Sunday, July 10, 2016

Diversity is a Blessing

We know in our bones that Canada was built by people from all corners of the world who worship every faith, who belong to every culture, who speak every language. We believe in our hearts that this country's unique diversity is a blessing. ~ Justin Trudeau

Canada Day Sunrise
It is wonderful to feel the grandness of Canada in the raw, not because she is Canada but because she's something sublime that you were born into, some great rugged power that you are a part of. ~ Emily Carr
It was just a few hours into July1 - our Canada Day and already, the sky was celebrating with some fireworks of its own.

Map of roots
What does multiculturalism mean to these people-and to me? It means a presumption that society will accommodate forms of cultural expression that do not violate our society's core values. These include the right of a Jew to wear his kippa, a Sikh to wear his turban, a Muslim to wear her headscarf, or a Christian to wear a cross pendant. ~ Justin Trudeau
Peterborough is a multicultural city. An accepting city. A respectful city. Multiculturalism was the theme, and the events were organized by the New Canadians Centre on this July 1st. Our Canada Day celebrations began with a parade, which happened in the rain, and therefore without me and my camera. But when the skies cleared, there were all sorts of activities to enjoy in the park. I unexpectedly met up with my dear friend, Carol Anne at the park and we spent some time together.

all decked out
I don't even know what street Canada is on. ~ Al Capone
Neighbourhood homes were all decked out for the event.

firefighters hose
Canada is a nation of people who came from somewhere else. ~ Microsoft Encarta
Red is the colour of our flag's maple leaf so you're going to see an awful lot of it throughout these photos. Here, kidlets were enjoying climbing on the hose sculpture at Del Crary Park - living up to our nickname of "hosers!"

We see the refugees who feel that they have a special duty to give back, and seize the opportunity of a new life. Like the girl who fled Afghanistan by donkey and camel and jet plane. And who remembers being greeted in this country by helping hands and the sounds of robins singing. And today she serves in this chamber and in the cabinet because Canada is her home. ~ Barack Obama
That beautiful smile belongs to Maryam Monsef - the Member of Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha as well as our country's Minister of Democratic Institutions. Twenty years ago, at the age of eleven, Maryam, her mother and two sisters escaped the Taliban and came to our country. They settled in Peterborough where they had family members living. You Americans might recognize her from when Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto were in Ottawa late last month for the North American Leaders' summit, which was quickly dubbed the Three Amigos' Summit. President Obama referenced the Honourable Maryam Monsef in his speech as quoted above. Peterborough is mighty proud of her - with good reason.

In a world darkened by ethnic conflicts that tear nations apart, Canada stands as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity, and mutual respect. ~ Bill Clinton
When the music began, this group of four had all the moves. Note the woman on the left, considering joining in.

Canada has never been a melting pot, more like a tossed salad. ~ Arnold Edinborough.
It didn't take her very long.

scottish dance rehearsal
Wherever you go in the world, you just have to say you're Canadian and people laugh ~ John Candy
A bit earlier, I had seen this group rehearsing their routine.

scottish dancers
In any world menu, Canada must be considered the vichyssoise of nations; it's cold, half-French, and difficult to stir. ~ Stuart Keate
And now it was time for them to perform on stage.

beaver tail
Canada is like an old cow. The West feeds it. Ontario and Quebec milk it. And you can well imagine what it's doing in the Maritimes. ~ Tommy Douglas
Some of the kidlets weren't all that interested. Note the beaver (our national animal) tail on the child's t-shirt. I never got a look at the front but I'll bet it had orange teeth.

I'd be prouder still to say I was Canada's 10th woman prime minister. ~ Kim Campbell
This little girl was very interested in the dancing and had some pretty smooth moves of her own.

tiny dancer onion
Canadian money is also called the loony. How can you take an economic crisis seriously? ~ Robin Williams
Then along came this purple onion who offered to dance with her.

tiny dancer5
When I was crossing the border into Canada, they asked if I had any firearms with me. I said, 'Well, what do you need?' ~ Steven Wright
A natural reaction. Onions can make me cry too.

east indian dancers
Canada will be a strong country when Canadians of all provinces feel at home in all parts of the country, and when they feel that all Canada belongs to them. ~ Pierre Trudeau
A group of east Indian children took the stage next with their routine.

The music continued but Carol Anne and I decided to have a walk around.

A Canadian is merely an unarmed American with health care. ~ John Wing
Venders were selling all sorts of merchandise. This bowl of colourful bracelets caught my eye.

We'll explain the appeal of curling to you if you explain the appeal of the National Rifle Association to us. ~ Andy Barrie
As did these vibrant tie-dye dresses.

A Canadian is someone who knows how to make love in a canoe without tipping it. ~ Pierre Berton
The afternoon events ended with somebody hauling out this canoe-shaped drum. Everyone was encouraged to fall into the rhythm of the beat or to create their own sound.

