Diversity celebrated at Sheldon-Williams Collegiate

Students at Sheldon-Williams Collegiate in Regina celebrated the cultural diversity in Canada on Tuesday, the day before International Day for the Elimination of Racism.

Event has been going on for about 4 years

Students demonstrate a traditional dance at a cultural diversity event at Sheldon-Williams Collegiate. (CBC)

Students at Sheldon-Williams Collegiate in Regina celebrated the cultural diversity in Canada on Tuesday, the day before International Day for the Elimination of Racism. 

The celebration, which has been going on for about four years, was aimed at putting the spotlight on the various cultures in the school and in the city.

"For myself, it is very important that we bring that idea of unity that brings all the cultures together," said student Viktoriya Lee.​

When Lee, who is from South Korea, came to Canada, there was apprehension about whether or not she would fit in or if people would even talk to her. 

"It's okay to be new," she said.

When Viktoriya Lee, who is from South Korea, came to Canada, there was apprehension about whether or not she would fit in or if people would even talk to her. (CBC)

The event featured students from Canada, Indigenous communities and abroad showcasing dances, music performance and poems. One such student was Nour Albaradan, who spoke about a feeling of "strangeness" in the city.

Albaradan came to Canada from Syria after spending time in a refugee camp in Jordan.

Nour Albaradan came to Canada from Syria after spending time in a refugee camp in Jordan. (CBC)

During her performance, she spoke of apprehension around learning a new language, being in a new land and her own father's struggle with leaving everything from back home behind. 

"It feels stranger [in Canada]. Everything's new. ... When we wake up, we feel shocked," Albaradan said.

Mays Aljamous arrived in Canada around Christmas in 2015 from Syria. She also cited leaving everything behind and not being able to understand English as challenges she faced coming to Canada. 

Mays Aljamous arrived in Canada around Christmas in 2015 from Syria. (CBC)

"I was so, so scared," she recalled. 

In her poem, she wrote about everything people need to understand about refugees, "about the feelings and the hopes and the wishes."

Now that she has been in Canada for a few years, she said she feels strong. 

"You have to be strong because I am in a different country and am a refugee. We have to be strong, to tell the people we are strong refugees."