Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

First snowfall, new clothing mark changes

  • Print

AS a child growing up near the Himalayan mountains in northern India, Digvir Jayas and his classmates used to rush to the foothills whenever they heard it had snowed. But before Jayas came to Winnipeg in June 1980, he had never seen snowflakes fall.

Then, finally, a snowstorm came in October.

"That certainly was exhilarating," Jayas recalled. "I vividly remember how everything looked so white, because no cars had driven yet. Then I learned that after a few days, it doesn't look so nice anymore."

Jayas, who has risen through the ranks of the University of Manitoba to become vice-president of research and international, bought himself a large parka and heavy snow boots that year to prepare for the cold.

"But I went to school one day and I felt so bulky, so I didn't use that parka very much. And even today, I still wear a very light coat -- unless I'm shovelling snow."

It was October 1972 when Sushil Sharma arrived in Winnipeg from India and got himself a job in a machine shop on Notre Dame Avenue. He knew it would be cold and had brought warm woolen shirts with him from India, but soon discovered his mistake.

"You don't need a woolen shirt, you need a heavy jacket!" Sharma said. "I burned my neck with that woolen shirt, wearing it inside. I also had shoes... that didn't work over here. They had leather soles, not made for traction. I tried to keep expenses in line, but eventually I had to buy new shoes."

Sharma came here alone and was joined by his family two years later, including his daughter Devi, who became Winnipeg's first Indo-Canadian city councillor in 2010. Despite being away from his family for that first Christmas here, Sharma felt welcomed by the city during the holiday season.

"Everyone was so lively and looking forward to Christmas and New Year's. Usually you are alone, but it was a good feeling to approach people and exchange greetings."

Bidhu Jha's first experience of Winnipeg was flying into the city on Christmas Eve in 1970, and he still fondly remembers the beautiful overhead view of the city lit up by Christmas lights.

Jha, who today is the NDP MLA for Radisson in northeast Winnipeg, had never seen snow before arriving in Manitoba. "It was a fascinating experience; I was amazed to look at the landscape of a very different background," he said.

Jha also came prepared: When he stepped off the plane, he was already wearing a heavy winter coat thanks to a warning from his brother, who was working as a sociology professor at the University of Winnipeg.

"I was given coaching from my brother, who sent me a letter. He told me, 'Here are the things that you should be wearing.' The only thing I had that did not fit the winter was my shoes."

brian.platt@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 11, 2012 A4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Cheapskate: Preparing for Boxing Day

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 090728 / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS White Pelicans belly up to the sushi bar Tuesday afternoon at Lockport. One of North America's largest birds is a common sight along the Red RIver and on Lake Winnipeg. Here the fight each other for fish near the base of Red RIver's control structure, giving human fisher's downstream a run for their money.
  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 110621 - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 -  Doug Chorney, president Keystone Agricultural Producers flight over South Western Manitoba to check on the condition of farming fields. MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
my2011poy

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on the Jets so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google