Vikings in Vancouver

Leif Erikson’s legendary voyage from Iceland to North America around the year 1000 was arguably the first time a European set foot on North American shores. This trip, and the subsequent history of Vikings in North America, is shrouded in myth, say Judith Anderson and Geoffrey Winthrop-Young. “There’s no doubt that [Leif Erikson] existed and…

How children can make silenced voices heard

UBC Public Scholars Award recipient Claudia Diaz worked as a manager of social education programs in Chilean inner city schools before moving to Canada for graduate school, including a PhD in Educational Studies at UBC. Her current research addresses the silenced presence of Indigenous people in B.C. and proposes ways of making their voices heard…

The humour revolution

“A dad asks his son: ‘Son, when you grow up who do you think you want to marry?’ The boy goes, ‘I want to marry Granny, she loves me the most!’ The dad says, ‘you can’t marry Granny, don’t you know she’s my mother?’ And the boy replies, ‘Well, you married my mother, why can’t…

In/Flux: Art of Korean Diaspora

The Museum of Vancouver and the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Vancouver have joined forces to showcase artwork by three Korean-Canadian artists living and working in Vancouver. The exhibition artfully blends traditional and contemporary concepts as a means of contemplating place, history, migration and identity. In/Flux: Art of Korean Diaspora will be…

A look at the Slovak community

The Slovak community in Vancouver is small and close-knit. “When we quizzed people about the estimated size of this community in the lower Mainland, we got numbers ranging from 2,000–20,000,” chuckles Jozef Starosta, a member of the local Slovak community of Coquitlam and New Westminster and founder of Slovo z Britskej Kolumbie magazine. “But the…

Satellite kids: negotiating two worlds

Mainland Chinese people have been emigrating from China for years, and yet, the recent experiences of mainland Chinese immigrant families have been largely ignored, says Henry Li. “[Mainland Chinese] make up the biggest group of incoming immigrants into Canada for the last 10 years,” says Li, a Master’s student in Simon Fraser’s sociology department who…

“Digital natives” don’t all speak the same language

UBC Public Scholars Award recipient Ron Darvin is researching the diverse ways in which students use technology. His work explores the potential impact that varying levels of digital literacy has in society. Darvin worked as a language instructor, teacher trainer and university lecturer in Manila, capital of the Philippines, and Vancouver before returning to school…

Cultural intelligence builds empathy

Progressive organizations across Canada engage employees through diversity and inclusion programs. “The business community is motivated to develop intercultural competency (IC),” says Taslim Damji, an intercultural practitioner and core developer and facilitator for MOSAIC, Multi-lingual Orientation Service Association for Immigrant Communities. Understanding cultural diversity and learning to empathize and embrace different behaviours is key to…

A sweet and Jewish September

Sept. 9 marks the beginning of the three-day Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It’s a time when connections are strengthened, when Jews think about how ties bind them to others in Jewish society and to the environment sustaining that society, says Michael Schwartz. “New Year’s in a secular culture is just ‘get drunk and…

Exploring Muslim youth identities and their sense of belonging in Canada

With the growing number of Muslims in Canadian schools, Neila Miled, a PhD Candidate of the Faculty of Education at UBC, explores how Muslim youth negotiate their identities as Muslims and Canadians. She looks at how they express their sense of belonging in Canada, particularly in Metro Vancouver. Miled was born and raised in Tunisia,…

Promoting social change through the media

Joanna Chiu is a journalist who serves as the editor and founder of WAM! Vancouver (Women Action and the Media), a non-profit dedicated to creating gender justice in the media, and NüVoices, an international editorial collective that focuses on self-identified women’s work in China. Chiu will be speaking at the Peace and Conflict Studies Lecture…

Ethnic identity in writing

With eleven featured authors, LiterASIAN is the biggest celebration of Asian Canadian writing in the city. The festival runs Sept. 21–23 and will provide an array of stories, styles and events, ensuring something for every literature lover to enjoy. One of the featured authors at this year’s festival is Kevin Chong, whose most recent book, The…

A Serbian welcome

At the upcoming Serbian Days Festival, all cultural communities are welcome to come and experience Serbian culture, says Natasha Ignjatovic. “[Serbians are] known for our hospitality,” says Ignjatovic, a long-term volunteer with Vancouver’s Serbian community, who currently works as treasurer at the church where the festival will be held. “Tourists that come to visit Serbia;…