Multiculturalism – what does it really mean?
Today we are more aware of our surroundings then anytime in history, we know the world is a smaller place because social media through video is reaching us faster than the news can. Years ago if you came from a small town there would only be a small population of other ethnic people living within the community; and for the most part they were not coming over to your home for dinner….
Wikipedia describes Multiculturalism best, they preference the word as having many different meanings… and I guess so, with different ethnic groups, our languages over-lap and in some circumstances mean different things. The part I liked the best is “The appreciation, acceptance and promotion of multiple cultures. A respect for diversity”.
I never stopped to consider a persons inner fear of moving away from their place of birth… how about to another country. I’ve never realized how much prejudice there is in this world… it is not part of my make-up… I might have grown up in a small town with a logger as a father… but I also lived in New York for several years…. I sang in the Harlem Gospel Choir.. where I was the minority and was always treated with the up-most in respect…
Once I went to see New York University Professor Paul Zane Pilzer speak about diversity from an economists point of view…. he said a displaced immigrant to the US was the best thing for this country… he went on to say… if he was in a hiring place, these new people would be the first he’d hire. They could be counted on, they would work hard, for longer hours … without any complaints… they were thankful and respectful…. I never forgot this..
My closes friends are Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Indian…. I’ve never looked at them as anything but wonderful loving people…I very much dislike the word “Caucasian” not sure why.
We have had several dinners over the years and on many occasions “Themed” our dinners after a country… I have gorgeous Indian dishes from Bombay given as a gift from my wonderful friends Venus and Riaz.. I have sat for hours listening to my good friend Shankar explain the Hindu and Muslim religions… Mei has taught us girls her spicy cooking from Shanghai… we have Japanese Christmas as I call it, where my father-in-law and his sons spend the day cooking Sushi….but I have never segregated me from them…
However it does happen, yes even today…. Whistler has a very large number of people from all around the world … wouldn’t it be wonderful to find out who they are and the value they bring to Canada from within their own culture….
I have met yet another wonderful woman here in Whistler, Nicole Guertin has come up with an idea of getting the Sea to Sky corridor together to share our cultures and our diversities… Singing, dance, art, cooking, children.. you name it and we’ll embrace it… but it only works if you, me and everyone one around us…says
“I want to be involved – How can I help?”
This question will take us back to Social Media and how small the world really is… we need you to connect, share, tweet, and e-mail this blog to everyone ….
Lets Make a Difference Together
The First Whistler Multicultural Celebration will be held on June 27th at the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre. The community event, sponsored by the Whistler Forum for Leadership & Dialogue, is a perfect occasion for Whistler to place itself as being open and welcoming to all the different cultures within our community and to visitors.
The entire development for the Festival is based on a grass root concept. It all starts with the first important planning session that will be held on April 4th. We are hoping to get between 100 and 200 people to take part at the brainstorming session that will be held at Our Lady of the Mountain Church (Catholic Church) at 6299 Lorimer Road from 7pm to 9pm. Please be present and bring along friends and colleagues. The cultures that are present at the planning session will be highlighted at the Celebration. Our definition of culture is very wide as it can include a country, a province, or a region, each having different traditions.
We need your help to engage the multicultural communities as they often see themselves more as participants then organizers, and truly we are not giving them a chance often to be leaders of community events. We all have friends and colleagues from different cultures that are passionate about their food, music, dances, stories, wellness practices, art and would be a great asset to the success of this event. We are asking for your help to reach out to these neighbors and let them know that we need their involvement for this exciting new celebration.
The Question – Multiculturalism Missing in Whistler Plan
We are asking that you talk about the event, invite people you know that could benefit from attending, please post the link to this information on your personal and organization/business Facebook page/as well e-mail it to your data base…
The first date is very important APRIL 04th … please feel free to contact me for more information. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We have an incredible amount of very talented and beautiful people all around us… let’s give them the chance to be included…to let their light shine….. they’re living here for a reason.