It is difficult to define Vancouver and for that matter, Canada as it was, and still is, built on multi-culturalism. Done right, it is the peaceful coexistence of a culturally diverse or multiethnic population where multiculturalism is adopted as an integrative policy. Not to say that there aren’t challenges and that we always do this right and that racism and bigotry don’t exist in Canada. However living amongst various cultures has become mainstream and made us stronger, more accepting and appreciative of other lifestyles, customs and ways of life whether in our personal or business environments.
Here are some advantages of living in our diverse society:
- Education: children learn from an early age about equality and to respect other cultures.
- In the work place, having a diverse group of workers always enriches the work environment and offers a wide range of perspectives and can create a strong team.
- While there is an expectation for new immigrants to integrate within the community and learn our language, it is encouraged for them to maintain their original ethnic identities and languages.
- Travel is a great educator however a multicultural city teaches us and touches all our senses through: great restaurants, bars, music, festivals, live performances and costumes. This greatly enriches our cities.
Canada is not the only country rich in ethnic heritage however, along with our indigenous population we were built on this and evolve based on the cultures we live amongst. It is important as a society that we strive to be good citizens to help the less fortunate, be accepting and tolerant of others but we also need to work at being good countries. I feel fortunate that I can call Vancouver home. We’re a city in the world but also seem to be a world in the city.
Emily Edwards, CMP, DMCP