Easter: religious rites blend with culture

Easter: a time of hopping bunnies and chocolate eggs? Not for the religious communities of Metro Vancouver, who are living it up towards the Holy Week at the end of March with a whole month of special religious services, culminating in the Easter celebration on the 1st of April. The Christian Easter period begins with…

Opening hearts and doors: learning the French language

To celebrate multiculturalism, the United Nations (U.N.) declared March 20 French Language Day. But why should students learn the language of Molière in a mostly English-speaking society? “Well frankly, at first it was because it was mandatory and I didn’t want to fail Grade 1,” says Michelle Li, a grade 11 student at West Point…

Dressed in Black: From Africa to Canada

Growing up in England, Lolly Bennett loved to dress up. She and her friends wore “sticky-outies,” brightly coloured clothes, to church every Sunday. “All the neighbours would say, ‘look at those girls, how well they are dressed,’” Bennett laughs. Now Bennett is showing how clothing influences how we view other groups of people. Her new…

Embracing diversity in Black communities

The African Arts and Cultural Society presents the Regional Black Canadians Forum, a community forum focused on the International Decade for People of African Descent, from Feb. 6–Feb. 7 at the Greater Victoria Public Library. As Black History Month approached, Founder of Victoria’s African Arts and Cultural Society Pulchérie Mboussi sought the opportunity to enlighten…

Authors in discussion: Omar El Akkad and Esi Edugyan at SFU

Simon Fraser University (SFU) is set to host an event to discuss Esi Edugyan’s powerful book Washington Black. Omar El Akkad will participate in a discussion with Edugyan on Jan. 30 to unpack her poignant coming of age story about a young slave named Wash Black and his journey into freedom and adulthood. Washington Black…

New Year celebrations across the globe

Jan. 1 may officially be New Year’s Day, but not all Canadians celebrate the new year on the same date. Canadians from the Filipino, Jewish, Russian, Ukrainian and Tibetan communities greet the new year at different times and celebrate in different ways. Polka dots for prosperity “Preparations begin immediately after Christmas and New Year celebrations…

“Once neglected, now celebrated”

This is how Cree-Métis literary critic Deanna Reder describes writings and storytelling by Indigenous authors in Canada. As associate professor in the departments of First Nations studies and English at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Reder is principal investigator of the project The People and the Text: Indigenous Writing in Northern North America to 1992,…

From India to Canada: Catholic Christmas celebrations

Approaching another wintry holiday season, both pharmacist Mary Mani and Father Ajin George say the celebration of Christmas can play an important role in maintaining both cultural and religious traditions and practises. Both Mani and Father Ajin are practising Catholics in B.C. who grew up in the Indian state of Kerala. For them, Christmas has…

Lighting up Coquitlam

It’s the darkest time of the year, and the Coquitlam Heritage Centre’s Mackin House is brightening things up. It’s just not in the way most Vancouverites would expect, says Jennie Johnston. “This time tends to be focused on the secular and Christianized versions,” says Johnston, the Centre’s program manager and the organizer of Celebration of…

Decolonizing mothering: Experiences of Asian immigrant mothers in Canada

Every mother wants the best for her child, but how that is defined depends on the context. In her upcoming talk on Decolonizing Mothering at Simon Fraser University (SFU), Yidan Zhu, a postdoctoral fellow in University of British Columbia (UBC)’s Faculty of Dentistry, explores mothering as an ideology influenced by colonial relations, including race, gender…

Culture on the screen

Over thirty filmmakers and panelists from Canada and other countries will participate in the 23rd annual Vancouver Asian Film Festival (VAFF), which promotes and celebrates the diversity and depth of Asian culture and identity in film and media. VAFF takes place Nov. 7–10, 2019 at the Cineplex Odeon International Village. The longest-running Asian film festival…

Aspire to Inspire: conveying hope

An evening aimed at youth but welcoming all, Aspire to Inspire is The 3E Organization’s second annual youth empowerment event scheduled for Oct. 22. The group is hoping to encourage collaboration and action among youth by hosting a free evening full of speakers and interaction with other members of the community. Reaching out to all Established in…