MMC has decided to interview members of our community to highlight multiculturalism in our community, and to discuss the successes and struggles New Canadians face. Here is an interview from the MMC to Justin Kwan, local business owner.

 

Hi! My name is Justin Kwan, my family has been in Saskatoon for over 40 years immigrating from China. 

Our family has operated “The Great Buffet of China” since 1995 and we have been in the restaurant industry for over 30 years; running different restaurants before our current one. It has been a long journey with many ups and downs but it has been a blessing to be able to do what we love! We have met many kind and generous people, and many of our loyal customers have been with us since the beginning! It has definitely been a blessing for myself and my family. 

Asian Heritage Month in May is important; this is an opportunity to highlight the important history behind the contributions the Chinese/Asian community have made in Canada. Things ranging from the economic industry to the immigration laws the Chinese had to endure in the 1800s. I truly believe we have had a positive impact on our economy from people working white collar to blue collar jobs.  Canada has given our families an opportunity to work hard and prosper as we do what we love. 

When it comes to the rising numbers of hate crimes, it really saddens me to think about it. I believe education and heightened awareness is most important when it comes to battling hate crimes and racism. I would be lying if I said it has not affected me both personally and with my work; from reading derogatory comments on our restaurants page, to fearing for my own grandmother to go on walks alone. Although I don’t usually let it bother me personally, when it comes to others that I love and care about,  it really is a tough pill to swallow.  The support that I have experienced from customers and friends reaching out due to the rising numbers of Asian hate crimes has really been a blessing. Personally, I believe there will always be someone there to try and tear you down, but the best thing to do is to turn the other cheek.  There will always be support no matter how bad it gets, and I think keeping people aware will really make a difference. I think it’s important to mention that hate crimes in general, Asians or not, it’s important to be aware that this IS going on, and it’s always a good idea to ask what is being doing about it. 

I have lived in Saskatoon my whole life and love it! Growing up here, and working here, we have met so many kind and generous people and have built long lasting relationships. I have always enjoyed our beautiful spring and how busy it gets with summer events and other festivities throughout the year! 

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