MTM: We make a good impression
I happened to meet one of our new tenants the other day and we chatted for a few minutes. I wanted to make sure he was finding everything alright, because he is from out of town. He's from Pittsburgh, PA. and is here to inspect bridges for two years.
I would imagine that finding his way around our little city is somewhat easier than finding your way around Pittsburgh, but, every city has it tricky areas. He said he was doing wonderfully and that he "just loves it here, the people are so friendly!" He is so enthusiastic about being here and meeting new people. He said he finds it quite amazing that there are so many different cultures living and working together and getting along. He figures that the States could learn a lot from Canada.
I suspect that he is one of those kinds of people that will make friends wherever he goes. He said the people he bought some furniture from, talked his ear off, he was there for 6 hours and they even fed him dinner. He claims his new hobby is "just talking to people!" and yes, he speaks with exclamation points.
I think some of that blending he sees has to do with the west & Canada itself being much younger than the States and particularly the eastern states. We have gone through the stages of hiring quotas, but currently we are recruiting workers from anywhere to Alberta because of the big oil boom. (Sadly, that looks like it is coming to an end as all good things must.) We don't have the same kind of ingrained prejudices that are found in areas of the U.S. We have our own set of ingrained prejudices. Having closer ties to the British Empire, we have also taken that "British Reserve" to a new level. My British friend tells me "You Canadians are too f'ing polite. Always, saying sorry, or excuse me, thank you - it's just not right."
There is truth in how both of these outsiders see our country and my city though. We are very polite, sometimes to the detriment of the country and it's people. We are losing traditions before they can be firmly entrenched in the souls of our people.
On the other hand:
Religious diversity is a strong part of our local culture in Edmonton. For example, you may be surprised to learn that Edmonton is the site of Canada’s first mosque, built in 1938!
Places of worship for every major religion can be found in Edmonton. A great many Christian denominations (Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant) hold services, some in heritage languages, and mosques, synagogues, Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist temples are also present in Edmonton.*
We have a festival (of course) in the summer to celebrate the different cultures in the city. Heritage days is well attended and you can sample wonderful food, music and dancing, arts & crafts from pretty much every corner of the world. It also serves to remind us that we are all immigrants to this country, whether we are 7th generation (on mom's side), 3rd (dad's side), or fresh off the plane.
Have a good day all - talk with exclamation points today!
My Town Monday comes to us from Travis Erwin. You can visit his site for links to more MTM posts to learn about other places around the world.
*from The Guide to Living & Working in Edmonton