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Posted by on Dec 1, 2010 in Immigration, The Women Behind The Men, Winter 2011 | 0 comments

Eniko Bartha: building a new life in Canada

Profile by Nikki Everts-Hammond, Scripted Images

Enik? Bartha

Enik? Bartha

When Eniko and Stefan married in Satu-mare, Romania, Stefan was in his first year of university and Eniko?s office job supported them both. Nicolae Ceausescu had been in power for many years, and times were tough for everyone.

Dairy products were scarce and heating even scarcer ? during the winter people would joke about it, saying ?I had twenty-two degrees in the house ? after I added up the temperature in all four rooms!? As Christians, the Barthas were treated like second class citizens ? denied teaching jobs and promotions which were reserved for communist party members.

The Barthas decided to emigrate because they wanted to practice their faith freely. They arrived in Guelph, Ontario, August 26, 1990. Poor English language skills meant Enik? had to take a position for which she was over qualified. She stuck with it for six years.

Meanwhile, Stefan worked for various companies, eventually establishing his own freelance consulting business as an Architectural Millwork Designer.

After leaving the factory job, Enik? took a tax course with H & R Block, and started her own small business preparing taxes. As well, Enik? helped Stefan with the administrative part of his business and by taking on his portion of household chores.

Despite being an ?A plus? student, Enik??s primary goal was to have a family. Although she loved office work, Enik? ?wasn?t sure (she) could do both perfectly?.

So, when their son Sebastian was born, Enik? started a home day care. Once Sebastian was school age, Enik? continued her own education. She had already completed post-secondary studies in Romania, but wanted her Canadian High School equivalency before tackling and completing a College Certificate qualifying her as a Bookkeeping Clerk.

Enik? has used her exceptional organizational skills, willingness to learn, and creative problem solving to support her husband?s business. Although she is looking for a bookkeeping job, Enik? is also excited by the prospect of learning more about drafting and AutoCAD so she can participate more fully in Stefan?s business.

Eniko Bartha?s strength, perseverance, flexibility and commitment to her family have all been key factors in the Bartha family?s successful adaptation to Canadian society.

Page 10, Winter 2010

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