As I mentioned my previous post, I am shy. I am not social to begin with.
Such me now running around to help the Digby Area 2nd Annual Multicultural Festival.
Actively writing the posts, commenting on the Facebook, contacting and meeting with people in person.
Why a so-called shy person like me can do so much of volunteer work?
Yes, it’s because I have a distinctive cultural background in this area as an immigrant.
But more so, I have a reason why I am motivated to help this event so passionately.
It’s about our common wish – being understood and accepted, and its twin sister the fear for the rejection.
When you have a language barrier, your life is not so easy.
Think about the 2nd language you learned at school – maybe French, maybe German or Spanish.
Imagine you move to a foreign country and have to live with your 2nd or 3rd language that you are not fully comfortable with.
You go to a store and can’t find your staple items back home.
You talk with people you meet and don’t really get what they are talking about.
People laugh about a joke that you have no idea what’s funny about.
With so much of unclear and/or puzzling information around, you feel insecure.
You can’t really understand why things are like that in front of you.
Nobody else seems like feeling uncertain like you do.
You try to explain your situation but they don’t understand you like those who are in your homeland.
They nod their heads as if they understand but you don’t feel they fully understand your point.
And the frustration brings you the isolation.
You cannot feel you are connected to the world outside of you.
Now, I want you to think about it whether you are born and raised in Canada or not.
Whether you are fluent in English or not.
We all know this feeling more or less, don’t we?
Sometimes you feel you are not heard.
You feel you are not understood.
You can’t express yourself well.
You lose the connection with the people around you.
These things happen although you speak the same language with the others.
These happen even in your family you have been living with for so many years together.
Why I support the Multicultural Festival – because it is not only for new comers but also for everyone.
I believe everyone knows the lonely, insecure feeling.
The theme of the Digby Area Multicultural Festival is the celebration of our cultures, the diversity and richness of what we have here.
In other words, this is the opportunity to celebrate yourself.
It is not always easy to express yourself.
It is scary to speak up for your honest feelings and thoughts.
But, believe me, there’s someone who wants to listen to you because he/she appreciates your sharing.
The Digby Area Multicultural Festival is the symbolic event of this celebration.
Discover yourself from a new point of view. Value your positive aspects and appreciate them.
And value others and appreciate them.
We all want to be heard, understood and accepted.
That’s the magnet of all of us in this community in the deep level.
We celebrate our differences, and we celebrate our commonness.
We are unique but we are the same, whether you are Canadian or Japanese.
Whether you are a man or woman, young or old, tall or short.
I, as an immigrant who has lived in Canada for almost 20 years with the language and cultural difference, see the picture in this way.
I don’t call it the language and cultural ‘handicap’ – thanks to my limitation, I have been learning the essential commonness among us.
I have been taught by those who don’t speak my language.
I have been learning from those who are different from me.
They don’t know my background, feelings, history, challenges, etc, but they try to understand me.
They like me.
They help me.
So I share.
I don’t know you completely but I try to understand you.
I like you.
I would like to help you if I can do anything.
So please share with me.
This is the reason why I fully enjoy the involvement of the Digby Area Multicultural Festival.
We are different, but we can try to understand each other.
This project makes me feel it’s so real, and it is worth it to give my best try.