What I love about Canada is that we have the opportunity to participate in celebrations that honour a multitude of cultures from around the world.
This past weekend I attended the Kultrun World Music Festival at Victoria Park in Waterloo, Ontario. Upon arrival I could hear the crowd of people clapping along as Mexican music played in the background. As I approached the crowd, I saw that up on the stage there were three men and three women dancing a traditional Mexican style of dance.
I took a moment to skim the crowd of onlookers only to notice that it was filled with an array of different skin tones, and a variety of ages. This cultural diversity among the crowd is the perfect example of the appreciation people in Canada have for cultures that vary from their own.
As a mixed race woman,
I have often faced the issue with identifying with a particular culture. Neither my mom nor my dad’s families celebrate their country of origin, so I have never really had one specific culture to feel like I am a part of. I envy people who have grown up with traditions or celebrations that are unique to their ancestral countries, and continue to celebrate these traditions to this day.
However, as a mixed race person I appreciate cultural diversity to the maximum. Living in a country where different skin colours are welcomed makes me feel like I fit in. My complexion often confuses people, as they can never correctly guess my country of origin, but the joke is on them, I “originate” from several.
Attending world festivals, or cultural specific festivals is, I think, a meaningful experience as a Canadian. It is eye opening, informational, and simply just a fun experience.
Everyone in that atmosphere is happy to be there celebrating no matter if they identify with that culture or not.
As the performance ended, I began to walk back to where I came from only to notice a food tent with the sign “empanadas” which are my favourite Chilean delicacy.
Once when I travelled to Chile I probably ate two or three empanadas every day. Before I left the festival, I took a moment before to stop and buy a homemade carne empanada from a Chilean family who was selling them from their food tent.
I walked away from the festival with a smile on my face as I enjoyed the warm savoury bites of my baked meat-wrapped Chilean pastry with the satisfaction of celebrating the world’s cultures in a single afternoon.