When Warm Weather Refugees First Met Snow: Readers, Share Your Stories!

January 21, 2016

Here at Goats and Soda headquarters, we were discussing the huge snowstorm expected to hit D.C. this weekend, when we remembered the one thing you won’t find in much of the developing world (or the “Global South,” as some call it): snow.

When my family first moved to the U.S. from Mumbai, India, the whole concept of snow boggled my 8-year-old mind. Little bits of ice falling from the sky? Would it feel like fluffy cotton or like sharp chips of shaved ice?

The first time I got to touch snow in Lake Tahoe, Calif. — it was pure glee.

Which brings us to this joyous video of a Syrian family tobogganing after finding refuge in Canada. The clip was uploaded by David McNab — one of the co-sponsors of the Syrian family in Petersborough, Canada — and it’s going viral, with over 100,000 views.

McNab, his wife, Kristy Hiltz, and 12 other Canadians pooled their resources to bring Amal Alkhalaf and her children Dalya, 8, Ansam, 13, and Ibrahim, 10, to Petersborough. This month, Maclean’s magazine profiled the family and its Canadian sponsors. The kids had never touched snow until they arrived in Petersborough last month.

Share your story: Did you grow up in a country where it never snowed?

If so, tell us what it felt like the first time you saw snow. Share your experience on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, with the hashtag #SnowOuttaMyElement by Monday, 9 a.m. ET, and we’ll feature our favorites in a photo roundup on this blog next week. If you have a photo of your first time in the snow, share that, too!

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