Nalini Chariandy


Nalini Chariandy was born and raised in Trinidad W.I. She is a CPA MBA by day and an aspiring author by night.

In 2004, Nalini, her husband and their two small kids traded the sunny shores of Trinidad for the Canadian seasons. She has survived the “no Canadian work experience,” underemployment and no employment, freezing temperatures and her in-laws. Nalini has lived in England and the United States and the place she calls home is Canada. She runs a blog “Being Canadian” at Despite the challenges that moving countries place on a young family, Nalini recently celebrated her 21st wedding anniversary (with the same husband), and she’s happy to report that her kids are doing well at University and still speak to her.

The Maple Leaf Effect is her debut book. You can connect with Nalini at when she is not out walking the dog, attempting to cook or working hard as a consultant and speaker.


You did it. You left home and migrated to another country for your own economic success, for your kids, for safety, and for your future. After doing the essentials, i.e., SIN card, OHIP, etc. What can you do to ensure your success?

You start with re-tooling your cultural toolbox. Too often we change environments and think the same set of rules that kept us safe in the old country will work in a new environment. It does not. It does not mean you throw away your culture or traditions. You decide what to keep and what to change. Too often, immigrants move into ethnic enclaves or communities as it is familiar but restricting yourself to the known will also restrict opportunities and success.

Re-tool your cultural toolbox.This book walks you through common pitfalls that immigrants make, gives insights on getting ahead at work, saving money and most importantly lets you stay close to your children as they negotiate a world you never knew. Parenting is going to be different from how you were parented. Different environment…different rules. It starts with learning Canadian behaviors and Canadian values will follow. Your toolbox will be equipped for success if you find the right blend of the old and new cultures.

This book is also for Canadians who sometimes have difficulty understanding the man behind them at the check-out line who is literally breathing down their neck (personal space is cultural) or the newcomer who slips past you when you are holding the door and never says thanks or the woman who jumps the line (poor manners or survival of the fittest culture). As Canada grows in diversity, it is the role of Immigrants AND Canadians to actively shape Canada’s future.


You can become a pioneer in your own life. The slate has been wiped clean. You have to re-learn all you knew, everything from where to shop, what to wear in winter, where to renew your passport. This is how you do it.

You recognize your environment has changed. You understand your kids will be growing up in a completely different world. Work etiquette will differ. New neighbors, different work colleagues, fresh relationships, along with understanding systems (school, judicial, municipal, provincial, and federal) – it is enough to feel overwhelmed.

This is where you start: re-tool your cultural toolbox. Expect to restart your life and choose how you do it. Many people don’t realize that they can change the direction of their lives at any time. When you move countries, you jump-start a chain reaction. It is not enough just to move; you now need to make that move count.

This book will guide you in re-tooling your cultural toolkit and fulfilling the Immigrant’s dream, your dream.


  • Cultural toolbox — unpacking and re-tooling it for success.
  • Power of Observation — key to understanding Canadian behavior.
  • Money — how to make it, keep it and spend it.
  • Keeping up with the Jones — why you should be you and not them.
  • Education — what is best for your child depends on you.
  • Health and Dental — what is available, what you need and how to get it.
  • Discrimination, Prejudice, Racism — it is real, let us deal with it.
  • Family — keeping your family together in the face of new challenges.
  • Workplace etiquette — the good, the bad and the ugly.
  • The political you — being Canadian and your contribution to society.
  • Oh Canada — making Canada awesome together.