‘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

Over-budget bids cause delay of four Surrey school projects

Two projects have gone back out to tender, two awaiting ‘revised budget approval’ from Ministry of Education

Fees ensure patients have access to parking at SMH, FHA says

Fraser Health Authority hasn’t heard yet from city hall about pay parking at Surrey hospital

Free hospital parking a non-starter in White Rock

City considering task force to look at parking generally – Walker

Surrey memories: How the ‘IGUISBCSIR’ Facebook page became a hub for anecdotal history

Former Whalley resident Wes Mussato launched the group in 2011, 11 years after he’d moved to Ontario

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

Most Read