By now, dark clouds were rolling in and it began to sprinkle on and off. Carol Ann and I had each walked to the park from our respective homes in opposite directions, both about twenty minutes on foot. We figured we should make our way home, lest we get caught in what promised to be a huge downpour. I hurried on my way, readying a plastic bag for my camera in case I didn't make it on time. I arrived home completely dry, closed the door behind me and looked out the window to see that it was just pouring buckets. I texted Carol Anne indicating how I missed the rain by mere seconds, and hoped that she had also. Just as I hit "send," her cross-posted text came in telling me pretty much the same thing. We couldn't have timed it any better if we had tried.

There's always a lot to see around this city. I'll have more for you next time.


Gary's third pottery blog said...

YOU DO live in an awesome town :)

Mandy said...

I think this might be my favourite post of all time. After the fear and divisiveness in British politics this month, see a society celebrate and embrace multi-culturalism is such a welcome breath of fresh air. It has made me want to nice to Peterborough!

Out on the prairie said...

Diversity is a charm to me, but sometimes taken very wrongly by others.

messymimi said...

Beautiful city, beautiful country!

Theresa said...

What a wonderful day of celebration! Dang I want one of those beaver tee's! After all Oregon's state critter is a beaver (not a Duck!). I'm betting there was some pretty wonderful eats available too, not just a scary onion. :-) Glad both of you made it home just in time!

Marie Smith said...

Such a wonderful celebration on a great day. You captured the essence of the country so beautifully too! Great job!

Tabor said...

Thanks for showing me how Canada celebrates. You find the simplest images and make them rich in meaning with your photos. You must write some day, if you have not, about how you chose this town for the next phase in your life.

Anvilcloud said...

It looks like Peterborough celebrated well, and you too or even you two too. :)

Canada is the place where we festoon our properties with flags for about a week and then take them all down. I think it's cool.

sage said...

You do have a beautiful country and I'm amazed at how well you receive immigrants.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Lots of fun.

I LOVE that first shot.

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

You seem to have captured the essence of the celebration with your photos and quotations. Love the beaver tee shirt and the little dancer.

ellen abbott said...

thanks for sharing the celebration!

Leah J. Utas said...

Wonderful pics, Hilary. A great reminder about all that is good in our land.

stephen Hayes said...

Great pictures, and it looks like a good time was had by all.

Karen said...

I love seeing familiar faces in your photos! (My nephew, whoot whoot!)
Where is that canoe drum located? I don't recall seeing it at the Canoe Museum last time I was there.

Linda said...

Looks like it was an amazing day, glad you got home just before the rain.

Red said...

You just made me decide to go to our Canada day celebrations next year. Yes the old introvert will get out. You tell a great story with your photos and it makes me proud to be a Canadian.

William Kendall said...

It looks like everyone had fun!

Rita said...

OMGosh! Really a glorious celebration!!
Love that beaver shirt--especially from the back. The front was probably great, too. ;)

The Furry Gnome said...

Looks like a grand celebration.

Hilary said...

I think I'd like to live there.

Jenn Jilks said...

What a wonderful, colourful day! I found great joy in your photos!

DJan said...

My face broke into a smile at the beginning of this post and stayed there right to the end. What a lovely place, and again Ill say it: I wish I was Canadian!!! :-)

TexWisGirl said...

i think we need some canada here...

Lady Fi said...

I love to see diversity in action!

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I usually spend American Independence Day in Canada, camping with our friends who live there. (I'm an honourary Canadian with that group.) This year, I was at home, wishing I was in Canada -- land of maple syrup, diversity, and sensible gun laws.

Daryl said...

i think Peterborough gets its celebrations on perfectly ...

photowannabe said...

What a delightful celebration of Canada Day.
Thanks for taking me along .
Loved all the pictures and everyone in such a happy mood.

A Cuban In London said...

I love Canada without having visited it yet. I hope to, someday. :-) Great pictures.

Greetings from London.

Linda said...

Oh, looks like fun! Maybe not the purple onion though... he looks scary to me.

Mage said...

I'm beyond charmed by this entry and your country. I want to take your splendid train cross country and wallow in a little French food before coming home. What a truly joyful post this was. Thank you.

Kathleen's Blog said...

Wow--looks like a wonderful celebration. We celebrated this year at our daughter and son-in-laws "Block Party" It was on a very small scale but very "red, white and Canada"--Love being a Canadian!!

Shammickite said...

Hi Hilary.... you had some sunshine for Canada Day, but it was very rainy here. I spent the day relaxing in AC splendour at the retirement home, trying to recover from the surgery. The family including all the kids came to visit me and that was the very best part of my day!
Peterborough is such a nice place, I love all your photos. We'll have to get together again one i'm a bit more mobile.

Shammickite said...

I think I used to dance with some of those Scottish Country Dancers.

Anita said...

What fun pictures to see Hilary! I especially liked the guy in the Scottish kilt - the short one to the far left, who has obviously lost some of his height. He looks ready to show his moves!

Such pride in your country, as you should be. The quotes are a nice addition to the pictures.

I'm glad you and Carol Anne had such a good time!

L. D. said...

The sharing of all the dances was such a fun thing to see. It looked like a very fun festival.

SandyCarlson said...