With newcomers identifying more than 230 countries of birth on the National Household Survey, they bring a rich diversity of cultural and religious festivals and practices to our country. This month, Canadians will celebrate Thanksgiving, Dusserah, Diwali, and children will dress up and go trick-or-treating for Halloween. Just a few short months ago, thousands of Muslims across Canada fasted during Ramadan and then joyously celebrated Eid with family and friends.
The communities gather at churches, mosques, gurudwaras and temples spread all across the country, and share their pride in their countries of origin and their heritage at exuberant street parades, festivals and carnivals.Caribbean showcases, Baisakhi parades, Rath Yatras...Dragon Boat races and beauty pageants. Song, dance and food, henna and colourful clothing are big draws both for those longing for a back-home experience and those seeking to learn more about the varied cultures that Canada encompasses.
One study found that by 2006, more than one-third of the Toronto Region’s neighbourhoods (35 per cent) were made up of half or more visible minority residents. More than half of North York’s neighbourhoods and 76 per cent of Scarborough’s had over 50 per cent visible minority populations. Local residents own, or have a stake in a large percentage of local businesses. By July 2011, there were 57 Chinese supermarkets and 66 Chinese shopping centres in the Toronto Region to serve 500,000 Chinese ethnic minority residents.
They have developed a full range of cultural institutions. They raise beautiful, elaborate as places of worship and cultural centres.
Canada, a country of immigrants, welcomes newcomers from all parts of the world in the truest sense of the world and a generosity of spirit.