Harinder Jit Kaur Sunga Family fonds

Fonds/Collection, 2022_02

Harinder Jit Kaur Sunga née Rai was born in September 1931 in India, to Kartar Kaur and Atma Singh Rai. She had two siblings, a twin brother named Harinder Singh (d. 1984) and an older brother, Gian Singh (d. 2019). After the death of her mother in 1941, Harinder Jit Kaur and her siblings were sent to boarding schools in India. In 1946, once Atma Singh gained Canadian citizenship, he was able to apply to bring his children to the country. Harinder Jit Kaur and her two brothers joined him in Vancouver, Canada in August 1948. In 1951, Harinder Jit Kaur was introduced to Preetom Singh Sunga. Three weeks after their first meeting they were married. The couple settled in Ottawa and in 1952 their first child, Sharon, was born. They went on to have three more children, Paul, Lyal, and Seetal. Harinder Jit worked in real estate for twenty years, and she and her family continued to be actively involved in Ottawa’s South Asian community. In 1991, Preetom Singh passed away. Now in her 90s, Harinder Jit continues to live in Ottawa while her and Preetom’s children have gone on to lead successful lives all over the world. This collection contains the records of Harinder Jit Kaur Sunga and her family. Part of the collection includes letters that had been written by her mother Kartar Kaur to her husband Atma Singh. Having been separated from her husband as he pursued work in Canada while she remained in India with their children, Kartar Kaur regularly wrote to Atma Singh. Written in Punjabi, Kartar Kaur’s letters carried poems and messages that conveyed her feelings of love, happiness, fear, and longing. Over time the paper with the ink she had written with, began to fade. Atma Singh copied her words by hand onto new pages and passed these records on to his daughter, Harinder Jit.