The Skeena Diversity Society office on Lazelle Avenue was transformed Oct. 26 for a Diwali-themed version of their weekly International Cooking Night dinners. (Contributed photo)

The Skeena Diversity Society office on Lazelle Avenue was transformed Oct. 26 for a Diwali-themed version of their weekly International Cooking Night dinners. (Contributed photo)

EDITORIAL: Strength in diversity

Identity and diverse culture of Terrace residents is worth celebrating

The Skeena Diversity Society office on Lazelle Avenue was transformed Oct. 25 for a Diwali-themed version of their weekly International Cooking Night dinners.

Colourful candles decorated with intricate detailing and warm, hanging lights lit up the room. The smell of chickpeas and rice, hot oil from the pakora, and the sweet smell of chai drew in myself and fellow reporter Natalia. The room was packed.

Saša Loggin, Skeena Diversity project director, asked everyone to say where they were born. London, Russia, India, Wales were just some of the places shouted out. It was a refreshing reminder of how lucky we are to have such a rich, diverse population in Terrace.

READ MORE: Colours fly at Terrace’s Holi celebration

For the most part, as my family moved every two years, I grew up in white suburbia. My neighbourhoods didn’t have much diversity — I went to Catholic school, where we all listened to the same music, had the same look, and practised the same religion. Our community was close-knit, but it was lacking.

It wasn’t until I spent a semester working in Washington, D.C., that I was exposed to people with different skin tones, different cultures and interests. I lived with roommates from Delhi and Pakistan, who brought me to my first Diwali celebration in the city. After a hard day at work, there was nothing more comforting than coming back to our apartment filled with heavy aromas of coriander, cumin and garam masala.

Without them, I would have lived a very shielded life.

Identity and culture is something inherently special to each of us, and something for which we should all be proud. Take the fundraiser organized by Terrace’s Sikh community last Saturday at the Gobind Mall. The lunch by donation, with tables full of channa masala, rice, pakora and chai tea, raised $8,527 in just three hours for the Dr. REM Lee Hospital Foundation to help purchase a new ophthalmic surgical microscope. Volunteers paid for the food out of their own pockets, and took two days to cook everything.

READ MORE: Mixing community and cuisine

There are some who fear a multicultural society, those who have convinced themselves that their own identity is being threatened by. Canada itself is colourful, with its skin colours, clothing colours, churches, mosques and landscapes. It’s what makes this country unique.

Next Friday, do yourself a favour and stop by the Skeena Diversity Centre at 5 p.m. When we can lift each other up and celebrate where we came from, it will only make our community stronger.

Brittany Gervais is the senior reporter at The Terrace Standard.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

A housing location for workers on the new Mills Memorial Hospital construction project has been approved by city council. (File photo)
Camp spot proposed for hospital construction workers

As many as 350 outside workers may be needed

Terrace city council are reaching out to the B.C. Office of the Ombudsperson regarding councillor Jessica McCallum-Miller’s resignation on Feb. 22, 2021. (Black Press Media File Photo)
City of Terrace seeking ombudsperson investigation into allegations of systemic racism

Councillor Jessica McCallum-Miller resigned Feb. 22, citing racism

A large provincial grant will make cycling and walking safer in Terrace. (File photo)
Large grant to make walking, cycling safer in Terrace

Pathway will connect old Skeena Bridge to the downtown

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives to view the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Death threats mount against Dr. Bonnie Henry, sparking condemnation from Horgan, Dix

Henry has become a staple on televisions in homes across British Columbia since January 2020

Most Read