Chai Sessions : Hardhir & Jeet Gill

About the Project /

Chai time is an important ritual in our culture and many others. For some parents it is an addiction, a time for family discussions, a quiet moment to themselves, others just a “time pass”. Chai is a bond that we all share but this ritual can be different from home to home. With these sessions I hope to capture our parents in their element at home enjoying their chai and daily ritual, where they are comfortable and themselves.

Each portrait will be accompanied by a short bio and story of our parents Chai time ritual and history.  My hope is as this project moves forward I will be able to exhibit my work in a Gallery show in 2017.  Thank you for your support and I hope you enjoy the work.

Hardhir Singh Gill

Born : January 5th, 1950

Village in India : Chugawan, District Moga

First came to Canada in 1970

I drink Chai because : “it is a tradition from childhood and now it has become a part of my daily routine”

Chai Time Story :

“When I first came to Canada I remember everything seeming strange and foreign, so the idea of having chai was comforting. We had chai at home, they had it here, maybe everything wasn’t so different? At home I used to have a big cup a few times a day, so imagine my shock when I got chai for the first time in Canada, a tiny little cup; it was maybe two or three sips. The cup was so tiny it looked like a toy, I remember thinking is that all they drink here? I still think about it and laugh!”

Jeet Kaur Gill

Born : June 16, 1964

Village in India : Jhakhar Wala, District Faridkot

First came to Canada in 1988

I drink Chai because : “it is a tradition from childhood and now it has become a part of my daily routine”

Chai Time Story :

“In India everyone grows up drinking chai, the first thing we have in the morning is a big cup of chai and then we get up and get ready. Chai is a routine part of life.  In India chai is heavy milk, and loose leaf tea. So when I came to Canada I thought it would be just the same. The first time I had chai here I was shocked, it was all water with a tea bag and a just a little bit of milk to turn the colour! This didn’t look like chai or taste like the chia from home, it was awful! Slowly I got used to the new chai of Canada but every once and a while I miss the chai of my childhood.”

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