Dear members and friends of MSBCA,
The last remaining days draw closer towards our 30th anniversary celebration and Cultural Night “One Rhythm, One Nation”! In this monthly message, I want to pay tribute and give praise to all our volunteers past and present and to their efforts which have built MSBCA and strengthened our community here in Calgary.
In life, immigrating to a new country can be the one of the most challenging decisions one may ever make. For millions of Canadians who are not of Aboriginal descent, their ancestors had gone through the immigrant experiences – the journeys, the settlements, and the transition into new ways of living. These are certainly the stories of the builders of the Malaysian, Singaporean and Bruneian communities in Canada: the journeys from Southeast Asia, the settlements into new homes in Canada, and the transition into new ways of living as proud Canadians of Southeast
These builders shared many things in common: the desire to connect to one another, to uphold and preserve their Malaysian, Singaporean and Bruneian cultures, and to share it to others as a reflection of the diversity of Canadian society. Above all, they shared the desire for happiness and fun.
The contributions of volunteers in MSBCA are simply remarkable. From cooking classes, dance lessons, and logistical preparations for One Rhythm, One Nation and other activities and events, our volunteers put in enormous energies and efforts into projects larger than themselves.
Many volunteers believe that these will mean something to themselves and to others and thus gain a sense of purpose, confidence and self-worth. It opens my heart and fills me with enormous pride whenever I meet someone who finds confidence and self-worth in MSBCA. Sometimes, though, volunteering is not easy. Miscommunication, misdirection or the wrong balance of goals-vs-expectations can leave volunteers feeling unsettled, exhausted or unappreciated. These are human mistakes. I believe they can be overcome by human strengths: the right words, the right actions, the right motives, the right leadership, and the right systems.
I believe that MSBCA is a mega project of generations: a community of the people, by the people and for the people. It is a project that continues to strive for improvement, adapt with an ever-changing world, and promote the values of its members
Additionally, this month of May is Canada’s officially recognized Asian Heritage Month, and I wish to pay tribute to all Asian Canadians who have contributed to Canadian society. The majority of the world’s population are Asians, live in Asia, and enjoy the economic growth and prospering human development of the world’s most culturally diverse and promising region. Canada is an incredibly culturally diverse country in the Americas. While Canada is not located within Asia, it may become – by virtue of its people and their contributions to society – an Asian country. Every day, the distinctions between East and West are blurring in the face of connectivity and social interactions. Every hour, long-held stereotypes and prejudices find defeat at the hands of truth by articulate, educated voices. There is no first world or third world anymore, there is only one world: a shared world for humankind, and Canada is a shining symbol of such a shining world.