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A Bicultural Perspective on Remembrance Day

When I first moved to Canada, I got to learn about the various traditions and holidays that are celebrated here. One of these days that holds deep significance for Canadians is Remembrance Day.

You know that I am passionate about bicultural parenting, it’s a moment to reflect on the importance of embracing this Canadian tradition and incorporating it into the fabric of my family’s multicultural identity.

This is what I have learned about this day dedicated to honouring the sacrifices of those who served in the armed forces.

Understanding Remembrance Day: A Newcomer's Perspective

Remembrance Day, observed annually on November 11, is a solemn occasion to honor the Canadian Armed Forces members who have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. The date marks the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany, ending World War I in 1918. The red poppy, a symbol inspired by the famous war poem "In Flanders Fields," is worn as a gesture of remembrance.

Why It Matters: A Lesson in Multiculturalism

For bicultural families like ours, Remembrance Day serves as a poignant lesson in multiculturalism. It goes beyond being a Canadian tradition; it's an opportunity to instil in our children a sense of appreciation for the diverse stories and backgrounds that contribute to the rich tapestry of this nation. By participating in Remembrance Day activities, we not only pay tribute to Canadian heroes but also emphasize the importance of understanding and respecting the sacrifices made by individuals from various cultural backgrounds.

A picture of Vimy Ridge memorial
Vimy Ridge memorial

Teaching Values Through Tradition

As parents raising bicultural children, we recognize the importance of weaving Canadian traditions into our family's cultural narrative. Remembrance Day provides a unique avenue to teach our children about the values of sacrifice, unity, and gratitude. It's a day when we can share stories of resilience, courage, and camaraderie, bridging the gap between our cultural roots and our new Canadian identity.

A picture of an individual red poppy flower
Poppy flower

Celebrating Diversity in Commemoration

In embracing Remembrance Day, we celebrate not only Canadian history but also the diversity of those who served. The stories of soldiers from all across Canada, immigrants, and individuals from various cultural backgrounds become integral to the broader narrative of sacrifice and service. By commemorating Remembrance Day, we teach our children that heroes come from all walks of life, uniting under a common flag and purpose.

The Veterans Affairs Canada website has a great page that showcases stories of those who have served. You can find it here and read about the stories of those who served.

In Conclusion: A Newfound Appreciation

As I observe Remembrance Day in Canada, I am filled with an appreciation for the depth of Canadian history. This day is not just a moment of reflection on the past but a bridge that connects us to the diverse stories that shape the present and future of our bicultural family. In commemorating Remembrance Day, we not only honor the fallen but also cultivate an understanding that transcends borders, fostering a sense of unity and respect in our multicultural journey.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie,

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.


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