Hi there. I just spent a lovely Christmas week enjoying Skypes of new grandson Ravi, who comes from Italian, Latvian, Irish and Chinese stock, a beautiful mix.
I’ve also been sending out and receiving personal Christmas emails, and relaxing because our Quebecoise niece, not me, hosted the family and friends Christmas party for 28 of us this year. She cooks a fantastic tortiere and she and her family did most of the work. The party started with the lighting of Menorah candles by Jewish friends who joined our predominantly Chinese-Canadian multicultural family.
I spent New Year’s Eve watching fireworks from around the world, one of the many joys most of us share. Too bad the Hong Kong fireworks had to be “muted”.
I tried to give ecological presents this year: Cora Balls and books of Greta Thunberg speeches. Now where can I send carbon offsets for the vacation we took last month?
I wish you all a Happy New Year in spite of all the challenges many of us face.
In Toronto coming up in January are some more events inspired by Toronto’s cultural-diverse heritage communities. Most of these are free or almost-free. Some are so beautiful, we had to mention them in spite of the price. I wish I had more time to tell you about more of them.
Argentina. Toronto Tango Marathon 2019. January 10-12. Full passes are only $120 ($220 for couples) for over 30 hours of dancing! Continental Dance Club, 3141 Wharton Way, Mississauga.
Three days and nights of non-stop Tango. http://www.torontotangomarathon.com/
Czech Republic. Europe. The Czech Republic and Central-Eastern Europe 30 Years after the Velvet Revolution. January 10. 2-4pm. Free. 108N. North House, Munk School of Global Affairs, 1 Devonshire Place.
Speakers: Mark Kramer, Director of Cold War Studies at Harvard University and a Senior Fellow of Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. https://munkschool.utoronto.ca/events/?keyword=&start=02-01-2020&end=12-01-2020
Christian. Orthodox. Feast of the Nativity. January 6 or 7. By donation. The Eastern Orthodox Churches do not call this day “Christmas.” It is the “Feast of the Nativity.” or Baptism of Jesus, Three Kings’ Day, Denha, Little Christmas, Theophany, Reyes, etc. Among the countries where these churches are based are Russia, Ukraine, Macedonia, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Serbia. Of course you can also find these churches in Toronto.
Worshippers fast for several weeks prior, attend church services with special liturgy the night before, and then have family feasts. Friends tell me some members of these churches might celebrate the birth of their leader both December 25 and January 6. Well, why not?
If you want to experience the Orthodox version of Christmas, there’s the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church at 23 Henry Street near College and University. Click on: http://holytrinity.ws/en/
For Macedonian Orthodox services, there’s St. Clement of Ohrid Macedonian Orthodox Cathedral at 76 Overlea Blvd., phone: 416-421-7451. firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.stclementofohrid.com/religion/events.asp.
For Egyptian Orthodox services, there’s St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church, 41 Glendinning Avenue. Tel. 416-494-4449. http://stmarkstoronto.ca/schedules/.
And there are many more. Unfortunately, their websites are not always current.
Ruth’s note: Orthodox services can be very long for newcomers especially if you don’t know the language. The Ethiopian Orthodox church separates men and women into different sections, and you take off your shoes at the door. But these churches will give you the feeling you are in another country as you worship the same deity they do.
First Nations. Big Drum Social. Most Thursdays. 6:30-8:45pm. Free. Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, 16 Spadina Road.
“Bring your drums! Everyone welcome! Come out to our weekly big drum social and have a great time! For more info please contact 416-964-9087 x315.” https://ncct.on.ca/ncct-events/
Iran. COC Free Concert Series: East Meets West Padideh Ahrarnejad, tar; Ali Massoudi, tombak; Mehdi Karbasi, piano. January 7. 12pm. Free. Canadian Opera Company, 145 Queen Street West.
“Padideh Ahrarnejad is an active tar player, arranger, composer, and educator who performs with groups like the Canadian Arabic Orchestra and Kuné, Canada’s Global Orchestra. She leads a trio of virtuosi musicians for a performance that explores the intersection of East and West by blending Iranian traditional music and instruments with Western classical music.” https://www.coc.ca/plan-your-visit/free-concert-series
Japan. Contemporary Japanese Movies at Hot Docs Cinema. January 11 and 12. Free. Ted Rogers Cinema, 506 Bloor Street West (at Bathurst).
“Our annual event returns to the Hot Docs Cinema in January 2020 with five contemporary films that show the creativity and depth of story telling on the big screen by Japan’s celebrated filmmakers.”
Japanese with English subtitles. First come first serve, arrive early to avoid disappointment. Doors open 30 minutes before film starts. Hot Docs : https://jftor.org/japanese-movies-hotdocs-2020/
South Asia. Must Be Kismet – South Asian Wedding Show. January 12. 10:30am-6:30pm. $10 – $20. Reserved seating for Fashion Show. The International Centre – Hall 1, 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga. https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/must-be-kismet-south-asian-wedding-show-jan-2020-tickets-74059340481.
Ruth’s note: I love going to these wedding shows, although I’m not planning any weddings. They are probably my only chance to experience the beauty, the ultimate in contemporary textile art, and the developing wedding customs of South Asia. I find wedding customs here not much different in spirit and excess than weddings in my own cultures.
Tamil. Sri Lanka. India. Tamil Heritage Month with Author Koom Kankesan. January 11. 2–3pm. Free. Malvern District Library, 30 Sewells Road, Scarborough. https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/tamil-heritage-month-with-author-koom-kankesan-tickets-85374508453
Toronto. Levees. Levees have been a Canadian New Year tradition for hundreds of years. Toronto started them in 1968 to give citizens an opportunity to meet their leaders and exchange New Year’s greetings. When Toronto’s Mayor Tory tried to cancel a levee, he found that the public didn’t want to stop the custom. He planned an ice skating party instead and this year it’s on January 12. 1-4pm at Kew Gardens (2075 Queen Street East) in the Beach. All levees are free.
The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario also has a levee, this year, alas for us, in Thunder Bay rather than Queen’s Park.
Many of our political leaders plan opportunities to talk with constituents too. Among them:
Brampton‘s mayor has one on January 2 at 4pm at the Brampton City Hall, 2 Wellington Street West.
Scarborough-Guildwood MPP Mitzie Hunter hosts her seventh annual New Year levee. All are welcome to stop by for food, entertainment, and more. Sunday, January 5, 2pm. Boys & Girls Club of East Scarborough, 100 Galloway Rd, Scarborough.
MP Adam Vaughan New Years Levee. January 19. 2-4pm. Free. 627 Queens Quay West. Adam Vaughan is Member of Parliament for Spadina-Fort York. For more information, you can visit his website at http://avaughan.liberal.ca/events/
World. Weekly Strike for Climate. Every Friday, until January 31. 12-1pm. Free. Queen’s Park. Don’t let the weather keep you from showing your concern. “Demand climate action! Bring your signs, family, and friends!” https://www.facebook.com/events/855644898216460,/ https://www.facebook.com/pg/fridaysforfutureCA/events/
Ruth’s Note: chooses to promote events that encourage a feeling of community in our culturally-diverse city. Mention doesn’t mean endorsement as we try to include events we think readers will find stimulating in the cultures of other groups and an opportunity to meet people from other cultures. If you go to any of our mentioned events, please send us corrections or an account of your impressions.
Let us know the kind of events that interest you. Please continue to send posters to ruthlormalloy@. We don’t charge to include them and we don’t accept paid advertising. We are privately financed. Please post comments on “Leave a Reply” below and subscribe to receive our newsletters that announce new blogs. See above right.