Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

2nd Session, 37th Parliament,
Volume 140, Issue 72

Thursday, June 19, 2003
The Honourable Dan Hays, Speaker

Asian Heritage Month

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise in honour of Asian Canadians in celebration of Asian Heritage Month.

Recently, I attended the Asian Heritage Awards dinner in Vancouver, organized by the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society. The theme was “Exploring the Silk Route.”

The amazing parallel that exists between the silk route and Asian Canadians is the tremendous way that Asians have woven into Canadian culture despite difficulties new immigrants face. Many have had to face difficult situations and have triumphed over them. In this sense, they are much like a silk garment. Their efforts may be faced with difficulty but, with persistence, a bountiful life will be produced.

A number of extraordinary people and organizations were presented with awards for the significant impact they have had in the community and beyond. Those people are Roy Miki for “Transforming Art,” David Lui for “Living Heritage,” the Goh Ballet for “Building Community — Individual Category” and Donna Spencer of the Firehall Arts Centre for “Building Community Organization Category.” I congratulate the award recipients as well as all the nominees.

Honourable senators, the world around us is made up of a woven tapestry of people from different cultures, religions and backgrounds — each one perhaps a little different but always complementing the next.

The Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society and other organizations like it help to foster a cross-cultural understanding among Canada’s cultural communities. These efforts promote the intertwining of different cultures, helping us to see that friendship comes in all sizes and colours.

This kind of friendship is a true joy, and I am happy to be among such friends today.

Lastly, I encourage all honourable senators to celebrate the cultures that surround us every day with enthusiasm, acceptance and joy.