On Saturday, July 14th, I have had the honor of attending the 2018 Culture Bridge Festival as a guest speaker at Newmarket Riverwalk Commons, where diversity was celebrated! I have been invited to join as a guest among other important public figures of Newmarket and surrounding towns/cities to take part in the opening ceremony parade as well as on-stage greeting for the general public who were in audience.
The celebrations took place over a period of two days, with day one being called “Sounds of India” which celebrated Indian Culture along with Opening Ceremony and day 2 being named “World Cultures” in which as the name suggests World Cultures were gathered to contribute to the festivities! On both occasions, everyone had absolutely a wonderful, fun time filled with laughter, great music and lots of dancing!
Once again, as the name suggests, the first day was mainly focused on the vibrant Indian culture—which I absolutely adore—with Bollywood style dances, singers, magician, guest speakers and etc. It was so much fun to the least. Second day, Canada’s multiculturalism was showcased in the best possible way with lots of musical as well as dance performance demonstrations on stage. It was very interactive and joyous.
Even the pouring thunderstorm on the first day did not dampen people’s spirits as everyone briefly took shelter under canopies and extended umbrellas while it rain showered all the seats. Not many know, but I got soaked while rushing backstage after getting off the car. The opening ceremony was about to begin soon after. It was something we laughed about later. At least my makeup stayed in place and my hair remained neat in place.
Among the many important and notable guest speakers, I’ve had the absolute pleasure of speaking to important political figures and boards of directors, such as Deputy Mayor of Newmarket Mr. John Taylor, MP of Newmarket-Aurora Mr. Kyle Peterson, CEO, Chair of Board of Directors and event organizers of Cultural Bridge Initiatives, President of National Congress of Italian Canadians, Councillor – Ward 1 of Newmarket, and many others.
These gentlemen and gracious ladies were inspirational to meet and very humble! I felt incredibly lucky to walk among them and have the chance to get to meet thhem and converse with them. I am still in awe at their support and how friendly they were regardless of the fact that I was the youngest to be walking among them. I was truly humbled.
The event organizers, CEO of Culture Bridge Initiatives (Mr. Ranji Singh), Chair of Culture Bridge (Ms. Emina Barjic) as well as Program and Festival Director (Mrs. Leila Singh) were absolutely welcoming, warm and lovely people! I appreciate this opportunity that they have given to me and for them to have considered inviting me after becoming familiar with my name and title since Canada day, when I had met with them in the celebrations of Main Street in Newmarket.
I myself absolutely love learning about different cultures and traditions. I especially enjoyed and love the Indian cultural dances, music, food and people! They were truly lovely to speak to! The speech I gave to the crowd while standing on stage, among the respectable guest speakers, was focused on the topic of discussion, which was importance of multiculturalism. I appreciate the time and attention given to me to express my gratitude for Canada’s cultural diversity as well as a brief introduction about myself. I was featured in the photos taken by local news, Snapd Newmarket photos as well as on Urdu TV the next day.
You can watch my full speech about this topic in this video. Click here!
Hello, I’m Mahta, Miss Teenage Canada National Delegate for 2018.
14 years ago, my parents immigrated to Canada… That same year, I was born a few months after! And here I am today, 14 years late. I can proudly and humbly say, last year as a member of Junior National Team of Karate Canada, I earned the title “Vice World Champion” in Croatia and marked my success in Junior Pan Ams in Argentina.
I’m a prime example of what each and every of us as, coming from diverse cultural backgrounds, are capable of. We are colourful, proud, ambitious, hard-working and distinctly different. However, “WE ARE ONE, we ARE Canadian.”
Canada is the land of opportunities for everyone, especially the young generation like me! We set an example for all other countries to follow, due our tolerance and inclusiveness. Diversity is our strength!
No matter where you are from, what language you speak, what spices you put in your food and what colour is your skin. “WE ARE ONE, we ARE Canadian!”
With the Canadian sky as the dome over our head, with the maple leaf imprinted on our chests and with our over-politeness and respect, we can proudly say, “WE ARE ONE, we ARE Canadian!”
I hope everybody enjoys this video I made below and my speech where I introduce myself and speak about importance of multiculturalism as well as a summary of all the festivities that I had the pleasure to be a part of. I also contributed to the Food Drive for those in need of support in our community gathered by the Newmarket Food Pantry. All the food donations go to the less fortunate locals. I made sure to post about this cause on Instagram and Facebook by using the trending hashtag #onebagchallenge which encourages everyone to join in this group effort for gathering food donations.
“Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.” – Mahatma Gandhi
By yours truly,
Mahta – Miss Teenage Newmarket 2018