Expo 2005 and why Canada is cool
I went to an event at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo last night that illustrated for me once again one of the best things about Canada.
The themes of the World Expo being held in Aichi Prefecture, Japan this summer is "Nature's Wisdom." Canada was the first country to sign up to take part and our pavillion is built on the theme of the "Wisdom of Diversity" - you can read all about it here .
Visitors to the pavillion enter to a show simulation the northern lights, then enter the outer ring that tells the story of Canada's "geo-sphere" and "bio-sphere" -- in plain English, the geography and wildlife of the great white north from Baffin Island to Windsor, from Vancouver to St. John.
The inner ring, and this is where it gets good, is Canada's "ethno-sphere" which celebrates the diversity of cultures and ethnicities in Canada. In his speech last night, deputy head of mission at the embassy MacKenzie Clugston, who for the record spoke only in French and Japanese and had a Japanese interpreter give the English version (how cool is that?), pointed out that, according to the 2001 census
That really struck me. Living in monocultural conformist Japan, where there is a lot of xenophobia even today about "foreign devils" and reading some of the crap from the cultural conservatives in North American about the evils of immigrants and nasty foreigners and illegal aliens ruining the good ole US of A, it was nice to see the Canadian government get it right and showcase the cultural, intellectual and even financial prosperity that comes from having a diversity of experiences, backgrounds and opinions represented in the population. Three cheers for the cultural mosiac!
"It's the tolerance, stupid!"
Oh, and despite having recently become a U.S. citizen, Alanis Morrisette will be coming to do a concert there. Click the link to write songs like her.