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There were many firsts during the latest Diversitas, the first to be hosted in Winkler, and the first time focusing on local culture.

Creator of Diversitas Peter Cantelon said he wanted people to know Diversitas recognizes the unique and diverse culture in the area.

"One of the things of diversity and Diversitas if you look at our speakers, we spend a lot of time talking about cultures from all over the place. One of the things I want to do was make sure our local culture understood its own diverse nature, and Andrew was the perfect person to do that."

Andrew Bergman is a novelist, ghostwriter, and writer at The Daily Bonnet. Bergman’s work has gained quite a following, taking a satirical approach to life as a Mennonite.

Bergman says starting The Daily Bonnet was an accident and satire was just his sense of humour.

"I really kind of stumbled onto making the website. There was something happening in the Steinbach City Council that I didn't like and I wrote a satirical post about it. More people read that than anything I wrote on the blog before."

DailyBonnet 2Parryhill has been attending Diversitas since 2015. He believes Diversitas is one of the small things that are helping to improve the world, exploring diversity, and promoting mutual respect

The blog has been well received because of two reasons, Bergman said. One, because it’s funny and people can appreciate the deeper meaning behind the posts.

Bergman spoke at Diversitas on the history of satire, its purpose in the world, as well as how satire can be used to express diversity.

"The Daily Bonnet shows Mennonites as unique and quirky," said Bergman. "It also makes critiques of those things, as well as a celebration of those things. Being Mennonite is a part of the diverse Canadian culture."

Cantelon was very pleased with how many came to the first Winkler Diversitas, which attracted a number of veterans as well as newcomers.

Don Klippenstein had never heard of Diversitas before and was told to check it out. He said he enjoyed the subject and feels like he would be interested in attending another event.

Diversitas veteran Jim Parryhill said the evening was enjoyable and well received by everyone who came.  

Parryhill has been attending Diversitas since its formation in 2015, with speaker Dr. Idris Elbarki.

Elbarki returns to Diversitas in January to discuss what life is like for Palestinians living in Israel.

 

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