School Room Activities

  1. Suggested discussion and project topics
    1. Write about/talk about the prospect of traveling from a small village in the Punjab to Calcutta, then to Hong Kong, then to Vancouver or Victoria. What new experiences would you face? What barriers would there be (i.e. language, race, relation, age, health)?
    2. What is the role, now and in the past, of the Sikh Temple or Gurdwara for travelers outside of India? Where are the temples in Canada?
    3. Dis-Immigration features interviews with immigrant descendants rousing emotional memories. Discuss the personal impact of the immigration restrictions. Give examples, from the film or from your own experience, of the immigrants’ struggles. Also discuss their ability to rise above these challenges and contribute to the new country of Canada.
    4. Though this film is based on one particular community of people in British Columbia, discuss how the story of the immigrants and the immigration laws is really of national significance and why the impact of this story is important to all Canadians.
    5. Personalities introduced in the film include: Kaishoram Davichand, Sunder Singh, Saint Nihal Singh, and William Lyon Mackenzie King. What information is available on the internet for these individuals? Obviously the life and contributions of W.L.M. King, as a Prime Minister of Canada, is well documented. Why are the others so poorly known? What can you find out about them and how?
    6. If you are not familiar with turbans, find instructions online for making one. Obtain an appropriate length of fabric, and make a turban for demonstration in your classroom.
    7. Canada needed immigration/immigrants during the time of the Komagata Maru, Does Canada still need immigration/immigrants today? Why?
    8. Share some of the ways immigrants have made a difference in Canada.
    9. Why do immigrants and why does immigration make Canada better?
    10. Name some traditional musical instruments of India. Can you identify the instruments used in the film’s music?

    Cartoon: “Events of the Week” from the Canadian Courier, September 1907

  2. Involve your community
    1. Discuss the relevance of this film to your personal life, your school, and your community. Discuss what you have learned with members of the impacted communities in your school or community, church or temple or mosque.
    2. The Sikh communities of Victoria, Vancouver, and Vancouver Island, as well as Toronto and Ottawa, have assisted in the preliminary research for the film, and have participated in the filming of interviews. Discuss the possibilities of finding more information through interviews with descendants of the pioneer immigrants. What methods would you use to find them? What questions would you ask them?
    3. Some descendants of the immigrant families are still living in the Punjab. Work out different methods of contacting these people. What questions would you ask them and how?
  3. Feedback
    1. Provide feedback on the film’s message, effectiveness, music, content and creative approach to the film director (see Contacts page.)
    2. Plan a 15-minute film about immigration. Write a first draft film script. Plan a schedule and a budget for the film.

The cruiser HMCS Rainbow in Esquimalt Harbour, Victoria, B.C. (David Gray collection)


Dis-Immigration: Stemming the Flow from India
is being shown at the Victoria Film Festival
Tuesday February 5, 2013
Empire Theatre, 805 Yates Street
9:45 pm

Tickets ($10.00) available at: