Sharing new traditions

The Bitmakaly Women's Association wants to help women adapt to Canadian Society by spreading some Christmas cheer.

On Dec. 15, the Bitmakaly Women's Association hosted a Christmas party for members of the African community who have been taking workshops to help them adjust to life in Canada. The event, which featured food, presentations and gifts, was designed to help new Canadians understand and take part in Canadian traditions.

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Lubna Abdelrahman, who founded the association, knows what it's like to be a newcomer in Canada, having immigrated from Sudan 11 years ago. She believes it's important for newcomers to embrace traditions celebrated in their new homelands.

"The message I want to tell newcomers, even if you are Muslim or Christian, everyone has spiritual holidays," she said. "You have to participate. It's part of integration."

The Christmas event is meant to be a fun time for newcomers to Canada, including some who may never have had a chance to meet Santa Claus before.

"The idea of Christmas doesn't exist for them," Abdelrahman said of Muslim women, who are among those attending her workshops. "The main idea is for them to be connected with Canadian culture."

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