It’s a designated day by the United Nations: DECEMBER 18th. But honestly, before I started working in this sector of migrant advocacy, I wasn’t aware of it. 😛
Q: how does a UN day affect the celebrated ppl, ie. the migrants, in this case?
A: through increased awareness and a few poignant statements from world leaders perhaps?
Well, how about a few HOPEFUL stories as well? The tragedies are definitely out there and we will get to those in good times (or rather bad), but I want this space to HIGHLIGHT the GOODNESS of migrants and INTEGRATION efforts.
So let’s look to local, great, cheerful, inspiring INTEGRATION shall we?
LIVE in Vancouver BC Canada:
@ the Langara Family YMCA
IN the AQUAFIT class!
Lately, I’ve been attending with my sister. I realize that aquafit has a bit of a reputation as a low-impact aka easier class BUT my dear friends, this is INCORRECT! I was pleasantly surprised to see that my biceps and upper thighs have more definition these days and hello, it is the first and only ab workout that I like!
BUT on this BLOG, we focus on the MIGRATION aspects of things so anyway….
Q: WHAT is INTEGRATION anyway?
A: Well, I think of it as the act of living amongst others who have different stories and orgins than us. It’s basically community building and when it works, WE ALL GET ALONG! 😛
Sooo that brings us to the YMCA cuz it’s a place that strives to bring about strong communities: it is in their mission afterall.
So here’s the LOWDOWN:
–9am class, shallow water aquafit
–pretty packed, like 20 ppl
–one very enthusiastic (volunteer) instructor (umm WOW!) male or female
–all ages, shapes, sizes, and ‘colours’ if you want to break it down that way… 😛
–a few men, but yes predominantly women
–interesting music, depending on the instructor’s tastes
*WOW these regulars are FIT!!!! My and my sis are on the younger side of most participants and we are also among the less aquafit and I’m pretty sure some of these ppl are double my age!
*Hey, these people are FRIENDS! They hug it out. They laugh a lot and what’s this, do I hear multiple languages in the pool?!
*What a great example of community spirit BUT actually, INTEGRATION TOO!!!! ME LIKEY!
Culturally speaking, there are at least 5 ethnicities of people that I can observe in the class. I’ve heard Punjabi, Cantonese, British English, Spanish, and Vietnamese (not me n my sis though, we speak English to each other!). Some of the friends and family wear MATCHING SWIM CAPS! <3 So thank you to the YMCA, a place that brings together ppl of all ages n ranges n abilities to shimmy shimmy n break a sweat in your pool! It's INclusive, happy, healthy, and affordable! <3 Annnnnd for newcomers, it doesn’t require much English so it is really easy to follow as well. (I had to translate French to my colleague O in GVA and we were always getting into trouble for this b/c well, les suisses like their rules & duh, talking in class is frowned upon!)
Just for the record, CANADA > SUISSE over and over again!
Yes, still a bittermelon 😛
So I leave you with this lil ditty: