I was honoured to be asked to extend a welcome to our newest citizens at their Canadian Citizenship Ceremony on, October 23rd, 2013 at the council chambers of the Region of Waterloo on behalf of Immigration Partnership Waterloo Region

CeremonyClick here for a CBC radio report on the event!

There I witnessed over 30 people from all over the world take the Oath of Citizenship to their new country of Canada.  It was also a chance for family members or the public who had been born in Canada to take the Oath for the first time and reaffirm their commitment to their country.

Seeing these families together becoming Canadians transported me back to my own ceremony with my family.  I know the journey these new citizens have in front of them and I wish them well on their journey and will be standing cheering as they take their rightful place in Canadian society.

This week marks the 20th anniversary of my own citizenship ceremony.  I had to choose to give up my Korean citizenship and embrace Canada.  It was one of the first acts I had done on my own as a young adult, distinct from my family.  This was an important step in my life.2kidsWithFlags

After spending the last 20 years as a Canadian citizen, I am proud to call myself a Canadian with Korean heritage.  I am very proud of my Korean heritage, but I was born to it as “an accident” of birth, (this was not of my choosing and also not with any regret) whereas I chose Canada as my home country by my will.  I wish to congratulate all the brand-new Canadians on an amazing milestone in their journey towards belonging in this wonderful country of their choice.

Celebrating Citizenship Week.