A glimpse of Canada
The days have come and gone; I have been here for one month.
Canada was once just a place on the map. Those beautiful maple leaves, wonderful views, great waterfalls and broad lakes were only figments of my imagination.
However, now I can touch them in truth. The experience has been unbelievable. There are so many interesting things I want to share with you, but my poor English reminds me: surely, two or three things would be sufficient if described in great detail.
A moving convocation ceremony
Witnessing the differences between convocation ceremonies in Canada and China is an interesting thing. At this particular ceremony, I acted as a tour guide for three Chinese students’ parents who could not speak English. We were given very good seats from which it was easy to take good pictures.
Accompanied by solemn music, this year’s graduates entered dressed in unified costume. Families watched for familiar figures and gave all a warm applause.
After the school leaders entered and addressed the audience, graduates could accept their diploma. I heard the shouts from the graduates’ families. The Chinese parents told me, as they watched the scene, the students should feel their efforts were well worth it.
In China, most parents are unable partake in their children’s convocation ceremony. Long distances or job conflicts usually prevent this. Above all else, I believe sharing the honour of the day with family is the happiest thing for graduates.
A sweet family dinner
Throughout my time in Canada I have had the opportunity to visit a local family – the family of Dr. David M. Haskell. I first met Haskell, a Laurier Brantford faculty member, in Chongqing, China.
When I arrived at the Haskell residence for dinner, I gave the children gifts from China. The children’s presents were fans with Chinese characters. The boys waved the fans before me and I knew they appreciated my gifts.
After dinner, the boys started to clean the table; they took the dishes to kitchen. The three boys then proceeded to teach me how to read their names letter-by-letter, just as a serious teacher would.
We sang songs and we talked; however, soon it was time for the children to go to bed. I reluctantly bade them goodbye.
In China, the majority of people who live in the city are only children. This is why I admire big Canadian families, in which children can depend on one another and grow up together.
Something potentially embarrassing
Sometimes living in Canada is much different than China. From recycling to cuisine, the differences are clearly evident. In my opinion, Canadians are good cooks. Whatever the dish may be they can keep it clean, simple and elegant.
In Chinese cooking, however, there are many different methods. Frying, braise, quick-frying and so on tend to be used. The Chinese utilize more oil and flavor. One day when I was cooking, the fire alarm suddenly began to ring. I was so scared and I feared the fire engine would arrive at once. Luckily, the alarm stopped and this was not the case. Later, my Chinese friends told me I should always open the windows when quick-frying.
These are just some fragments of my experience in Canada. Additionally, I have had the opportunity to visit Niagara Falls and the beautiful town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. From what I have seen thus far, Canada is home to wonderful scenery and kind people.
I am confident that I will acquire even more nice memories in this amazing country throughout the rest of my stay.