Diversity Beautifies Canada

Edmonton Servus Heritage Festival epitomizes Canadian diversity, and deepens the love that people have for their multicultural society. The heritage festival kicked off on Saturday August 5, 2017 at Hawrelak Parkin Edmonton. So the park was a ground for the festival for three consecutive days, and that happens on an annual basis. The heritage ground was a place where all people of different ages, cultural backgrounds, faiths, and languages met and interacted.  

Basically, people from the five continents of the world came together, shared and celebrated their respective culture, while at the same time honouring Canada’s sovereignty.

Each participating pavilion had its designated tent, showing its colours and symbols. However, the red and white Canadian flag over towered and was atop tents, meaning that Canada is the higher homeland. Here some clauses of the Canadian national anthem come into play: “O Canada! Our Home and Native land”, and “With glowing hearts we see thee rise.”

The heritage festival was a fun place for anyone who wanted to see exotic foods, cultural dances, songs, and art facts.  People holding hands milled around and moved from one tent to another. The scene was breathtakingly beautiful. The park itself is situated in Edmonton’s river valley, next to the North Saskatchewan: an open grassy, and lash area.

Each year, close to one hundred countries display their cultures and enable thousands of residents of Edmonton to see one another, and learn from each other.  

The Heritage Festival became a ground for weddings. A traditional Syrian wedding took place at the festival. The wedding ceremony was held inside the first Syrian pavilion. It was an amazing event. As reported, the bride has been in Canada for just a year. Doubtlessly, the wedding ceremony will remain a memorable event for the bride, husband, relatives, and many other attendees.

Diverse food was plenty. People lined up for tickets with which to buy food items and beverages. And aroma of food was all over the place. The aroma wafted here and there, enticing people to eat right away. Take that “Somali Pavilion”, for instance. Among other food items, the pavilion sold hilib geel (camel meat), and the line up for it was very long. But one should be cautious of the hilib geel, as eating too much of it makes one hyperactive. Eating too much of camel meat is tantamount to eating too many chocolate bars. But the meat is tender and delicious, depending on how it’s cooked.

It’s always good to have cash with which to buy food, and other desired items. In fact, tickets are bought with the cash, and then one presents a number of tickets to each dish or beverage. When no cash was on hand, people lined up for an ATM machine to get cash. So it’s always good to have cash.

The scene is very diverse indeed, and it’s a true reflection of the Canadian multiculturalism.  

But what’s multiculturalism?  It’s the preservation of different cultures or cultural identities within a unified society. This means one is free to retain one’s culture, while integrating into wider society.  The word integration itself is to incorporate people from different countries into one society as equals.

Some sporadic rain inconvenienced the festival. The sky rained on Saturday and Monday, but remained clear on Sunday. It was a bit hot on Sunday, but people said they enjoyed the day. People entered and exited the festival’s gate throughout the day.

Edmonton Servus Heritage Festival is an annual event aimed at entertaining and connecting Edmonton residents and visitors with one another. In fact, Edmontonians look forward to the festival as it is a nice place to enjoy with families and friends. Anyone that needs to understand the beauty of Canada’s diversity should attend the Servus Heritage Festival.

This news article was first published in Millwoods Mosaic Newspaper. Sept 15, 2017