The Issue: Embracing Multiculturalism
This past Monday, Mayor Katchur proclaimed June 27, 2012 as Multiculturalism Day in Fort Saskatchewan. The government of Canada, by Royal Proclamation, designated June 27 of each year as Canadian Multiculturalism Day, which “celebrates diversity; our commitment to democracy, equality, and mutual respect; and the contributions of various multicultural groups and communities to Canadian society.”
Less formally, but still significantly important is our own personal reflections of when we were introduced to the cultures of others. My first recollection of such was when I was about seven-years-old when our neighbors, a Japanese-Canadian family, offered me a snack of rice crackers. From my first taste of the rice cracker snack, they have continued to be a favorite treat of mine. I also recall my first introduction to Indo-Canadian food, which was at my best friend’s home when I was around thirteen years of age. Of course, I recall my first perogy and bowl of borscht, too, foods which I still love today.
There is of course more to Multiculturalism than various cuisines. Canada, as we all know, is a multicultural society and perhaps that fact really does make our country stand out in a positive manner to the rest of the world.
In doing my B.A., I graduated in 2003 with a concentration in Political Science and Cultural Anthropology, the latter of which entailed many courses that were instructed by a most brilliant professor.
Although he passed away far too young (three years ago on June 10th), I am still in awe of how he defended all cultures. I still have every Cultural Anthropology textbook lined up on my bookshelf, and now and then, I take a book down and read a few pages.
In Fort Saskatchewan we have a diversity of cultures, and it certainly does not take a university degree to respect, appreciate and celebrate the contributions that multiculturalism brings to our community. Personally, I embrace my equal acceptance of races, religions and cultures, and have found that it is a far better society, holistically speaking, when there is a sincere willingness to learn what other cultures can share with us on so many levels.