VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

A woman who shared a video of two Eritrean children reacting gleefully to their first Canadian snowfall says the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the clip is reaffirming her faith in the country as a welcoming place for newcomers.

Rebecca Davies shot the video on Saturday, 48 hours after the children shown in it arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings as privately sponsored refugees.

In the video, the seven-year-old girl and five-year-old boy twirl, dance and revel in the snow shower in the backyard of Davies’ Toronto-area home.

The clip has since garnered nearly two million views and been shared thousands of times on Twitter, often with accompanying hashtags and messages welcoming refugees in general and the children in particular.

Davies, who helped sponsor the Eritrean family through the private Ripple Refugee Project, says the video’s reception gives her hope.

She says she encounters racism and anti-immigrant sentiment in her work on behalf of refugees, but says the positive responses to the clip have left her feeling more confident about the society the family is eager to join.

“When a universal, lovely little vignette of kids playing in snow gets this kind of response, it gives me some hope for humanity,” she said in a telephone interview.

Baloney Meter: Is flow of asylum seekers at Canada-U.S. border a ‘crisis’?

Davies said the Eritrean family landed in Toronto on Thursday, bringing an end to a lengthy saga.

She said the single mother fled the war-torn east-African country in 2013 and spent the next five years in a refugee camp in Sudan. Two of the four children who accompanied her to Canada were born in that camp, Davies said, adding all the kids are under the age of eight.

The family’s first full day in Canada was marred by steady rain, limiting opportunities to explore Toronto, which they plan to call home. Conditions didn’t seem too promising on Saturday either, with high winds sending daytime temperatures plunging to near the freezing mark for the first time this season.

Davies said her family had tried to explain the concept of snow to the Eritrean newcomers. So when flakes began unexpectedly descending from the sky, she lost no time in pointing them out to the family.

The two youngest boys stared out the window in fascination, but the eldest boy and his sister appeared to run away after the first look outside.

Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate armed robbery

Wetaskiwin police seek identification of suspects

Chamber hears ‘13 Ways to kill commerce’

U of A’s Heather Thomson dispels small business myths

Amnesty International worried about Alberta’s publicity campaign

Meanwhile, critics of Vladimir Putin being murdered at alarming rate

Wetaskiwin Bantam Warriors thump St. Albert in season opener

Bantam team showing lots of potential in 46-27 win

Testing winter feed

Testing winter feed lets producers know what nutrients are available

‘I shouldn’t have done it,’ Trudeau says of brownface photo

Trudeau says he also wore makeup while performing a version of a Harry Belafonte song

Blackfalds RCMP investigate fatal collision with cyclist on Highway 2

32-year-old male cyclist from Red Deer was pronounced dead at the scene

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

Vaping-related illness confirmed in Ontario believed to be first in Canada

Middlesex-London Health Unit had no further details about the case — believed to be the first confirmed in Canada

Canadian stars Virtue, Moir say in video they’re ‘stepping away’ from ice dancing

The pair thank fans for their support in an emotional message

Outspoken Imperial Oil CEO Rich Kruger stepping down later this year

Imperial Oil is about 70 per cent owned by Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp., since 2013

‘Time to take action:’ Children advocates call for national youth suicide strategy

Council wants Ottawa to make reporting of suicides and attempted suicides mandatory for data collection

Canadian inflation decelerates to 1.9% as gas prices weaken

August was the sixth straight month that price growth was 1.9 per cent or higher

Alberta spends $3M to hire 30 nurse practitioners for remote areas

Province has 600 nurse practitioners, but minister says most work in hospitals or outpatient clinics

Most Read