Showing posts with label multiculturalism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label multiculturalism. Show all posts

Monday, September 24, 2018

Folklorist looking to interview Lebanese Newfoundlanders.

Tooton's The Kodak Store, Water Street, St. John's. Photo from Facebook via Anthony M. Tooton.
The company was founded in 1905 as the "Parisian Photographic Studio"
by his great-grandfather Anthony Maurice Tooton (1886–1971) in St. John's.
Tooton immigrated from Damascus in 1903 after studying photography in Paris.

Newfoundland is home to an over century-old Lebanese community, representing some of the earliest non-European immigrants to settle on the island. Many of the descendants of these immigrants, who arrived in Newfoundland between the late 1800s and early 1900s, still live in the Province and identify with their Lebanese heritage.

Despite this, there is relatively little public visibility of this diaspora in Newfoundland today. Privately, however, many members of the Lebanese diaspora still practice elements of the folk culture of their ancestors.

Folklore graduate student, and third-generation Lebanese-American, Wyatt Hirschfeld Shibley is working on a project called “Cedar Roots on Pine Clad Hills: the folklore of Lebanese Newfoundlanders." His project focuses on the ways in which Lebanese Newfoundlanders use folklore to construct and/or maintain their ethnic identity.

"As this research pertains to a group that has been living in Newfoundland for several generations," says Shibley, "a further focus will be placed on the narratives Lebanese Newfoundlanders tell about themselves, and the way they remember their collective past. My goal is to understand and present the lives of Lebanese Newfoundlanders from an insider’s perspective, in hopes of deepening the understanding of this diaspora and Newfoundland’s ethnic history."

If you have family memories you are willing to share as part of the project, or if you know someone who might be a good interview candidate, you can contact the researcher directly at or call (709)-770-6800.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Mutliculturalism Week and "Tales From Afar: Old Stories from New Residents" Booklet Launch

As part of St. John's Multiculturalism Week, last Thursday HFNL, in partnership with the Local Immigration partnership (LIP), launched a new booklet titled Tales From Afar: Old Stories from New Residents. 

We collected stories from new Canadians, recent immigrants, refugees, internationals students and log-time residents who have made Newfoundland and Labrador their forever home. They shared ghost stories, myths, legends, fairy tales - anything that had been passed down by word of mouth. These stories came from all over the world: Scotland, France, Germany, Croatia, Ukraine, Nigeria, Syria, Iran, China, Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, and the USA. We took these stories and arranged them into a booklet.

Nadia Sarwar. Photo by Terra Barrett. 2018.

Depute mayor, Sheilagh O'Leary, emceed the event. We had participants share their stories. We heard a tale about how one should never give up. We learned why chickens scratch the ground. We were treated to a traditional Korean drum and dance, and heard the story of the dreadful dried persimmon in both Korean and English. We learned about the importance of respecting your parents. And we heard the cautionary tale of Tiger Grandma.

Jae Hong Jin. Photo by Terra Barrett. 2018.

The day finished with some delicious, traditional Taiwanese food made by The Smiling Sisters. The event was a great success, and showcased the rich multiculturalism we have present in St. John's.

If you would like to read these stories in full, you can download a PDF version of the booklet by clicking here.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Living Heritage Podcast Ep085 How do Newcomers Experience Newfoundland? Part 1

Today on the Living Heritage Podcast - Part One of “NL Stories: How do Newcomers Experience Newfoundland?” - excerpts from an Evening of Storytelling and Musical Performances. The event was recorded live on Thursday, June 29, 2017.

It was hosted by the Refugee and Immigrant Advisory Council, with support from the Helen Creighton Folklore Society and the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. The MC and organizer for the event was Marissa Farahbod, a graduate student in the Department of Folklore at Memorial University, with stories from Yvette Niyomugaba (from Rwanda), Mark Watts (from the UK), and Jing Xia (from China).

