Reine S.

Mississauga , Ontario

Toronto West Regional Fair

My Family Heritage

I am a grade 10 student taking Grade 11 World History. My project was to investigate my family history and include interesting information about the two generations before me. I was to learn about the cultural connections my past generations share with me today and the traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. To make my presentation more interesting, I incorporated personal family stories that I grew up knowing and some that I learned through interviewing family members. I also weaved historic events throughout my presentation that I found so interesting. I hope you enjoy my video!

What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

First and foremost, I feel that my heritage has nothing to do with my bloodline. I am adopted and I wholeheartedly share my family’s heritage. By definition, heritage means your “upbringing” and background”. Think of Mowgli in “The Jungle Book”, who was raised by his jungle animal family. He assumed his parent’s traits and he shared in their heritage, traditions and ways. My parent’s and grandparent’s traditions and stories of the past have shaped me into the person I am today so we share the same heritage. As an example, I may not have any Danish blood in me, but I am just as much Danish as my mom because “heritage” is as much “experiential” as it is ancestral. I love my heritage and traditions and I am grateful to be Canadian, as are my parents and grandparents.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

It was so interesting to me that my maternal grandparents came to Canada by boat across the ocean because that was the main mode of transportation for immigrants back then. I also want to learn more about my paternal grandfather’s job putting the CanadArm in space. I have a pretty amazing family.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

It is clear to me that the life I am living in Canada today is much better in so many ways than that of the generations before me. One such example is that of women’s rights today versus two generations ago where opportunities between men and women were so unequal. My mom’s generation broke many glass ceilings so that my generation have more opportunities in the workplace and better working conditions and fair employment practices. In addition, life stages have changed significantly. In my grandmothers’ era, women were married as teenager’s and had kids by twenty. Today, women are likely to be married an entire decade later with children coming along even later in life. I am grateful to be growing up in an era where men and women are equal in most ways. I am thankful my grandparents immigrated to Canada and I am grateful I am a Canadian, living in a country that fosters equality and great living conditions.