Christmas the Italian way

Christmas in Italy blends many traditions, says Stefano Gulmanelli: secular and religious, modern and traditional. It’s still a little bit about mass, but also about fun and family. “It’s about shopping and presents and food and getting together,” adds Gulmanelli, the Italian-Canadian president of The Dante Alighieri Society of Vancouver, a language school and cultural…

Youth for a Change and the LGBTQ+ leadership in Surrey

Under the guidance of LGBTQ+ activists over the years, the greater Vancouver area has become an increasingly progressive and inclusive region. Jen Marchbank, professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the Simon Fraser University (SFU), and Sylvie Traphan, co-founder of Youth for a Change, have made Surrey the main focus of their efforts. Marchbank…

A discussion on racial stereotyping and mental health

As a South Asian woman who believes in non- binary labels and identifies as queer, Sukhmani Gill grew up with a lot of racism. Her lived experiences fuel an interest in understanding why people are judged by their appearances. “I’ve grown up with a lot of racism and discrimination for being a brown female,” says Gill. “I’m also…

The nurture in nature: A photographer’s lessons from Chile

Nature Vancouver’s upcoming talk, Plants of the High Andes and Other Stories from Chile and Argentina, will be held on Thursday, Nov. 15 from 7–9:30 p.m. at Unitarian Centre (Hewett Hall) located at 949 West 49th Avenue in Vancouver. Hosted by Ron Long, past president of the Native Plant Society of BC and a photographer…

Histories of Islam

Muslims are an integral part of Canadian society, and yet their history and contributions to that society are often overlooked, says Aslam Bulbulia. Events like those in October for Islamic History Month go some ways towards changing this situation. “[Islamic History Month carries] in some ways a double edge of separating yourself, of treating Muslims…

A celebration of Vietnamese heritage

In celebration of Vietnam’s culture and heritage, the Southeast Asian Cultural Heritage Society (SEACHS) will be holding Mai Dao: A Glimpse into Vietnamese Culture at the Norman Rothstein Theater on Oct. 27. Reminiscing on his time in Vietnam, Mai Dao theatre director Dennis Gupta says he is fond of Vietnamese water puppet show, which is what first introduced him…

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…

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…

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…

“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…

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…

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;…