My work just hosted an amazing holiday party in the Wall Centre at the Sheraton Hotel. There was delicious food (I had pecan crusted salmon), an open bar and quality music by a local DJ company. The music was so good that we ended up dancing into the wee hours of the morning, heels off!
I really enjoy the holidays and the time leading up to Christmas. But as I was having my dinner and looking around the room I realized that more than half of our company is made up of people who perhaps have no reason to celebrate Christmas. Does that mean we shouldn’t be celebrating it and getting time off of work? Having grown up celebrating this holiday, it’s hard to image winter without it. Maybe, however, we should be celebrating things like Chinese New Year or Dewali more officially in the workplace as well. What about Easter and such?
I personally think we should celebrate all holidays. A few years ago when I was still in university, I lived in shared home with a family from Taiwan. When Chinese New Year rolled around, my landlady gave me a beautiful moon cake to enjoy. I didn’t know what moon cakes are at that time so I looked it up. A moon cake is a special rich pastry made for Chinese New Year. It is meant to be shared with family and other people close to you, which is why I was so touched that my landlady gave me one. The full egg yolk inside the cake is supposed to represent the full moon.
There is a case, however, to be made about being overly culturally sensitive. Canada has a long tradition of celebrating Christmas and Easter due to the majority of it’s population being of European origin. This doesn’t mean that we can’t change things up and adapt to other cultures being part of our community. We need a good balance and a respect for those that come here to better their lives. That’s why learning a foreign language can be so impactful in connecting with newcomers, it can make them feel welcomed and wanted.
The world is becoming more and more globalized, the information we get is quick to reach us and we can communicate with anyone we like. We still don’t have the ability to instantly translate language. Here I am thinking of the Babel fish from the Hitchhikes Guide to the Galaxy. Who knows, maybe one day it’ll happen? But until then, I recommend signing up for a language course!