Date of Birth:
Village Gurdaspur, Punjab
Prabhjot Kahlon was born in the village of Gurdaspur in Punjab, India in 1978. In India, Prabhjot was studying in Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar. She was finishing her PhD in political sciences when the opportunity to move to Canada arose. At the time, not many people educated their daughters in the village; however, Prabhjot’s parents were teachers and they believed in education. Shortly after she finished her PhD, she moved Canada in 2006. Prabhjot spent some time in Canada before going back to India, where she got married. Prabhjot and her husband then moved back to Canada together.
Prabhjot’s first memory of Canada was a pleasant one. She remembers that it was the month of March and it was still snowing. She was around 28 years old at the time and it was her first time seeing snow. Her cousin came to pick her up from the airport and on the way home, Prabhjot thought that the landscape was beautiful. Seeing the snow and the mountains made her feel like she was in heaven.
Prabhjot’s uncle bought her a laptop so she could apply for a job. She applied to many places but didn’t get a response. After two months she got a job at a flower company which was all online work. She had to send the online orders to the florist. Although it was a good office job, she was over-qualified for it. In India she was a research associate at the university and she had also taught graduate students. She came to Canada with high hopes and dreams thinking that she would get even bigger opportunities. Although she was discouraged at the time, she soon found a job that she is truly passionate about.
After seven or eight months in Canada, Prabhjot went back to India because she felt that her education wasn’t being valued. According to Prabhjot, Canada is a great country that is full of countless opportunities, however, everything has its flaws as well. She believes that there should be a system for people that immigrate to Canada to validate their education. She agrees that there is a difference between the education in Canada and India, but there should be a way for people to write an exam for that field and be able to get a job in that field. Prabhjot finds that many educated people such as doctors are working labour jobs here as their credentials are not recognized.
When Prabhjot went back to India, she got married. She and her husband decided to move to Canada. Her husband was an engineer and he had to finish his qualifications so he started studying when they came here. BC Ferries was hiring but when her husband applied, they said that he needed to get his ticket first despite the fact that while in India he was a senior engineer. While her husband was studying, Prabhjot got a job working for a newspaper as an interviewer.
After some time, she got a job at Rogers which later changed to the Omni Channel. After that, her husband got a job in Halifax so he went to Halifax once a month for eight years. Prabhjot describes her job as her dream job. She never would have thought that she would be interviewing so many prominent people whose names she had only heard while living in India. The community was also very supportive of her as she has received a lot of recognition and respect from the community. She remembers that when she had her son, many politicians messaged her saying congratulations. Prabhjot has also covered many stories about Indigenous peoples and the residential school system. The stories that she heard were emotionally upsetting. Prabhjot also worked with victim services for about ten months. It was her job to help people and refer them to different agencies where they could receive further assistance. Through this, she was able to work very closely with Indigenous women. She learned about how the residential schools impacted their lives and their households. Although it was her job, she connected on personal level with those women.
Prabhjot is very grateful to her parents for always supporting her and her education. Prabhjot finds that it is difficult for daughters in her community to travel alone, let alone to a new country. Prabhjot is thankful to UFV for doing this project.