Raised in the midst of wolves and doves, I was brought up by a nation of very diverse traditions. A community where every woman was my mother or aunt, and every man…well sane man was considered my dad or uncle. Whether biologically related or not, we were brought up to treat our elders with respect and that meant referring to them as uncles or aunties. With much significant age gaps, ‘Big Mummy, Big Daddy, Grand-daddy, Grand-mummy, Mummy Ilesha, Daddy Ojota’ and the like were popularly uttered in my tribe, the Yoruba tribe.
Soon enough, I came to understand that it didn’t matter what family I was born into, every Nigerian soon enough, became my family member.
With over 300 tribes in Nigeria, I had felt that diversity could not exist beyond that, until I arrived in Canada. The cultures I had learnt and appreciated over the years were further modified. Rules that I had accepted as the norm for “THE code of conduct and respect” differed, grossly. With Canada, being a sample of what the entire world looks like, in one country. I soon learnt that although we retained our identities, there is a westernized culture where John is John…not Uncle John or Big Uncle. Just John. This way of life created room for friendly discussions, not strictly advice or a request for permission but friendly dialogues are perfectly okay. I had found permissive creativity and openness.
I actually remember visiting my aunt in England, about three years after I moved to Canada. Sometime during my visit, she said to me, “wow, you’re friendlier”. It was in that moment I was able to conduct a quick reevaluation of my character and I observed that my thoughts had become more advanced because of the discussions I could freely hold with experienced minds. I also comfortably voiced my strong opinions, to both the old and young, and permitted debates whenever necessary. In some sense, it felt like I was granted access to something I didn’t know I was prevented from.
Seeking out ‘New Experiences’ soon enough became my thing. Since moving here, I have wanted to try out more things than I ever would have previously considered.
Ever been Kayaking? You should try it and when you do, go with a friend that isn’t afraid of water otherwise she/he might scream and complain of drowning for the entire experience. I have found that non-swimmers tend to be afraid to drown just by being aware of the fact that water isn’t too far away from them.
Another thing, you just must do is visit the CN Tower. I can’t imagine anyone visiting Toronto and not going to the CN Tower. This is not just because everyone raves about it but also because the 360 restaurant actually rotates. Imagine that? Your restaurant actually moving. It’s pretty cool!
Medieval Times is something I’ve been meaning to try but I haven’t yet, but you should add that to your list. I know it’s a great experience. I hear you should go with an appetite. If your tummy is as tiny as mine, I would suggest forsaking food for the entire day.
Just recently, I visited the AGO, ‘Art Gallery Of Ontario’ and frankly I cannot say why I enjoyed myself but I did. (See here for my experience)
I am generally not a huge fan of Art, but there is a technique to “Art-Watching” is what I discovered. You need to spend time with the Art piece and admire the different aspects of it. Try to understand what the artist must have been thinking when he/she created it. Visiting the Art Gallery taught me what it means when people use the phrase, “appreciate art”.
There is a long list of must-see and must-do’s but try these out first and if you need more, let me know *wink*.
Bio: Dami Ajilore uses her difference to make a difference by managing a site, www.dudunorth.com where she profiles young talents and entrepreneurs that are able to inspire the lives of others. Also, she conducts two to three fundraisers yearly for those in need, so if you would like to support any of her causes, feel free to send her an email at email@example.com