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Exploring common Victoria Day heritage

May 15, 2012 - All News

This coming Monday is Victoria Day. The day we Canadians celebrate the British Queen.
Which may take a bit of getting used to, especially for Canadians of a South Asian persuasion.
South Asians know full well the Britons, ruled as South Asia was by British colonialists, and forming as it did part of the British Empire. And even today, most first-generation Canadians originally from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh (and possibly from Sri Lanka and Nepal — both of which, however, were never ruled by the British) look back on the Raj with bitter-sweet memories.
Even today, a first-generation Indo-Canadian will look back with nostalgia at the British Raj, which for instance set up the Indian Railway system on which India still travels today, and gave Indians their national craze of cricket (which today has allowed the Empire to strike back). It was an era of when the Briton “of the stiff upper lip” was something noble, with those values to be looked up to.
Yet the flip side of the coin, often voiced by this same first-generation Indo-Canadian, would be: “We got rid of the British Queen in 1947… only to get her back as our sovereign here, in Canada?!”
This is of course, even today, a contentious topic among all Canadians. But the least we can all do is to try to learn what we can about our common Canadian heritage, this Victoria Day.
This summer marks the Bicentennial of the War of 1812. So this Victoria Day long weekend, get out and enjoy some of the many great events and activities happening across Ontario.
Says Michael Chan, Ontario Minister of Tourism: “Victoria Day marks the unofficial start of summer and is an excellent opportunity for families to explore the many outdoor activities, historical events and exciting exhibits Ontario has to offer.”
Indeed. For details visit http://news.ontario.ca/mtc/en/2012/05/post.html

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