Dancing stirs community spirit: building welcoming neighbourhoods key to engaged communities
Instead of finding the right words to successfully belong within a community, a local group is using the art of dance to bridge the gap between newcomers and local politicians.
While many used the time to bond with family during B.C.’s Family Day long weekend, last week community bonds were strengthened when the Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House hosted Vancouver’s first ever intercultural flashmob.
Olga Shcherbyna, co-ordinator of the Building Welcoming Inclusive Neighbourhoods project, says the goal was to create ways newcomers could integrate into society by connecting locals and newcomers to their community.
“It’s not just about newcomers, it’s about all of us,” says Shcherbyna.
A mosaic of communities united
Shcherbyna says immigrants arriving to the area and people relocating – with different languages and values – have many communities going through changes, and becoming divided along multiple cultural norms. To keep a united front, Shcherbyna says the challenge has become how to create a new community with our well-known Canadian tolerance while adapting to the vibrant energy of newcomers. Shcherbyna wanted to try an activity that did not require limiting communication bonds by depending solely upon language skills. Dancing is something that everyone can do, and Shcherbyna decided an international flashmob would become the planned event to unite people.
Source: The La Source, by Naomi Tse
Tags: British Columbia, community building, culture, dance, diversity, inclusive, neighbourhood, Vancouver