Halifax is known in Canada for it’s large harbor and embracing arms to immigrants. Being a port city, Halifax is known for its multiculturalism due to the fact that one million immigrants landed in Pier 21 between 1928-1971. Many immigrants throughout Canada have passed through Halifax to reach their destinations, making it their first link to Canada and a new life.
Being a smaller city in Halifax, although it is becoming larger and larger, many Haligonians tend to know each other. Once the idea of a Met Youth Regional Assembly was brought forward, almost instantaneously the idea of incorporating other cultures of the same faith was presented. Since many of us already had ties with these cultures, the process was not a hard one. This sparked the idea of having the Regional Youth Assembly be represented by both Greek and Lebanese Orthodox youth.
To me, the joy of seeing two cultures bonding over our faith brought about a feeling of pure joy. We shared ideas on how to get more involved with the faith, how to educate fellow youth, and how to keep our faith alive and strong. Not only did the youth bond through the faith, but also educated each other about their culture. Each culture presented dances and music, educated one another on food and language and also prayed in their own language. It was not only a weekend of bonding through the faith, but also bonding through cultural aspects. To see how the faith brought two large communities of Halifax together was truly satisfying and will lead to future partnerships between the communities in such events. Friendships were formed and the bond between the communities was tightened all thanks to one weekend. This truly demonstrated the power of Orthodoxy in today’s modern world.
written by Eleni Panagopoulos, Board Member