By John Yap
Minister of State for Multiculturalism
May 2, 2012
VICTORIA - The month of May is Asian Heritage Month, and I'm pleased to celebrate the contributions of Asian-Canadians to shaping our province and making it what it is today.
This recognition acknowledges the long and rich history of Asian Canadians and gives all British Columbians a chance to learn and experience the many unique aspects of Asian culture.
From working in factories to leading major business and academic establishments, Asian-Canadians have helped build our province socially, politically, economically and culturally. The Asian-Canadian community represents many languages, ethnicities and religious traditions. Each makes its distinctive contribution to British Columbia's rich multicultural and diverse tapestry.
Our multicultural and multi-lingual society is one of our province's strengths and provides a strong support for 'Canada Starts Here: the BC Jobs Plan'. This remarkable diversity allows us to promote our multicultural workforce to international companies looking to invest in the province and create jobs for B.C. workers. That's why Premier Christy Clark is embarking on another trade mission to Asia this month - to keep the BC Jobs Plan momentum going.
While the definition of "Asian" is fairly broad and inclusive, Asian Heritage Month celebrates people who come from, or whose ancestors come from, East Asia - China, Hong Kong, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan; South Asia - Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka; Central Asia - Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan; and Southeast Asia - Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
Another way we recognize diversity and the contributions of communities, such as Asian-Canadian communities, is through Multiculturalism Week. Multiculturalism Week falls on the third week of November every year.
As part of the Province's activities for Multiculturalism Week, the Provincial Nesika Awards are presented to an organization, an individual, a youth and a business that contribute to enhancing respect and embracing British Columbia's diverse cultures. Nominations are now open. More information can be found at: www.EmbraceBC.ca
I encourage everyone to learn more this month about Asian-Canadians' vibrant history and celebrate their contributions during Asian Heritage Month.
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect