Canadian Heritage Day
Dr. Carl Sagan said that, “You have to know the past to understand the present.”
Talk to an elderly grandparent and it is amazing what you can find out. This weekend I learned that my grandma didn’t learn English until she went to public school. Up till then, she spoke German. My paternal grandparents were German, and I knew that my maternal grandpa was English. I had no idea that my maternal grandma came from a German background. I had just assumed that she was English, like my grandpa.
Heritage is defined as:
… something inherited from the past and valued enough today to leave for future generations. National Trust of Australia
Understanding our heritage is important. It allows us to effectively communicate to each other. Click to tweet
Understanding The Impact Of Heritage
Heritage is not just about knowing what country your ancestors came from, but understanding the values that come from shared experiences like where where you grew up, how you lived and the social network around you.
One of the things that was a part of my culture was farming. Coming from a very traditional farm family meant that the ‘farm’ came first and that everyone in that family was responsible to make that successful. Families helped each other, as more often than not, we were related to our neighbours in some way, and that conflict was put aside to get things done. Happy or not.
I see a lot of conflict that happens on family farms when someone new comes into the farm family that doesn’t share those same values to the extent that the rest of the family does. Resentment is created when individual expectations are not met and when decisions are made that don’t put the farm success first.
These values are neither right or wrong, but unless the differences and expectations are talked about, openly and respectfully, the conflict festers and grows.
When Did Heritage Day Start?
Heritage Day was established in 1973 by the Heritage Canada Foundation and is celebrated on the first Monday in August in Alberta and in February in other provinces. It is important to see ourselves as individuals, and within the context of our families, communities and nation.
Beverly’s Hot Tips For Building Resiliency and Celebrating Heritage Day:
Whether you like it or not, heritage is what makes you who you are. Things like values, culture, food, and traditions are all past down. Your heritage is the foundation on which you stand. It is the very thing that has gotten you to where you are now.
- Honor your past by the way you carry yourself in the present.
- Understand how your heritage impacts who you are, how you perceive things and how you communicate.
- Try to ask and understand how heritage has impacted those around you in order to facilitate stronger relationships.
- Share your heritage with your children to create a solid foundation for them.
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!