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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Winnipeg, City of Multiculturalism

Beatrice "Mom B" Watson - Founder of Global Eyes Magazine - picture from mavamanitoba.ca
Besides mosquitoes’ overabundance in summer, the wicked wind chill in winter; the first thing that struck me upon coming to Winnipeg was its diversity. As a newcomer, I was blessed by its inhabitants’ generosity.  I noticed as well that people work joyfully hard to promote their culture to the larger community.  According to Cambridge dictionary, Multiculturalism “is the belief that different cultures within a society should all be given importance.”  That is definitively the case in Winnipeg.

For instance, the Festival du voyageur taught me about the French settlers in Canada. I contemplated breathtaking ice sculptures, wonderful artifacts, souvenirs and historical portraits, too.  I enjoyed visiting the Gibraltar Fort. I also tasted the delicious poutine and the maple syrup candy, which are traditional recipes from Quebec (French Canada).  I definitively had a good time.  Numerous children were thrilled with funny winter activities. Inside huge white tents, many concerts entertained a cosmopolite crowd.  Summer’s festivities performed almost every day. As you could guess Folklorama was my favorite. With the Caribbean pavilion, I toured superb islands - Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana - I ate the yummy roti and I admired the amazing lingo.  

Obviously, Winnipeg is the best setting to become an open-minded person. Unfortunately, I was a victim of a racial slur a few months ago. This incident shocked me deeply. Winnipeg’s dark side frightened me. Recollection of my daily life in Paris (France).  The “romantic” city that furiously rejects its cosmopolite heritage. There, racial discrimination inhibits potentials causing death to sweet dreams.  Qualified, colourful people like me, leave “the city of love” for a better future.  Paris is not so romantic after all!  Its hypocrisy can’t hide anymore. The arrogant Eiffel Tower lost its prestige.  But I still have hope for a bright future. That one day, Paris will embrace, with an open arm and tearful eyes, all its kaleidoscopic children.  In a nutshell, meeting new people, discovering foreign traditions; testing exotic food and admiring bright clothing, were such a rewarding experience.  Multiculturalism is definitively the heartbeat of Winnipeg’s communities. 

By Benebr

 With the authorization of Global Eyes Magazine (Manitoba African and Carribean Quaterly Magazine) -Fall 2016 page 11.

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