By: Shirley Torres
Diversity, unity, solidarity, mosaic, community, society, harmony, togetherness, equality: These are only some of the many words that are parallel to multiculturalism. Multiculturalism is a blend of different languages, religion, race, colour, custom and tradition. Multiculturalism is the world.
Canada is a world within the world. It is a melting pot of different cultures. It is home to many people of diverse ethnic backgrounds but people having the same aspirations and dreams. They live and work here to build their future, to pursue their dreams, striving, working hard and sometimes struggling to achieve their goals and by doing so, contributing to the development of their communities, the society and the country, culturally, economically and politically.
In 1971, Canada, the first in the world, adopted multiculturalism as an official policy. This was formalized when on July 21, 1988 the Canadian Multiculturalism Act was passed “to promote the full and equitable participation of individuals and communities of all origins in the continuing evolution and shaping of all aspects of Canadian society”. By Royal Proclamation, on November 13, 2002, June 27 of each year was designated as Canadian Multiculturalism Day. We celebrate this day to learn more about each other’s culture, to be proud of our own and to have a better understanding and acceptance of the diversity in our society. This is a celebration of diversity, Canada’s strength.
June 27 is a day of recognizing, appreciating and celebrating each other’s culture. It is a day to pay tribute to everyone’s continuous contribution in building a stronger, united, diverse Canada.
Happy Multiculturalism Day!
Shirley Torres is the UNE Human Rights Representative for the B.C. and Yukon region.