Montreal’s Seventh Gift to the World – Part 1

xmasprep%20sm046.jpgMontreal is a magnificent blend of cultures all sharing the same wonderful city. While French speaking in principle, you can usually hear several languages at the same time being spoken on public transportation. This is not only because Montreal attracts immigrants from around the world, but also due to the “live and let live” attitude that is pervasive here. For a city of its size, (15th largest in North America) there is surprisingly little violence and rarely ever a racial or ethnically motivated conflict. Respect for one’s cultural proclivities are written into the laws. The Quebec courts even ruled that a ceremonial knife called a Kirpan could be worn to school by a 12 year old member of the Sikh faith.

What am I getting at here? Tolerance. Of all the cities I’ve ever visited, Montreal has the most peacefully diverse population. Tolerance is born out of getting to know one another, to appreciate differences and to celebrate them. A good example of this is in the myriad of festivals here celebrating a diverse mix of cultures. I love that I can go shopping at the farmer’s market in Little Italy, lunch in Chinatown, and go to a rocking disco in the gay village. I love that most people are bi or trilingual (doesn’t that make us a “smart” city?) and that we can all bond on the hideousness of winter and go crazy all summer, doing our own thing. Montreal, a model of tolerance for the world.

For other Metroblogging cities’ gifts to the world, click here.

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