Asian Heritage Month

This May, Media Experts celebrates Asian Heritage Month.  This month gives us an opportunity to learn more about the many contributions of Canadians of Asian descent who, now and throughout our history, have done so much to make Canada (and Media Experts) the amazing place we know today. Over the next four weeks, the Media Experts DEI Committee will be highlighting some of the Asian Canadians that have impacted history and who continue to blaze trails and punch through the ceilings of the current landscape. Be sure to check this space weekly, as we will also be sharing our film, book, TV show, and podcast recommendations, as well as highlighting Asian Owned businesses in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal and suggesting charitable organizations that you can support which support the Asian community. Our goal is to inform and inspire you by amplifying these amazing stories, events, businesses and people.

It’s an understatement to say we have a lot to cover this month.  One distinct characteristic of Canadian culture is the “globalization” of our population through immigration.  So much of what we love about Canada has come to us from abroad.  We ardently share this belief at Media Experts – Diversity of people, culture and opinion is a strength and we’re all better for it.

Asia is a vast continent, full of cultural diversity, and is a major contributor to the growing diversity of our Canadian population.  By the numbers:

  1. Almost half of the immigrant population in Canada was born in Asia. In 2016, 48.1% of all immigrants were born in Asia (including the Middle East).
  2. Asia has remained the top source continent for immigrants in recent years. From 2017 to 2019, 63.5% of newcomers to Canada were born in Asia (including the Middle East).
  3. In 2016, Asian countries accounted for 7 of the top 10 countries of birth of recent immigrants: the Philippines, India, China, Iran, Pakistan, Syria and South Korea.

Across the country and within our virtual walls, we are fortunate to have representation from all regions of this vast and diverse continent and we will be sharing stories and resources all month in the hope we can all learn something we didn’t know coming in.

Before we go further, here’s a quick geography lesson.  Asia can be divided into 5 regions, these are Central Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Western Asia.

Central Asia is politically divided into five countries: Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

East Asia is politically divided into eight countries and regions: China, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau.

South Asia is politically divided into nine autonomous countries: Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Iran, and the Maldives.

Southeast Asia is politically divided into 11 countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam. 

Western Asia is politically divided into 18 states: Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Yemen. (The majority of the region is often referred to as the Middle East.)

About 75% of Russia’s land mass is also in Asia, though 75% of their population reside in Europe.

That’s it for the stats!

Please join us in celebrating Asian Heritage month, honoring the contributions and stories of those of Asian descent in Canada, and be conscious to combat all forms of racism and discrimination.  We’re here for a more diverse and inclusive future for everyone.

Thanks for reading!