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  Weekly Feature: (May 30, 2005)


Asian Heritage Month
Paul's Weekly Feature


Canada has always been characterized by its cultural diversity.  To ensure that this multicultural setting promotes a strong, cohesive, and prosperous Canadian society, through policy and practice the Government of Canada encourages Canadians to cherish Canada’s social diversity. 

For example, Canada recognizes May as Asian Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the contributions of the Asian Community to Canada and to acknowledge the history of Asian Canadians.  Although May was not officially declared as such until May 21, 2002, Canadians have been celebrating May as Asian Heritage Month since 1993.  Some of the festivities and events put forth by the Asian Community in May include folk dancing, showing films and plays, poetry and readings, cultural shows and workshops, food tasting, singing, and special guest appearances.

Individuals considered of Asian origin are those with family roots in East, South, Central, and Southeast Asia.  These regions include countries as China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Malaysia, and The Philippines, to name just a few. 

Canadians of all ethnic origin, including those from the Asian Community, have contributed to Canadian life in such areas and disciplines as politics, leadership, sciences, arts, literature, education, and sports.  Some of the well known Canadians of Asian Heritage, those respected for their contribution to Canada, are Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, The Honourable Ujjal Dosanjh, Dr. Ratna Ghosh, Joy Kogawa, Lim Kwong Yew, Jean Lumb, Deepa Mehta, Rohinton Mistry, Michael Ondaatje, and Dr. David Suzuki.

To recognize the history and successes of Asian Canadians and to show gratitude for the contributions of the Canadian Asian Community, all Canadians should participate in celebrating Asian Heritage Month.  In facilitating a brighter future for Canada through promoting Canada’s multicultural society, Canadians of all origin need to take notice, and respond, when any one of Canada’s cultures or communities reaches out to Canadians.

For reference and further detail, please check the following sites and their available links:

Canadian Diversity

What is Multiculturalism?

Canada's Ethnocultural Portrait

Multiculturalism—Asian Heritage Month

Asian Heritage Month

Minister of State


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