Born in Pursat, Cambodia |
Sokhany grew up in a small town where, although she did not have a lot of material things, she had a strong sense of community. Despite the ongoing war, she remembers her childhood as being a fun-filled one. At a young age she became interested in agriculture, collecting seeds, and planting fruit trees. When Sokhany was 14, her younger brother Sovatana and she were adopted by a Canadian woman named Barbara. Sokhany explains how coming here has given her opportunities for education, and for a bright future. Currently Sokhany is at Guelph University, studying Organic Agriculture, and fulfilling her childhood dream. One day she hopes to have her own farm, and to be able to educate Cambodian farmers on how to improve their farming techniques.
Toronto as Home
Sokhany is standing with her brother in the green space behind their home in Mississauga. There is a vegetable garden here, where neighbours can share the produce they grow. When she explores this area she is often followed by her two cats named Bagpipe and Dora. It is the fields, trees, and the beauty of nature that Sokhany connects with and finds comfort in.
Connection with the Past
Her brother is an irreplaceable connection to her past. She left with him and they have been together ever since. When they arrived in Canada, they did not have any friends, but they had each other.
“We never saw snow before, so our arrival in February was a shock – and we loved to play in the snow after school. I remember a night after arriving in Canada and there was a blackout. We had candles and sang some Khmer songs together and remembered the past. This helped us with homesickness. I did not have friends that could understand my language, but Sovatana did.”