“It’s a time to reflect on the blessings in your life.”
For Asian Heritage Month, we sat down with Hira, Development Officer at McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation, to learn more about her culture and how it inspires her every day.
Hira was born in Pakistan and her family moved to Canada when she was four years old.
“Some first generation Canadians lose touch with their heritage, but it was always important to my parents that I retained the Punjabi language and didn’t lose touch with Pakistani customs and cultural knowledge,” says Hira.
When she joined McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation in 2021, she – and her heritage – were embraced.
“My Muslim faith and Pakistani heritage are an important part of my life, and it’s nice to see my colleagues interested in learning about them,” says Hira. “I make it a priority to share my cultural traditions and learn about other people’s cultures.”
Ramadan, which is a month of daylight fasting for Muslims, was a wonderful opportunity for Hira to share an important part of her culture with co-workers.
“It’s a time to reflect on the blessings in your life,” she says. “It makes you feel grateful for having access to so much food every day, whereas other people in the world are not so fortunate.”
Food plays a significant role in Pakistani culture, and lunch-room conversations at The Foundation often involve the sharing of recipes.
“Food is a way we express our love and how we celebrate together. It’s at the centre of everything and it’s a way for me to connect with my cultural heritage and my family.”
Just as Hira is proud to work for an organization so closely aligned to her cultural values, McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation is grateful to have her as part of the team. Every day, she enriches the lives of her colleagues and the communities we serve.