Download the mp3

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Living Heritage Podcast Ep028 Multi-ethnic food, music, and festivals, with Zainab Jerrett

Zainab Jerrett is the Executive Director of Tombolo Multicultural Festival Newfoundland and Labrador. She is also the Coordinator for International Food and Craft Expo and owner and operator of Multi Ethnic Food Kitchen. She obtained her PhD in Folklore at Memorial University in 1998. We discuss her move to Newfoundland, her PhD work on folk songs in Nigeria, her start at food and craft fairs, starting her business, and her work with the Tombolo Multicultural Festival and the International Food and Craft Expo.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Come play! 16th annual Sharing Our Cultures event this Sunday

You are invited to Sharing Our Cultures, a fun-filled family event, at The Rooms, Sunday March 22, at 2-4 pm. Learn to play Shadow Puppets from China, Ludo from India, La Rana from Colombia, and many other games from around the world. Interact with school youth from diverse cultural backgrounds residing in St. John's and learn about their cultures. Admission to Sharing Our Cultures is FREE (fees apply for The Rooms exhibits). Contact Dr. Lloydetta Quaicoe at or

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Our Multicultural Province - An Engaging Evening at The Rooms, 7pm March 11th

Our Multicultural Province
The Rooms
9 Bonaventure Avenue
St. John's, NL
7pm, Wednesday, March 11th, 2015
Free event.

Did you know that Newfoundland and Labrador has a growing multicultural community? Immigrants have brought diversity and the opportunity to experience other cultures, their food, their music, and their art. Come hear the stories and challenges of people who have chosen to make this province their home.

Presented by The Rooms in collaboration with the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Folklorist Dale Jarvis will introduce you to three talented and engaged people making a home in St. John's: Zainab Jerrett, Hadi Milanloo, and Hazel Ouano Alpuerto. Come have a chat, and learn more about our growing and changing community.

Zainab Jerrett is the Executive Director of Tombolo Multicultural Festival Newfoundland and Labrador Inc. She is also the owner of two businesses: Multi Ethnic Food Kitchen; and the annual International Food and Craft Expo shows in St. John's, CBS, and Paradise. Zainab is originally from Nigeria but immigrated to Canada in 1992 to do PhD in Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She obtained her PhD in Folklore at MUN in 1998. She has been married to a lovely Newfoundlander from 2000 to the present.

Hadi Milanloo was born in the north of Iran, in a family for whom music was of great importance. He started to play the setar when he was 13. Having finished a BMus and an M.A at the University of Tehran, he and his wife, Saeedeh, moved to St. John's in December 2013 in order to pursue their studies at Memorial University. Saeedeh studies Folklore and Hadi is in the Ethnomusicology programme.

Hazel Ouano Alpuerto is a Filipino-Canadian living here in St.John's. She is a Psychiatric Registered Nurse by profession and is working with Eastern Health. She is also the Philippine Honorary Consul General, whose role is to oversee fellow nationals requiring assistance.

Photo of Zainab Jerrett by Martin Connelly/The Scope.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Indonesian instrument naming ceremony this Thursday

By Mandy Cook
Memorial’s School of Music will unveil the latest addition to its suite of instruments at a special event at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre.

Music lovers will be treated to the debut concert of the school’s new gamelan and a special naming ceremony for the set of Indonesian instruments on Thursday, March 21, from 4-5 p.m. on the centre’s upper concourse. The gamelan will be housed in the school’s Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media and Place, located in the Arts and Culture Centre.

It is Indonesian tradition to give a new gamelan its own special name through a ceremony called a selametan (“thanksgiving”). The ceremony involves sacred songs and special offerings of food (especially nasi Tumpeng – rice with saffron, drinks, fruits, and incense. Master gamelan artist Ade Suparman, who hails from West Java, will lead the ceremony and perform with gamelan expert and Evergreen State College instructor Dr. Sean Williams. Mr. Suparman is a specialist on kecapi (a stringed zither), and Dr. Williams is a suling (flute) player and vocalist.

The event will also be the debut of the MUN Gamelan Ensemble under director Bill Brennan, who is also a member of the Toronto-based Evergreen Club Gamelan. The student ensemble has been working together since January and has benefited from recent workshops with Mr. Suparman.

“The School of Music has been the recipient of a generous donation from the estate of Rita Love that has enabled us to complete our prestige string quartet, to establish a student scholarship and to commission an Indonesian gamelan degung,” said Dr. Ellen Waterman, dean, School of Music. “We are grateful to Derrick Hutchens, the executor of the Love estate, for his work in realizing these projects.”

A gamelan is a set of keyed metallaphones, similar to xylophones, and gongs found in Indonesian classical music. The various instruments are all made to order by a master artisan and are meant to be used together only in that particular gamelan. The School of Music’s gamelan was crafted by 75-year-old Tentrem Sarwanto, a renowned Javanese gongsmith who has supplied gamelans to several major universities in Europe and North America.

There are several different varieties of gamelan -- Javanese, Balinese, Sundanese – depending on what part of Indonesia they come from. Sundanese gamelan, or gamelan degung, the gamelan the School of Music has chosen, also includes double-headed drums, a bamboo flute (suling) and a zither (kecapi).

