Alexander Chudis: Adjusting to Life in Winnipeg

Posted by jhsadmin

Immigrants arriving at C.P.R. station heading West, Winnipeg ca. 1885
Rights - JMABC
Chudis, Alexander
The home of Alexander Chudis, outside Winlaw, BC
Tessler, Ronnie
Wednesday, October 5, 2005
Digital audio recording #: 20-05:25




RT:     And what was the next move?

AC:    Winnipeg. And by that time that was January 1975 and that to me was one of the  most difficult things that we had done was move from where I was born which is really warm [former republic of Moldavia], to Israel which is warmer, to Belgium which is kind of wet, to Winnipeg which is just frigid, freezing cold and in 1975 the winters were harsh. I mean now obviously things, with Global Warming, things are a lot warmer. But, holy-moly, I hated Canada. [Laughter].
RT:         How old were you then about eight?
AC:         Seven and a half.
RT:         And when did your attitude about that change?
AC:         Like anything it takes time, a couple of years.
RT:         Make friends and stuff.
AC:         Yeah, that was hard too. I think when you come into a country and kids are mean sometimes when you have a bit of an accent. On top of it all it was the Eagle and the Bear, the cold war was going on and so people don’t see …
RT:         Suspicious?
AC:         Well don’t see beyond, even in a private Hebrew school, don’t see beyond the Russian part. Coming from a tough stock, coming from the school of hard knocks and surrounded by a lot of sheltered, very soft (I called the North American Jews very soft), thin skinned … I basically fought for my respect, you know, stood up for my rights. Maybe acquired a bit of a bully persona going throughout elementary and junior high school but if that’s what it took for me to gain respect I was going to get that, and that’s what it was and that’s fine.

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