Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Cultural diversity adds much to our lives - CHRONICLE JOURNAL

by Brenda Reimer
Originally published: July 31, 2017
Publisher: ChronicleJournal.com 

AS A member of Diversity Thunder Bay, I am committed to making Thunder Bay a community where diversity is welcomed and valued. What does this mean? Does it mean one city where the only voice that counts agrees with the “mainstream” voice? Does it mean the freedom to voice your opinion even if it is hurtful and involves labelling and name-calling of others who are different from you? Does it mean the freedom to honour your own particular culture and to be treated with respect for doing so?

My childhood treat was hot dogs; for my children, it was pizza; for my grandchildren, it is sushi. Neither pizza nor sushi were known in my family. All have become a standard part of Canadian cuisine. What will it be for my great grandchildren? As each new food has become part of Canadian cuisine, we have not lost anything; nothing has been taken away. Rather, only greater variety and choice have been added. Food is easiest.

In the 1950s, growing up in a middle-class area of Winnipeg, we didn’t know how to deal with our rapidly changing neighbourhood. We were uncomfortable when our friends refused to come to our house because the new neighbours, Italian men, stared at them. When these neighbours offered to teach my mother to make pizza we teenagers said “no way.”