Video offers insight

Langley’s Karen community was honoured through film, and in person, on the afternoon of Jan. 18 in Fort Langley.

A video screening of the short film, The Karen Culture, took place at the Chief Sepass Theatre at Langley Fine Arts School.

Edited by Angel Burgueno, the 20-minute video documents how the Karen people have integrated into the Langleys, and offered insight into their culture and heritage.

The Karen are an ethnic minority in their homeland and have been persecuted by the Myanmar (Burmese) government for years.

A little more than two decades ago, Thailand set up temporary refugee camps and due to overcrowding and its effects (crime, poverty, health problems and more) the United Nations began a resettlement program. About 140,000 Karen ended up in camps.

They have been accepted by Canada, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. The first families arrived in Langley in 2007.

Among the Karen who have settled in Canada, Langley has gained a reputation as a desirable place to live because of the supportive community atmosphere.

Today, roughly 360 Karen people live in the Langleys.

“I believe we have the largest concentration of Karen in the Lower Mainland at this point in time,” Langley Community Services Society (LCSS) executive director Bill Dartnell told the Langley Advance.

The purpose was to document the culture of the Karen people, not only for those living in the Langleys but hopefully for their children and grandchildren, so “they have a living record on a CD disc,” Dartnell explained.

The film explores the Karen people’s customs such as dance and weaving, as well as why they came to Canada, and their experiences in their new country, Dartnell said.

The film also documents the efforts of Karen seniors as they assimilate into Canadian culture.

“It’s much more difficult for seniors than it is for younger folks,” Dartnell said. “If you take very young people and you teach them a second language, it’s very easy. As you get older, it’s a lot more difficult. And when you come to Canada, as a senior, and you don’t speak the language at all, it’s not only the cultural change, it’s also the fact that you don’t have the skills or the language.”

Dartnell said the Karen people are beautiful, gentle, and kind.

“They are independent, almost to a fault,” he added. “You want to help them and sometimes they want to do it on their own. They are wonderful people to deal with. They are very family orientated.”

Just Posted

South Langley centre offers seniors an array of activities

Members decide which courses and activities are offered at the Brookswood Seniors Centre.

Throwback Thursday: Jan. 17, 2019

Help us caption a photo from Langley’s past.

LETTER: Langley/Surrey shortchanged on transit for Vancouver

Funding to get SkyTrain to Langley City could come from not undergrounding Vancouver’s extension.

LETTER: Area letter writer puts Trump government shutdown in perspective

A Maple Ridge letter writer is critical of Hillary Clinton’s comments about the shutdown.

LETTER: Langley man believes immigrants get too many taxpayer resources

A letter writer says seniors, veterans and others deserve funds before newcomers.

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Missing man from Crowsnest Pass could be in Lower Mainland

58-year-old Stuart David Duff was last seen on Jan. 6, 2019.

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Judge denies requests from Calgary couple charged in son’s death

David and Collet Stephan wanted $4 million to pay for past and future legal bills

Explosion sends B.C. firefighter to hospital

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Ex-Mountie investigating ‘Surrey six’ murders pleads guilty to obstruction

Derek Brassington entered his plea in B.C. Supreme Court on Friday

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

RECALL: Salmon Village maple salmon nuggets

Customers warned not to eat product due to possible Listeria contamination

Most Read