‘We’re all on the same team’

NEWTON – Hundreds of Surrey students left school on May 21 with a simple request at the top of their minds – make friends with kids from a different heritage or culture.

 

"If you’re brown, go make friends with someone who is Caucasian or Asian," Ken Herar encouraged the packed gymnasium at Newton’s Khalsa School.

 

"Our country is going to get even more multicultural as the days go by so make sure you are connected to your community and other Canadians."

 

Herar is the founder of Cycling4Diversity, an eightmember team of cyclists that brought its message of respect and equality to two Surrey schools on May 21.

 

Herar started Cycling4Diversity in 2010 after he found out he was not welcome at a certain Christmas party because he was South Asian.

 

Now in its fifth year, the initiative has visited about 100 schools throughout B.C. During this year’s fourday tour, Cycling4Diversity brought its message to 16 schools in 11 different cities in B.C., including five in the Okanagan and two Khalsa schools in Surrey.

 

"They were excited to have us," said Herar. "Hopefully they can take that message and spread it into their homes and communities because we struggle with diversity in some

 

Lower Mainland communities.

 

"If we’re all going to live together, we have to make it work."

 

Anne-Marie Sjoden is Cycling4Diversity’s executive director. She encouraged

 

students to say hello to kids they might not usually talk to.

 

"You kids in Grade 7, maybe you could introduce yourselves to the younger kids and let them know who you are," she said. "If you see someone sitting in the corner being very shy, why don’t you go over and introduce yourselves?

 

"Would you do that for me?" she asked the students, who replied with a resounding, "Yes!" Harpreet Singh also offered some words of wisdom to the kids.

 

"Be proud of who you are and be proud of your culture," he said. "But respect others and be also proud of the cultural harmony we have here in

 

Canada." On Monday, after the tour wrapped up in Abbotsford, Herar told the Now that the tour’s main message resonated with students – mainly, that regardless of our heritage and religion, we are all Canadian.

 

And like a true Canadian, Herar closed the interview using an analogy close to this country’s heart – hockey.

 

"We should all have Caucasian friends, we should all have friends from different backgrounds and we should be playing hockey in the streets with all those people," he said.

 

"It’s not just East Indians vs.

 

the white team. We’re all on the same team here in Canada." bsimpson@thenownewspaper.com

Just Posted

Searchers to return to avalanche-prone peak to look for Surrey snowshoer

North Shore Rescue, Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog teams and personnel will be on Mt. Seymour

Crashes pile up as snow blankets Surrey

Up to 10 centimetres of snow is in the forecast

Delta to ban shark fin products

The bylaw comes after several false starts and a year of lobbying by a local shark advocate

How much does your city spend per person on snow removal?

Black Press Media compares 2018 ice and snow removal budgets of various Lower Mainland communities

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Do you live with your partner? More and more Canadians don’t

Statistics Canada shows fewer couples live together than did a decade ago

B.C. child killer denied mandatory outings from psychiatric hospital

The B.C. Review Board decision kept things status quo for Allan Schoenborn

5 to start your day

The B.C. government released it’s 2019 budget, we break down snow removal per capita and more

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

B.C. pot giant Tilray to acquire hemp food company Manitoba Harvest for up to $419 million

Tilray will pay $150 million in cash and $127.5 million in stock.

Tears, flowers at impromptu memorial for Syrian children killed in Halifax fire

The family had only lived in the Quartz Drive home for a few months

Most Read