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

OPINION: Facebook has taken one step too far

Social network threatens to ban news in Australia, same could happen here

Minor parties scramble to get candidates nominated for Stikine

Taylor wants to be Christian Heritage Party candidate, Repen makes bid to represent Rural BC Party

Here’s the latest on the proposed inland port development process

UPDATE: City postpones discussion slated for Sept. 28 council meet, dedicated meeting to be held soon

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, but it didn’t happen

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Transgender B.C. brothers debut fantasy novel as author duo Vincent Hunter

‘Transgender people are being misrepresented in popular fiction and media, and we aim to change that’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving:’ Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

In all, COVID-19 has killed about 9,250 people in Canada

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Most Read