Our exec member, Harin, addressed new citizens in a Canadian Citizenship Ceremony at Mohawk College on October 14, 2015
HOla – Bonjour – Namaste – Ciao (Chow) – Assalamualaikum – Annyeonghaseyo – Sat sriaakal
Good Afternoon – ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Mohawk College Canadian Citizenship Ceremony.
Before I begin, I want to talk to you about family.
“Vasudhaiva Kutumbakkam” – is a Sanskrit phrase which is an integral part of my Indian Culture. “vasudhāiva” means our earth indeed is; and “kutumbakam” means a family; meaning – “the world, indeed is one family”. It is a philosophy to foster an understanding that the whole of humanity is one family and everything is interconnected; the whole existence is one unity which my parents and teachers instilled in me at a very young age.
Bringing different cultures, ideas and backgrounds together allows us to develop new friendships, forge new beginnings and to develop a deeper understanding of ourselves and each other.
East Indian by birth and a ‘Can’ Indian by heart, I moved to Canada as an International student to study Health Wellness and Fitness after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy from India.
My core values of Empathy, Care and Respect helped me evolve as a global citizen through my education and understand my peers better.
Today I look around this theatre or any work place that I visit across Canada, or walk in any Canadian city – I see diversity. Diversity which makes me proud to live in a multicultural nation such as Canada.
Historically, Canada has proven to be a cultural mosaic. A mosaic – where citizens, – or global citizens, if I may say, coexist in a multicultural society, showcasing global citizenship on daily basis, celebrating that UNITY in Diversity. It is a wonderful time to live and work here and I congratulate you for your new beginning and thank you for the contribution that you bring with you, from your diverse backgrounds – be it your skills, your talents, or your customs – your Bravery – which it undoubtedly takes, along with enthusiasm, to embrace life in a new country – but I also want to thank you now for what you WILL contribute as you continue your life’s journey, here in Canada.
As Mother Teresa famously quoted,” It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” And I do believe, that Love is indeed a universal language which knows no boundaries
In my time here, I was involved in plenty of events, supporting my peers and student services as a student ambassador. I started to volunteer to learn the Canadian culture and to improve my interpersonal skills in various non-profit organizations, be it at the Canadian Red Cross Society helping seniors with “Meals on Wheels” program, or at the YMCA working with the children, as a cofounder of Mohawk Student Debate Club, or as a Human Book Speaker with Historica Canada, I have been an active contributor at Mohawk and the Brant – Hamilton community alike, speaking and sharing (spreading) that universal language of Love.
In addition to working for Mohawk International, assisting our international students successfully integrate into the college, I also head the Community and Outreach subcommittee for Global Hamilton Connect as one of the 8 founding members, enabling international students and young newcomers to be fully aware of and have access to opportunities to live, work, and play in our ‘Ambitious’ city – Hamilton.
So on this auspicious day, let’s be ambitious and pledge to change ourselves from spectators into participants as Mahatma Gandhi famously quoted, “Be the change, you want to see in the world”.
On behalf of my Mohawk family and Global Hamilton Connect, I’d like to extend a warm welcome and congratulate you all on your new beginning.
Mohawk College International