Posts tagged ‘Vancouver’
In Canada, the Thanksgiving holiday occurs on the second Monday in October. The shorter growing season ends earlier at higher northern latitudes compared to the United States, which also explains their “turkey holiday” towards the end of November.
Beautiful weather in mid-October got me to thinking about how I would view Thanksgiving Day in my neighbourhood. I’ve been back in Vancouver, Canada for a number of weeks, and I’ve been relearning the Strathcona neighbourhood on the city’s east side. The saying goes: “the more things change, the more they stay the same …” That’s especially true after being away for almost twenty years.
I made all of the photos above on Thanksgiving (Mon)Day, 14 October 2013. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.
Love & Strategy at the Weihnachtsmarkt
With my Germanophile or Teutonophile status extending to embrace all that is the Christmas market (Weihnachtsmarkt), here are reasons why I love these markets:
- Hang out with friends.
- Scope out the food stalls.
- Drink Glühwein, round 1.
- Consume food, round 1: Bratwurst, Kartoffelpuffer, Flammkuchen, Schnitzel, etc. Standing in my way are Brezeln, soup, Schweinehaxen, or cookies and cakes.
- Drink Glühwein, round 2.
- Consume food, round 2: preferably something different from round 1.
- Gawk at all of the things I could buy but won’t, although I’m thinking about getting that Rotes Sternchen (little red star) for the family tree …
I have a minimum number of two Glüwein per visit, but it happens my drink maximum is also at two. At three, my head spins up into the stratosphere, while the rest of my body sinks down to fall-down hilarity.
But I’ve kept my skull intact long enough to make these snaps on opening weekend to Vancouver’s Christmas Market in downtown Vancouver. It’s a pleasant surprise to hear and speak German with various volunteers and employees working the booths and stands at the Vancouver Christmas market.
Eat, drink, and be merry: wir feiern Weihnachtsmarkt!
The Vancouver Christmas Market is at Queen Elizabeth Plaza, located between Translink’s SkyTrain Stadium-Chinatown station and Granville station.
I made these Instagrams mostly during the market’s opening weekend, 22-23 November 2013. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.
Living in and between two societies can often mean a fractured existence; unclear and ambiguous it might be at times between cultural identity at birth with the country of birth.
But my truth is and always has been very simple.
I am Canadian. I am Chinese. I am Chinese-Canadian. I am Canadian-Chinese.
I am all of these, and all of these make up who I am.
There is little doubt my parents would not have emigrated to Canada, that my sister and I would not have been born and raised here in this country, had it not been for the efforts, courage and perseverance of early-generations of Chinese Canadians.
Memorial to Chinese Canadians
The history of the city of Vancouver and of the province of British Columbia includes the history of Chinese people in Canada. All of these histories are inseparable.
The impact by Chinese on the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), the completion of which delivered in 1871 the “promise” of British Columbia joining Canadian confederation); the “gold rush”; fighting racism and state-sponsored repression; volunteering to fight for a country who didn’t want or recognize them; and their subsequent rightful claims of their right to become Canadian citizens and the right to vote is significant and well-documented.
At the northeast corner of Keefer Street and Columbia Street in Vancouver’s Chinatown stands a memorial to early Chinese-Canadians. The stylized “中” character is surrounded by two sculptures representing important times in Canadian history: a Chinese-Canadian working on the national railway, and a Chinese-Canadian soldier serving in World War Two. In the context of the memorial, the character “中” also represents harmony in spirit, and a declaration and recognition of the past and present, and hopes for the future.
Inscriptions at the memorial are as follows:
This Chinatown Memorial Monument is the creation of sculptor Mr. Arthur Shu-Ren Cheng. The bronze statues of the railway worker and the World War II veteran represent the sacrifices made by Chinese Canadians in building a united and prosperous Canada. The main column is a stylized form of the Chinese character “centre” (“中”) which symbolizes Chinese culture. The Chinese couplet inscribed on the front and back of the column reads:
(Front/Left) “Rich legacies of Chinese pioneers shining bright as the sun and moon”
(Back/Right) “Great deeds of noble forbears zeal entrenched as mountains and rivers”
In commemoration of the significant contributions of Chinese Canadians to the growth, vitality and prosperity of Vancouver, British Columbia and Canada.
The Chinatown Memorial Monument is funded by the City of Vancouver, Province of British Columbia, and Government of Canada under the Vancouver agreement.
Unveiled on the 2nd November 2003″
Chinatown Memorial Square can be reached by TransLink with the SkyTrain to Stadium-Chinatown Station, or with various buses (3, 4, 7, 8, 14, 16, 19, 20, 22, 50; C21, C23).
* A short history of Chinese Canadians in military service, from Chinese Canadian Military Museum.
* Remembering Gim Wong
I made the Instagram photos above on 10 and 11 November 2013. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.
Poppies at the Beatty Mural
To the southwest not far from Victory Square is the Beatty Street Mural, highlighting historical events and figures in the city’s history, beginning with the presence of First Nations, to Captain Vancouver sailing into the bay and meeting their Spanish navy counterparts, to aspirations of constructing a great green “city of destiny”. A section of the mural shows painted images incluing poppies in remembrance of the fallen over the two “great” world wars of the 20th-century. The mural is located just steps from the north entrance to the Stadium-Chinatown SkyTrain station.
South Vancouver’s Cenotaph
Many do not know of another cenotaph put up in the former city of South Vancouver.
Opened in 1926 in the original municipality of South Vancouver, Memorial South Park was known initially as Wilson Park, and was designed to commemorate deceased soldiers in World War I. South Vancouver was amalgamated into the City of Vancouver in 1929, and Vancouver’s first Cenotaph, erected in 1926 at the former South Vancouver Municipal Hall, was moved to the park and rededicated in 1939. The cenotaph is located at the end of a tree-lined avenue as a gateway into the park, and stands modestly with little extra decoration. The inscription on the memorial reads: “To the memory of the men and women who served in the defense of their country”.
The park is located a few streets east from the intersection of East 41st Avenue and Fraser Street. The quickest way by public transit from downtown Vancouver is the SkyTrain’s Canada Line to Oakridge-41st Avenue station, before transferring onto an eastbound 41 bus (to Joyce-Collingwood station).
I made the photos above at the Beatty Street Mural on 15 October and 5 November 2013; and at Memorial South Park on 19 September 2013. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.
I wrote previously about having spent 16 hours on Canada Day and 120 kilometres on public transport to rediscover parts of my hometown Vancouver. That post included 18 photographs, one photo for every hour, including one each at sunrise and sunset.
In the gallery above are (wider-format) photographs which also deserve your eyeballs’ ever loving gaze.
I made all of the photos above on 1 July 2013. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.