Honourable Senators, it is with great pride that I rise today to speak on Asian Heritage Month. This month of May marks its 14th annual celebration.
It is an ideal occasion for Canadians to celebrate the beauty of various Asian cultures, to highlight the long and rich history of Asian immigrants, and their contributions to the prosperity of Canada. In the context of a global world, it is more important than ever that we not only preserve and protect – but celebrate – cultural diversity and heritage.
In celebration of Asian Heritage Month, organizations engage Canadians in festivities and events across Canada. As a resident of Mississauga, I am proud that our city hosts Ontario’s largest multicultural festival, Carassauga. Last night, the Taste of Asia on the Hill event was very well received by diplomats and parliamentarians alike.
On Parliament Hill, there are interparliamentary groups working with our Asian counterparts to foster contacts and express views of international interests and concerns. Having senators of Asian heritage in this chamber is in itself a testament to Canada's ethnic and cultural mosaic.
As a senator of Singaporean descent and a proud member of the Chinese-Canadian community, I am pleased that such initiatives encourage members of our community to learn more about their cultural identity while fostering cross cultural ties with fellow Canadians.
Honourable senators, this year, Asian Heritage Month honours Asian-Canadian athletes,both past and present, for their contributions to sports at the national and international levels. It coincides with the proclamation of the “Year of Sport” by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada.
Through Asian Heritage Month, we preserve the rich heritage of Asian culture, and build bridges of understanding between different cultural groups. And to a broader sense, it is promoting the Canadian values of mutual understanding, respect, and multiculturalism.
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