“Gamelan music is magical and exotic sounding,” said Dr. Waterman. “Interlocking layers of delicate bell-like sounds are interwoven with complex drum rhythms. Typically, these beautiful bronze instruments are housed in carved teak frames. Ours features gilded dragons! Up to 16 players sit cross-legged on low cushions to play the gamelan.”

Gamelan is particularly useful as the in-house world music ensemble at the School of Music, says Dr. Waterman, because it is a rhythm-based group activity that doesn’t rely on particular instrumental skills in order to play – any good musician can become proficient. She says it is “beautiful looking and sounding,” and is a common instrument that an ethnomusicologist might be expected to teach in a university program, and therefore a highly valuable experience to have.

Dr. Waterman says the ensemble will provide a highly visible “anchor” ensemble in world music for the ethnomusicology aspect of the School of Music’s undergraduate and graduate programming. As well, Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S., has a Sundanese gamelan, which will provide collaboration opportunities between Acadia and Memorial.

Photo: gamelan with its maker, Tentrem Sarwanto

Saturday, March 17, 2012

13th annual Sharing Our Cultures event celebrates Newfoundland and Labrador's cultural diversity

The public is invited to the 13th official opening ceremonies of Sharing our Cultures - À la découverte de nos cultures, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, March 18, at The Rooms in St. John’s. Admission to Sharing Our Cultures is FREE but regular fees apply for The Rooms’ exhibits. The other two days – March 19 and 20 – are open ONLY to the media and to students who have registered.

This event highlights the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the province’s Multiculturalism Week (March 18-24). The theme this year is “sharing our languages”/«partager nos langues».

Mr. Les Linklater, Assistant Deputy Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, will bring greetings during the ceremonies. The guest speaker is Mr. Remzi Cej, past participant of Sharing Our Cultures, a Rhodes Scholar, and current Chair of the Human Rights Commission.

Two of the young authors, from Labrador and the West Coast, will read their stories in Cultural Con‘txt’ in English and French, respectively. Cultural Con‘txt’, the latest initiative of Sharing our Cultures, is a publication of stories by students from around the province. There will also be performances by the Mi’kmaq Dancers and Drummers, World Voices choir, and students from Natuashish and Colombia.

From March 19 to 20, about 1,200 Grade Six students from St. John’s, Dunville, and Chapel Arm will visit this unique educational event and engage in bilingual cultural activities, interact with host students, and learn languages from around the world.

This project is supported by Citizenship and Immigration Canada; Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism; The Rooms Corporation; Department of Education; Eastern School District; École des Grands-Vents; CBC Radio-Canada; Memorial University, and Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association.

For more information please contact: Lloydetta Quaicoe, Project Coordinator (709) 727-2372

Monday, May 4, 2009

10th Annual “Sharing our Cultures” Celebrates the Province’s Cultural Diversity

About 600 Newfoundland and Labrador students in rural schools will experience several world cultures as they visit a multicultural and educational fair at Marystown Central High School in Marystown.

On May 7 and 8, students in Grades 4 to 12 will participate in the 10th annual Sharing our Cultures. This event offers intercultural exchange between students from rural schools and students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds residing in St. John’s. Marystown Central High School has partnered with Sharing Our Cultures to bring this unique multicultural experience to the Burin Peninsula.

The public is invited to the official launch of Sharing our Cultures in Marystown, from 7:00 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 7 at The Gymnasium of Marystown Central High School. Admission is free. On Friday, May 8, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. the event is open only to the media and to students and teachers who have registered.

The theme of this year’s event is “Music, Dance, and Stories.” About 30 new Canadian, immigrant, refugee, and international students have created cultural exhibits to bring alive the history, culture, language, dance and music of 12 countries. Performers include Bosnian, African, and Colombian traditional dancers and audience participation in Bamboo dancing.

Visiting students will engage in bilingual cultural activities and interact with host students who will share their culture in music, dance, and stories. By visiting government and community information booths, students will learn about Canadian citizenship and identity, multiculturalism, immigration, resettlement, and integration.

This project is sponsored by the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association and supported by the federal Departments of Canadian Heritage and Citizenship and Immigration Canada; the provincial Department of Education; the Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism (Human Resources, Labour and Employment); the Eastern School District of Newfoundland and Labrador; CBC Radio-Canada, and École des Grands-Vents.

For more information please contact:
Lloydetta Quaicoe, Executive Director (709) 727-2372
Marystown School Administration(709) 279-2313