Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

1st Session, 37th Parliament,
Volume 139, Issue 111

Wednesday, May 1, 2002
The Honourable Dan Hays, Speaker

Asian Heritage Month

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, in May 2002, Canadians will officially celebrate Asian Heritage Month for the first time.

We want to thank Senator Poy for her efforts on behalf of Asian Heritage Month.

Thank you, Senator Poy.

Every year, Canadians are invited to take part in the festivities that commemorate the legacy of Asian Canadians, past and present, during Asian Heritage Month. This year, the Government of Canada has officially recognized May as Asian Heritage Month. The month-long festival plays a significant role in identifying and articulating the vibrant Asian-Canadian culture within Canada and is a tribute to the individuals and organizations that come together each year to showcase and highlight the diversity of the artists and cultural expressions emerging out of Canada’s Asian communities.

Under the leadership of President Bev Nann, the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society has been organizing events to showcase Asian heritage for a long time. This year’s theme is “ExplorASIAN 2002” and will feature 150 events across the lower mainland. We should be proud of Asian-Canadian contemporary culture because it is homegrown culture. It represents Canada.

According to Bev Nann: “This is a culture which belongs to all Canadians and which contributes to the advancement of multiculturalism.”

On a personal level, it means that my daughter Farzana is taught Bharatnatyam, Indian classical dance, by world-renowned Indian classical artist Benoit Villeneuve, a native Quebecer whose Indian name is Jai Govinda.

Because of the existence of this new culture, he is able to teach traditional Indian dance in British Columbia, and in French.

Our great country’s diversity makes our celebration of Asian Heritage Month belong to all Canadians.