Finding sweet light in a shadowed world

What can we do now that anyone around us might be the vector of a deadly disease? We have to continue to live our lives. I’m a college student at UBC and in the Before Time (that’s what I call the time before this pandemic) I had a wonderfully full student life. There were parties…

Two hemispheres of COVID-19: Vietnam and Canada

We are living in an unprecedented time when global public health is at risk. The COVID-19 pandemic has made its way around the globe and impacted nearly all aspects of our lives. I’ve witnessed how my friends and family’s lives have been affected by the pandemic in so many ways. Since the outbreak can spread…

Eastward bound

We have all heard this phrase before: life doesn’t flow like a long, tranquil river. Life holds many surprises; some good, some bad. In my view, the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic represents a bit of both. Arriving in Vancouver in October 2019, I planned to stay for the duration of my working holiday permit,…

Finding a multilingual Eden

I remember very well the penetrating feeling I had when disembarking at YVR airport, the impression of having won a destination lottery: a maple leaf freshly inked in my passport, and a Canadian work permit. After spending months hoping for a positive response from immigration officials, I found myself on the other side of the…

The permission to belong

The streets are silent, but a rare morning breeze is bringing the smells of spring right to my window. Vancouver is in lockdown, but its cherry trees are in bloom, and the soil of its many millions of gardens is awake and exhaling a nutrient rich fragrance. Twenty-two years may seem a long time, but…

Finding a multilingual home

This is a multicultural and multi-ethnic haven where people from everywhere intertwine in a safe and peaceful manner. Walking the streets, it is possible to hear languages coming from every country imaginable. Before coming to Vancouver, I lived in Philadelphia, an ethnically and linguistically homogeneous region of the United States. Intermingling between cultures was not…

Somewhere new is not something I am looking for

I have never had the skin tightening feeling of growing out of a space, of packing a suitcase and finding my somewhere new. Vancouver is my perpetual somewhere new, a community transient, fluid and ever-evolving. It’s my someone new I met in passing on the SkyTrain. It’s my new discovery of an Indian-Chinese fusion place…

From the Amazon to Canada to find a more sustainable life

I come from Manaus, a hot and rainy city located in the heart of the Amazonian jungle. I decided to move, looking for a more sustainable life. This might sound a little paradoxical at first, but it is not. Since studying in environmental sciences, I’ve known Vancouver to be referred to as a benchmark in…

My experience with integration in Vancouver

These days, many Canadians are proud to call our country multicultural and diverse. Along with saying ‘eh’ and living in igloos, Canada is also known internationally for being a kind and welcoming place. As a nation, we can look back to Canada’s history and the decades of oppression, negligence and exploitation of minority groups and…

Diversity in Metro Vancouver

I came to this city as an international student from Kenya. Living on campus and going to a university outside the country I grew up in opened my eyes up to a variety of people from an array of cultures and backgrounds. Through living on campus and just generally going to classes, I met some…

All the colours of Vancouver

I have known many geographic latitudes and multicultural societies, starting with my island of origin. I come from a land of mixed races and cultures, Reunion Island. For me, diversity is natural. I always felt a little cramped, uncomfortable, in mono-cultural societies. I have explored different lands, always looking for a balance in post-colonial societies,…