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Editorial: Relish the diversity of Canadian culture

Culture days in city
a crokinole
Canadian culture encompasses many facets.
YORKTON - Yorkton is in the midst of Culture Days. 

So what does that exactly mean?

At its simplest it means there are a raft of things to do in the city some already complete and many more through much of October. 

It is always good when there are things for citizens to do that are educational, interesting, fun, and in some cases all three. A community is built when people gather, often becoming better neighbours and even friends in the process. 

But there is a bit more to Culture Days. 

It is a time for people to share in what it is to be Canadian. 

As a nation we are a place with a culture not necessarily easily defined, which is in part because we have stopped trying to shoehorn new Canadians when they arrive here into some pre-determined mold of what it is to be Canadian. 

Our local region might have been impacted early on by waves of Ukrainian immigrants, their influence still seen in dance troupes and a store in the city dedicated to their food. 

But in Yorkton there are also Asian and Philippine food, not to mention restaurants with East Indian and Mexican options. 

Canada has learned to open its arms wide and accept what people from around this world might add to our country. 

Sure there are things we like to think are uniquely Canadian – hockey leading the list, although the sport’s origin is at best murky, and almost assuredly not in Canada although few countries were as eager to develop the sport into what it would become than Canadians, so we don’t need to apologize for thinking it is our game. 

Then there are things such as snowshoes and canoes, and Canada’s summer sport lacrosse, but of course they were things developed long before there was a Canada, or before even the first explorer found the shores of what would become our country. 

So our culture is an elastic thing. 

Or, perhaps a better description might be sponge. 

We absorb the best things that come along.  

The Scottish among us still gather to feast on haggis for Robbie Burns Day.  

Ukrainians will gather to remember Taras Shevchenko. 

Doukobors still mark the laying down of arms. 

Powwows are held all over our country. 

And as Canadians we are learning every year to better relish our diversity; to accept it, and take part in it. 

You do not have to be Scottish to eat haggis, or First Nations to enjoy the drum. 

And therein might be the key to our collective culture; we grow as a country because of our diversity. Culture Days just gives us a reason to celebrate that diversity together.