This weekend we celebrated the 152nd anniversary of Canada by honouring those native to the country alongside its first settlers and beyond. Canada is a country renowned for welcoming cultures from all over the world, while continually expanding and accepting diversity under one common goal – Unity.
One of Ricoh’s founding principles “Love Your Country” (Ricoh Three Loves) encourages Ricoh employees to take pride in the countries they reside in. As a long-time Ricoh employee having worked at different regional locations, this specific Ricoh love resonates more to me than any other given my cultural background.
I’ve lived and worked in Canada for the past decade. My time in this country has taught me to become accustomed to people’s reactions when they meet me for the first time. At first, assumptions are made based on my physical appearance. I am female, Asian and occasionally mistaken for being younger than what I really am. When I speak, (much to my own amusement) people tend to be a little thrown off by my British accent.
So, as an individual with multiple nationalities, I am (like many others) a textbook example of cultural diaspora. And I am proud of it. Despite being ethnically Chinese, I grew up speaking a combination of English and Creole. As I continue the pattern of my families’ migration for a fourth generation, I have been fortunate enough to have been brought up in a western society where I have the freedom and opportunities my forefathers strived so hard for. The languages I speak, the food I eat, and the traditions I maintain all represent the cultural influences of my family background.
I was once asked to define myself by capturing all my cultural influences “A British born Mauritian Hakka Chinese now living in Canada” (try saying that in one breath!). But now that I live in Canada, I realize that I don’t need to define myself with said label.
My adopted country Canada combined with my tenure at Ricoh has taught me the importance of embracing diversity. I’ve been fortunate enough to surround myself with individuals of equally unique cultural backgrounds; It is this network of family, friends, and professional peers that have enabled me to lay roots in Canada and build a community meaningful to me.
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