Todd: So, Rina, now you are Lebanese (Mm-hm) and you grew up in a very small Canadian town.
Rina: Oh, yes.
Todd: So you really have two cultures. What's it like growing up with two cultures?
Rina: In the beginning it was very hard. My dad was very strict. I wasn't allowed to work. I had to fight to have my first job at 19.
Todd: Wow. At 19.
Rina: At 19. I wasn't allowed to have a boyfriend. I had to fight for that one two, and I had my first boyfriend at 18. Wasn't allowed to go out. First high school dance was grade 11. So, I hated it in the beginning. I was, but now I appreciate it and I know where my parents were coming from.
Todd: So, it this the standard Lebanese family type culture where daughters are not allowed to work?
Rina: Ah, yeah, my dad had basically believed that if I went out and worked I would, you know, be hit on by guys. It just wasn't a place for his daughter, and typically before, yeah, women don't work. They stay home. They took care of the kids. They, you know, it was a typical patriarchal society and my dad was very, very strict, and I spent a lot of my childhood pushing away my culture because of that.
Todd: And how do you feel about your culture now?
Rina: I'm very, very proud of it. I love it. It's nice to be different and I'm glad I get that chance to do that. Um, the only thing, when I was in Lebanon, it was hard as well because people didn't see me as Canadian, and they didn't see me as Lebanese You know I was, a lot of people didn't talk to me because of it. I went there and a lot of people shunned me basically, so.
Todd: So even though you had no language barrier at all cause you speak Lebanese?
Rina: Yep, yep, no, they basically, you know they were mad at me because I was too Canadian, or they were mad at me that I wasn't enough Canadian, and like, it was just, you know, insane.
Todd: That's pretty tough.
Rina: Yeah, well, they have their, they have their image of what you know, what Western society is like from movies and, you know, because you know I have my tattoos, they thought I was just basically Satin's spawn,and because I wasn't running around like a tramp, they thought well, "What is she is doing? What is she supposed to?" it was just the worst of both world's really.
Todd: Ah, that's terrible.
Rina: Yeah, so because, they do, they have, and actually I have to specify this: I was in a village. Like, both of my parents are from villages
Todd: Oh, I see.
Rina: In Beirut, it's different, but when I was in the villages, where I stayed the majority of the time, it was like that, but I got, I made my little older ladies love me, but they were talking to me at the end, having coffee with me while I smoked my cigarettes, yep, yep.
Todd: Oh, that's good to hear.