See the statue of the cat that I’m holding? You may recognize it if you frequent Asian establishments. It’s usually near the cash register or in the window of the store. I discovered the meaning of why the cat has one paw raised while I was doing a presentation for Asian Heritage Month at Children’s World Academy last Friday. My friend and co-presenter, Walter, explained that the cat is beckoning people to enter the store. The cat is holding a coin in its other paw, a sign that people should enter and spend money. It was as much a revelation to me as to the kids.
Walter and I spent a day at the Academy talking to the children in grades 2, 3 and 4. May is Asian Heritage Month and we were invited to give a presentation about the history of Asians in Canada.
We crammed in as much as we could in each 45 minute session: paying respect to the Mohawk Nation and the First Nations people, how the Chinese helped to build the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Head Tax that was levied on the Chinese from 1885 to 1923, the internment of the Japanese during World War II, and the Komagata Maru, a ship carrying immigrants from India that was turned away from Canada’s shores over 100 years ago.
The kids were a terrific audience, and the teachers, like Patricia in the picture above who’s holding Bella the Bunny, and Linda, in the picture below were very warm and welcoming.
The most heart warming moment for me was receiving thank you cards the kids in their classes had made.
Many thanks to the Children’s World Academy for a wonderful day!