Richmond is a great example of inter-faith and inter-cultural harmony
It was a pleasant surprise to read Martin van den Hemel’s story “Jewish and Muslim students embrace on Highway to Heaven” (Richmond Review, Dec. 24).
In addition to promoting inter-faith and inter-cultural harmony, our No. 5 Road has become a symbol of multiculturalism and multilingualism in action. Most of the world’s top religions –Christianity ,Islam, Hinduism,Buddhism,Sikhism and Judaism—are well represented along the few kilometers of this road. Its myriad of mosques, gurdwara, churches, temples, pagoda and religious schools are a true reflection of the Canadian mosaic. It is a favourite field trip destination for adults and children alike. Students and teachers from all over the metro Vancouver area consider the tour of the Highway to Heaven as a very valuable learning experience.
The interaction between students from Az-Zahraa Islamic Academy and Jewish Day School is commendable. The iCare Child Care Centre must be congratulated for organizing such a get-together. Children are our future. They are like a clean slate. To expose them to such experiences at an early age goes a long way in broadening their horizons. Our Highway to Heaven lends very well to such an initiative.
Richmond is well known as a very diverse community both culturally and linguistically. A vast majority of Richmond residents are very welcoming, open minded and understanding. This makes it a lot easier for individuals and organizations to work towards promoting mutual understanding, harmony and awareness. As someone actively involved in this process for a long time I find that most of Richmond residents will go out of their way to help others regardless of their faith, culture or colour of their skin. This was very evident during last year’s inter-faith bridging project spearheaded by Richmond Multicultural Community Services. A large number of places of worship, not only on No. 5 Road but also from other parts of Richmond, were more than pleased to participate in that project. This is what makes this community so unique.
In this context, Richmond Museum Society and its partners must be commended for their initiative-Seeds of Harmony. The program scheduled for Feb. 4 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Richmond Cultural Centre should be quite enjoyable. In the meantime, a brand new year has just begun. This is a great time to wish each other well and pray for peace and goodwill for our fellow human beings. The best way to do that is through mutual respect ,understanding and celebrating our cultural diversity.