MOSAIC celebrated International Day of Older Persons together with the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society (VAFCS) on October 1st, 2016. The event started with an opening prayer and songs by the Coast Salish elders. In their welcoming remarks, Susan Tatoosh, the Executive Director of VAFCS and Sherman Chan, Director of Family and Settlement Services at MOSAIC commented on the joy of building the connections among aboriginal and immigrant communities and that this was indeed the first time of bringing together Aboriginal/First Nations’ and immigrant communities together to hold a joint event.
It was truly a multicultural event, with performances from six different groups – Coast Salish peoples, Chinese, Afghan, Arabic, Korean and Tibetan.
Approximately, 243 seniors and their family members attended the celebration and joined in the festivities, learning simple dance steps, trying out musical instruments and making music together with the performers. Everyone had a fun time at the interactive activity tables where they learned to make dream catchers, created a keepsake pin button, and tried their hand at Chinese painting, Farsi and Korean calligraphy. We also had a photo booth where seniors took pictures of themselves. In addition, a multicultural tree was displayed where seniors added more leaves to it with their stories.
The most breathtaking moment was when seniors from the First Nations, Immigrant and Refugee communities spontaneously got up from their seats to dance together hands in hands in celebration of an international day dedicated to them.
It was a day with full of fun and gratefulness with the rich sharing of cultures and understanding.