by Ivy Chiu
Originally published: May 25, 2017
I was in elementary school when my family moved to Vancouver from Hong Kong. As a kid, I remember wanting to feel like I belonged to my new community and to integrate to Canadian culture, although much of what surrounded me was unfamiliar. What I couldn’t articulate at that young age was the ambivalence between my wish to belong as well as to retain my identity. Perhaps this is a feeling that’s familiar for many newcomers or anyone who has moved to a new city, community or organization — yet it is possible to achieve both.
For instance, contributing to my community played a key role in helping me adapt to life in Canada. My family introduced ourselves to neighbours who quickly became friends, and as we volunteered for organizations whose causes we believed in, our sense of community grew as well.