Let’s Celebrate Diversity and Multiculturalism
In Ontario, the August long weekend is identified as the Civic Holiday.
In Edmonton, Alberta, the August long weekend is fondly known Heritage Days and is marked by a 3 day Festival. Over the course of the weekend, people celebrate their cultural heritage. People of all countries come together, in one park, to experience the food, drink, dance, music, arts, and crafts of the world. There is no animosity. No strife. Just appreciation for the variety and diversity of a multicultural community.
Growing up in Edmonton, I appreciated being surrounded by so many different cultures. As I became older, and more exposed to the news of the day, I became aware of atrocities committed. I would be lying if I said I was not disappointed by the inhumane and unjust treatment of individuals based upon the color of their skin, gender, orientation, abilities, language, religion, culture, or any other characteristic other than their actions and contribution to the society in which they live.
Thus, I have great respect for immigrants. They leave dangerous and disturbing environments to make a better life for themselves and their family. They leave to start a new life, in a new country, and when they arrive in Canada, they work hard to become contributing members of the community. They don’t expect to live on social assistance. They learn the language. They learn the mannerisms and customs, and they find a way to earn an income to support themselves. Most of all, I admire that they find a way to balance and blend the old world with the new world. They continue to practice the language, food, music, and crafts of their home country while adapting to the language, rules, laws, and customs of their new country.
I also have great respect for people of indigenous lineage that have found a way to promote and celebrate the language, food, dance, music, arts, and crafts of their heritage, while balancing and blending with the other cultures the have come.
Let’s celebrate the vibrant community in which we live… a community that respects and appreciates cultural diversity.