Exhibition Place TO
Toronto has the most multi-cultural bunch of people. I remember back in school, whenever we talk about the culture of Canada, we always end up as a summary that the culture is simply a multi-cultural one. There are a number of race in Toronto alone that is uncountable by my fingers. Canada respects each others’ culture. Canada is very considerate of the multiculturalism in a way that is reflected in various facilities, workplace, and even on our choice of menu.
On the first week of August, a long weekend for most people, Peachy and I embarked on the adventure of immersing ourselves in experiencing another culture. We decided to attend the Caribbean Carnival Parade aka Caribana. It was my first time attending the event here in Toronto. It has been around since 1967 founded by a Caribbean Cultural Committee bringing a traditional event from their country to Canada. The original carnival came from Trinidad and Tobago. The management changed 8 years ago and was transferred to Scotiabank hence the name change from Caribana to Caribbean Carnival Parade (source). I do not have any opinion if the change made it better or worse because I have no point of relativity but I enjoyed the parade. At first I thought it was hopeless to get inside the gated premises where the floats were but upon following the multitude of crowds, Peachy and I finally got in and it was the best photo opportunity ever. Here are some of the photos shamelessly taken in the middle of the music, colours, and radiant vibe of the Caribana:
I am sure after seeing the photos, you would have noticed the mess on the road — water bottles, styrofoam, etc. And that mess was part of it. The heat that day was part of it. The long walk to see the floats was part of it. Even our sweat-drenched shirts and caps were part of it. To understand another culture means to start having an open mind. If we already have our own prejudices towards a certain race, a certain type of person, then it is exactly the same as judging them guilty without even an evidence. We brave the festival and it somehow immersed us into the black community but it is not enough to say that we know their culture. We might know a little but not a lot. It is only an opening of the mind and a step towards another culture. Remember, Toronto would not be Toronto without its migrants, without the different communities, without the people that makes it the city that it is now. Multiculturalism at its finest.