Although the idea of hand-knit, basket-woven pompoms typically beckons the image of dear old grandma and her sweaters made just in time for the holidays (and the obligatory smile and you shouldn’t have’s), in New York City, we find a Canadian Expat and designer with a contemporary approach to the tradition. Originally hailing from Vancouver, Tia Oliver’s carefully crafted crochet handbags and travel items are catching the eyes of fashionistas in the U.S. as well as back home in Canada. The signature pompoms, all-natural recycled materials, fine-wood detailing and intricate designs add a fashionable element to a skill that’s been customarily reserved for dear ol’ grandma.
Since the 1960s, Anime has been a global cultural phenomenon that has captivated legions of fans beginning with the cultural classic ‘Astro Boy’ released in North America in 1963. Continuing sheer innovative and imaginative storytelling, like 2001’s Oscar winning animated picture ‘Spirited Away’, Japanese animation is a force in storytelling and artistry that is truly unique in scope. But as we come to learn from a Canadian expert currently residing in Tokyo, the phenomenon is much more than just animation.
When most of us grew up, Canadian law aligned with Canadian values -- birth on Canadian soil or birth to Canadian parents granted citizenship. But in 2009, Bill C-37 came into force with a provision that limits citizenship by descent to the first generation born abroad. For Canadians abroad, this means that their contributions to Canada and the world may come at the expense of their children’s or grandchildren’s citizenship.
For westerners making the Far East their home, the experience is as thrilling as one could imagine, albeit discombobulating at times. It may seem like the farthest place from home but Japan offers the same welcoming environment that is recognizably and characteristically Canadian. This may be due to Canadians and Japanese people sharing the same common thread of politeness as a cultural value. This distinctive attitude, which is internationally recognized in the identity of the two nations, allows people in both countries to understand each other beyond cultural differences. For Canadians coming to Japan, the experience is like finding a home away from home --one they never knew was waiting for them. A place filled with the same friendly good days (or konichiwas), as well as apologetic excuse me’s, pardon me’s or the ubiquitous Canadian ‘sorry’ (or sumimasen in Japanese).
A big thanks to those that submitted photos of you flying the Maple Leaf. Here's a video:
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