Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Beer and Hockey, eh?

I came to Mississauga for winter break. It wasn't my idea. I really wanted to go to Chicago. Everyone and their mothers were going to there. So yea, I wanted to jump the bandwagon and go too. My parents were insistent on visiting family in Canada instead.

So I'm here right now, chillin with little cousins who are obsessed with jumping up and down, telling stories, and getting piggy back rides. I'm tired and I want to go home!!!!

Okay anyhow...the day after Christmas is "Boxing Day," right? Everyone flocks to the malls to shop til they drop. It's actually pretty ridiculous. My sisters and I decided to go just to get entertained.

I used to live in Mississauga back when I was in 9th grade, just for a year. My dad had a short job transfer. The thing that amazed me most was how ethnically diverse Mississauga is. For the first time in my life I didn't feel like a minority! For the first time I wasn't the ONLY Muslim in my class or the ONLY brown-skinned person in the school. It was quite refreshing.

Going to the mall was such a great experience. There were people of all colors and languages. I mean I was looking through clothes at Urban Behavior and heard English, Urdu, French, and Chinese being spoken at the same time and no one thought twice about it. Personally, I usually get embarrassed to speak Urdu (my parent's native language) in public. Mostly because I suck at it, but also because people may think its weird. Yet here I was in a Western country and speaking a foreign language outside is completely normal.

I decided that as much as I miss home sweet home I really do love Canada. A lot.

God says in the Qur'an, "O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes so that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted." [49:13]

In one of the classical explanations of this verse, its said that the word in Arabic "to know one another (تعارف)" implies '
that you may acquire knowledge of [the customs of] one another and not to boast to one another of [whose is the more] noble lineage.'

I hope that all of us are able to attain this quality of getting to know one another and not being so prejudiced. It's easy to find different cultures as weird or abnormal. But the reality is that we are afraid of things we don't know.

So the solution?

Get to know people of different backgrounds! The more we learn about each other the less strange the differences will seem.


14 comments:

Femme said...

Inspiring post! I love being around people from many different backgrounds. It's such a great experience.

C said...

Asalaamu Alaikum

So you were in Canada eh? Did you get a double-double at timmies? A philly steak sandwich at Karachi Boy? What stopped you from going to RIS? 17,0000 ethnically diverse muslims under one roof! Mississauga is great eh? I love it there, my daughter lives close to there. I love ISNA mosque there and SoundVision and Kara Mia. I wish we could live there..sigh...

Little T said...

Inspiring, indeed! You have me thinking about a world religions class after all that I have learned from your blog. I am glad you are enjoying your vacation!

Soda and Candy said...

Right? I think the people one is most prejudiced about are the ones where you don't know anyone from that group.

It shouldn't be something you have to learn, really but once you get to know enough people of enough different backgrounds, the clearer it becomes that we are all just human.

the girl in stiletto said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR GUYS!

Melanie's Randomness said...

Omg the mall by me was insane the day after christmas!! I understand the whole "Boxing" thing. I like knowing people from different cultures. I learn so much.

provoking invoking said...

thank u for this post and ayah explanation. can't wait to show my parents so they stop being racist; lol :D

Constructive Attitude said...

canadians drink a lot of beer?

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

Yes. It's really hard to feel prejudice against those we feel a personal connection to.

provoking invoking said...

CA- yes, because its so cold in canada and they have to stay warm somehow, lol.

Youthful Wisdom said...

Femme- Thanks! I agree, its an amazing experience meeting people from different backgrounds (ethnic, religious, lifestyle, etc)

C- Timmieeess! I couldn't make it to RIS this year :(

Little T- How was the world religions class?

Soda and Candy- I agree, completely!

the girl in stilleto- you too!

Melanie- I think its on of the best things to learn!

PI- LOL! no prob.

CA- yea man.. all those Molson Beer, I AM Canada commercials really get to you... LOL to what PI said :)

Maureen- so true!

Cheryl said...

Are you mocking the usage of the word "eh" in your post title? Because on behalf of Canadians, I am not pleased.

Kidding.

CANADA RULES! (and Canadians, by default...especially me. Mainly me)

supreem said...

thanks for sharing :) i really wish i could see Mississauga !

Mutmainnah said...

Oh thats really cool.

Canada is interesting. Peopple there are way nicer.