Ethnichat: Religious Holidays for Everyone!

Our Renee Sylvestre-Williams wrote about whether we in Ontario should have more religious, more inclusive religious holidays. We later then had a Twitter chat – or as we call them, an Ethnichat – about the topic.

It turned out to be a complicated, provocative topic! For those who couldn’t make it, we’ve selected some of the responses in a Storify below:

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    Okay, let’s do this! Today’s #ethnichat topic is about religious holidays. In Ontario we have 11 stat holidays, w/ two of religious origin.
    Thu, Apr 26 2012 15:04:51
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    RT @ethnicaisle: Those two – Christmas, Easter – are obviously Christian. So: should we expand/substitute/change our stat holidays to include more faiths.
    Thu, Apr 26 2012 15:06:03
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    The q posed by @reneeswilliams bit.ly/Ijpe5T is: how to decide which holidays? Percentage of ppl w that religion in Ont? #ethnichat
    Thu, Apr 26 2012 15:09:18
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    @ethnicaisle I say yes, which is the easy part. The hard part is deciding who gets a public holiday. #ethnichat #ethnicchat
    Thu, Apr 26 2012 15:09:50
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    @ethnicaisle Let’s not get rid of the holidays we have ( we need’em!) let’s just add some for inclusivity’s sake 🙂
    Thu, Apr 26 2012 15:12:14
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    @ethnicaisle ideally yes, but this isn’t even a realistic question. who is going to decide which religions/holidays are most important?
    Thu, Apr 26 2012 15:13:59
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    Changes in Canadian work ethic need to happen before having days off for every cultural holiday. #ethnichat
    Thu, Apr 26 2012 15:09:54
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    @jnery The root question, though, is how to make it fair for ppl w other religious holidays. So if not stat holidays, what? #ethnichat
    Thu, Apr 26 2012 15:18:27
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    Hamilton allows fireworks on Victoria Day & Canada Day bc of “history” but Diwali is somehow too dangerous. Seems unfair @jnery #ethnichat
    Thu, Apr 26 2012 15:29:41
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    Why not try out Holi and see what the city prefers RT @balkissoon: Diwali is somehow too dangerous. Seems unfair @jnery #ethnichat
    Thu, Apr 26 2012 15:35:25
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    RT @zoobia_xo: @ethnicaisle Including other religion’s holidays just for sake of “inclusivity” is disrespectful. Like token ethnic character on tv show.
    Thu, Apr 26 2012 15:25:27
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    RT @simyau: @ethnicaisle What if instead of just leave days, companies created something called religious leave? # of days may be difficult to pin down
    Thu, Apr 26 2012 15:23:45
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    Easiest thing to do would be to eliminate Xmas stat. And easiest thing to do re: public schools wld be eliminate $ for Catholics #ethnichat
    Thu, Apr 26 2012 15:36:04
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    @balkissoon How is eliminating Xmas stat “easiest” thing to do? Majority of Canadians still actually celebrate that holiday, no? #ethnichat
    Thu, Apr 26 2012 15:38:02
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    @hjli I mean “easier” to let ppl pick which are important to them individually than to figure out from above which to include #ethnichat
    Thu, Apr 26 2012 15:39:40
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    @ethnicaisle Just thinking, if everyone gets their own special days off, would that encourage cultural silos? #ethnichat
    Thu, Apr 26 2012 15:49:51
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    @jnery Whereas if we all get everyone’s holidays off, we learn abt each other and stuff our faces together. See? Brilliant plan. #ethnichat
    Thu, Apr 26 2012 15:50:52
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    @ethnicaisle I just wish some holidays/religions weren’t institutionally legitimated while others are seen as quirky alternatives #ethnichat
    Thu, Apr 26 2012 15:52:15
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    My family never *expected* to get Chinese New Year off. Then again, it’s a secular holiday, not a religious one. #ethnichat
    Thu, Apr 26 2012 15:54:15
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    @ethnicaisle I don’t expect Persian NY to be a Cdn holiday. I just shouldn’t have to ask for special permission to get time off. #ethnichat
    Thu, Apr 26 2012 15:58:56
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