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Editorial: Cultural diversity builds community

By collectively sharing that experience we learn at least a little more about cultural acceptance and building community.
Holi celebrations held for YBID June Days in City Centre Park (6)
"In North and Western India ... children and young people form groups armed with dry colours, coloured solution and water guns (pichkaris), water balloons filled with coloured water, and other creative means to colour their targets," according to Wikipedia. (File Photo)

YORKTON - For the next four weeks downtown Yorkton – City Centre Park specifically – will be the place to be Thursday evenings.

Starting this week the Yorkton Business Improvement District organization will be hosting what are now being collectively termed ‘Multicultural Days.’

The theme might seem somewhat redundant with efforts over a three-week period in the fall called Culture Days, but its not like any excuse to immerse oneself in some aspect of culture isn’t a good thing.

The more we learn about the backgrounds which help mold and define us, the better we will be as a community.

Of course at the heart of this community and nation is a very diverse mix of cultures based on a foundation of French and English, and more than ever today the emergence of the importance of First Nations here long before colonization.

Over the years there have been waves of immigration from many countries, and it hasn’t always been a smooth mixing of cultures.

Japanese Canadians were treated abysmally during World War II, Doukhobours were basically chased from their land in Saskatchewan by targeted legislation, and we are still trying to find ways to reconcile with the damage of Indian residential schools.

Now in the year 2024, we have a Yorkton which is more ethnically diverse than ever.

With the arrival of new cultures comes a need for mutual education and understanding if we are to avoid problems like the three mentioned above.

It is only by understanding each other, that we do not all eat the same foods, dress the same, dance the same, worship the same, but accepting that that is all right, that we create community.

Now events like the YBID Multicultural Days will not give anyone in-depth knowledge of a particular culture.

The days will however show that we can all celebrate who we are with a smile on our face and a willingness to share at least a glimpse of what a particular culture is about.

By collectively sharing that experience we learn at least a little more about cultural acceptance and building community.

So grab a lawn chair and head downtown the next four Thursdays and join in.

It all starts this week with the focus on two cultures. It starts with a First Nations/Indigenous grand entry at 4 p.m., and Jamaican culture at 6 p.m. – a combination that in a nutshell speaks to our Yorkton today diverse but willing to work together.