Asian Heritage Month


Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up and go to school?

I was born in a small town in China where my entire family worked at the same factory. Growing up in this close-knit community, where almost everyone knew each other, I experienced the essence of Asian communal culture. After spending 18 years in this familiar setting, I ventured to a big city for university. Following my undergraduate studies, I pursued a master’s degree in Human Resources in the UK. Eventually, my journey brought me to New Brunswick, Canada, where I completed my MBA at UNB.

Why did you choose NB, and how long have you been here?

I have been here for three years now. Saint John is a very quiet place, and it reminds me of the close-knit community where I grew up. It’s easy to get to know people here, and in just three years, I often find myself running into local friends in various places. The sense of familiarity and community is something I truly appreciate.

Describe your role as a Junior Disability Coordinator. What led you to this career, and what do you love or find most rewarding about your job?

As a Junior Disability Coordinator, my role revolves around aiding employees who have suffered work-related injuries in their journey towards recovery and eventual return to their work. When an employee experiences a workplace injury, they not only undergo physical healing but also grapple with managing various administrative tasks and liaising with multiple organizations, including Payroll, HR, Attendance Support, WorkSafe NB, etc. My team and I step in to utilize our expertise in coordinating these facets seamlessly for them.

What draws me to this career path is the profound sense of fulfillment it brings. Each day, I am reminded that my efforts directly impact individuals who have had to step away from their roles due to injury. Witnessing their unwavering dedication and determination often leaves a lasting impression on me. As a Junior Disability Coordinator, I assist Horizon employees in overcoming challenging periods. These employees, in turn, dedicate their days to assisting countless patients. I firmly believe in the significance of our role; we are the enablers, helping those who can, in turn, aid thousands of others.

What does Asian Heritage Month mean to you, and how do you celebrate it?

Asian Heritage Month is a celebration of Canada’s multi-cultures, for me, it’s an opportunity for introspection. It prompts me to contemplate my origins and the experiences that have shaped me into who I am today – everything I’ve personally encountered I consider part of the heritage from Chinese culture. These reflections provide me moments of tranquility in the busyness of life, helping me better understand people with cultures different from my own. Recognizing that each person is a product of diverse cultural and environmental influences, I find the allure of cultural diversity lies in the daily discovery of new and intriguing people and experiences.

I’m heartened by Horizon’s ongoing efforts towards diversity. I extend my gratitude to the Culture & Engagement team for their dedication, and the implementation of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives has deepened the sense of belonging for minority groups like mine within Horizon.

Is there anything you would like New Brunswickers and your colleagues to know about you or about Asian Heritage Month?

I personally believe that Asian culture is incredibly ancient and unique, with significant differences from American culture. The stereotypical images of dragons and tea ceremonies indeed reflect the traditional and conservative nature of Asian communities. However, I also believe that ancient cultures are continuously evolving in today’s era. For example, the integration of bustling streets in Tokyo with ancient temples showcases the beauty of the fusion between tradition and modern civilization. This ancient culture has always been able to adapt and present different values through thousands of years of change in various environments.

Asian culture has been brought to Canada by Asian immigrants, and it interacts with local culture, resulting in a natural and fluid exchange. As an Asian living in Canada, I am deeply grateful for the interest and respect shown by those around me towards my culture. For me, Asian Heritage Month is not just a recognition of the contributions of the Asian community to the local culture, but also a manifestation of respect and understanding for multiculturalism.