Born in Kiev, Ukraine |
Born shortly after the fall of Communism, and with there being few opportunities in Ukraine, Nadine’s father secured a job at a company in Toronto and relocated the whole family. As she was just a child then she says she doesn’t know the details of the struggle that her parents must have faced. However she does remember her parents quietly selling their wedding rings to help fund their move.
“I have memories of an incredibly happy childhood in a country uncertain of everything, right down to which language to speak.”
In her school the language of instruction (Russian or Ukrainian) would actually change from year to year. Toronto is where Nadine spent her teenage years and where she discovered who she was as an individual. At 18 she left to study in Hamilton, then went to the United Kingdom. After finishing her studies she taught in Japan, caught the ‘travel bug’ and travelled to almost 40 countries before returning to Toronto. Nadine recently graduated from Centennial College’s Public Relations program, is interning at Metrolinx and is now ready to settle down and start a career in the city.
Toronto as Home
In the summer Nadine goes to Toronto Island several times a week.
“The view from the ferry puts the city — and my life in it — in perspective. On the Island I love the car-free community, the bicycle paths, the water sports and the beaches.”
For Nadine, there is also something nice about the idea of being on an island, and she finds it a good place to think.
Connection with the Past
Nadine’s father gave her mother this delicate pair of gold leaf earrings when her brother was born. A few years ago, her mother passed them on to her and they always remind her of her family. They also tie her to the past in a different way as the earrings were made and gifted in a country that no longer exists – a country she was born in – the USSR. There is a manufacturing mark, a little star, stamped on the back of each earring. Things made in the USSR had a little star stamped on them somewhere and she used to find it on everything from cutlery to jewelry and toys. Now, there are only a few things such items to be found.