-in laws told her she couldn’t wear her Punjabi suits and forced her buy skirts and dresses. This made her very uncomfortable because she’d always worn sari’s and suits to the gurdwara.

Surinder faced a lot of discrimination from white communities because they would tease her or call her names, but she knew how to speak English so she would answer back. In Duncan Surinder was a housewife and she stayed at home and took care of her children. Surinder respects the Mayo Lumber Company as they were very helpful, humble and helped with giving everyone a job. Her family loves visiting Paldi as they find it very peaceful even to this very day. She remembers visiting the gurdwara at night during festivals with her kids and all families coming together to celebrate. Surinder’s son remembers he would do seva at the cookhouse and they would fill buckets of water from the well because there was no running water. It was very emotional for the community when the cookhouse burned down.

Surinder faced a lot of discrimination at her workplace and still feels there is still discrimination though it’s just hidden nowadays. Surinder went back to India in 1986 and in 1992 to visit her niece whom she adopted but then subsequently decided to stay in India.