"Dad, what's Pure Laine?" asked my daughter as she looked at my blog over my shoulder. "Simply put..." I replied "the expression 'pure laine' identifies descendants of the first French settlers who arrived here some 400 years ago. Now... be careful if you use these words to describe yourself. Sadly, some people confuse the expression with a symbol of exclusion from the province's majority towards its minorities."
Both my children are being raised as true Montréalais, mixing at school with first and second generation immigrants from all over the planet. Wow!... when I was their age, growing up in the Townships, mixing with Anglos and people from Chicoutimi was considered cultural diversity. Times have obviously changed.
My wife and I spend a lot of time with our children and, by extension, their friends. They are always welcomed to spend some time at our place. Having them over is often like going on a short trip without leaving home. Accommodating them (if you can even call it that) takes very little open-mindedness. I mean... finding chicken weenies isn't that hard, nor is pointing in Mecca's direction. During one of these short "in-house trips", my wife prepared some maple syrup dumplings for dessert, a sugar shack favorite that Muslims and Jews seldom get exposed to. My daughter's friend had obviously never tried it; she liked it so much that she left with the recipe.
I recently stopped by this young person's place to pick my daughter up. While chatting with the lady of the house, her relaxed husband leaned over and told me he tried dumplings with the whole family. "How did you find it?" I asked. "Weird." He replied. "Weirdness is a relative concept." I added. We all burst out laughing.
Once in a while, a friend of my children's invites me on facebook to become her/his friend. I take it as a compliment and always jump at the opportunity. In this day and age, Web socializing can't be ignored. Getting involved is just another way to better understand the world my kids are growing up into. I don't actively participate, but I sometimes browse their profile. I can see all kinds of interests.
When I see young teenagers with international roots embracing Québec's culture with open arms, it just gives me hope for this nation of ours.