WATCH: A couple from India is helping newcomers find a sense of belonging by bringing the sounds of Bollywood to local radio. Calvin To reports.
Every weekend at CFUV, the University of Victoria’s campus radio station, Sima and Manoj Saxena put the sounds of Bollywood on the airwaves.
“I sing in Hindi, and at home we speak in Hindi, so this is kind of a perfect program for us,” Manoj said.
Their show is called Bollywood India and airs on Sundays from 2 to 3 p.m.
The songs they play often tell stories of love, not unlike their own.
“I came [to Canada] 30 years ago and single.” Sima said. “And my aunt, from India, she introduced Manoj to my family, and then they showed [me his] photo. They said ‘we have somebody, would you be interested?'”
“For me, it was kind of a surprise,” Manoj said. “I said, ‘there are so many girls in India, but they found one girl from Canada?'”
The couple married in India before Sima travelled back to Canada to sponsor her husband.
Back then, it was rare to hear their mother tongue in Canada.
“In the beginning, when there were not that many Indians here,” Sima said. “When you hear somebody talking in Hindi… you feel there’s some more connection.”
They now have listeners around the world, and their show helps foster a sense of belonging for newcomers.
“Through the radio program, they really listen and they feel like they are in India,” Manoj said.
It’s also their way of keeping their language and culture alive.
“I’ve lived in Canada for 30 years,” Sima said. “I say that Canada is my country, but I’m still Indian.”
You can listen to Bollywood India online here: http://cfuv.uvic.ca/cms/?show=bollywood-india