On our walking tour of Chinatown, we learned more about the social troubles the Chinese would have faced coming into Canada. To help each other out, the Chinese set up buildings (separated by family name) that you would go to and they would help you get a job, a bed, maybe lend you some money, and make sure you were working with another member of your extended family. That task sounds hard today, but there are only about 90 Chinese last names that are widely used in China. Therefore, there would have been a good possibility that someone with the same last name as you was in Victoria. Unfortunately they were only able to set up around 10 different family buildings.
We then went into a Chinese temple, it was small and the air was filled with potent incense. Our tour guide showed us all the parts of the temple and how to use them. Chinese believe in the worship of ancestors, and that they stay on earth to roam around. Another interesting thing Iearned is that most of the immigrants were just single men that came to Canada, made money and then went back to China.
The next day we went on a Christmas walking tour. Our guide talked a lot about different Christmas traditions people in the area of Victoria had back when Victoria was called Fort Victoria and it was a trading post for the Hudson’s Bay Company. After the tour we went back to the hotel and had the special Nutcracker Tea at the Empress. Needless to say it was really good; my favourite part was the scones with the Empress’ special homemade cream.
After the tea we went to the Butchart Gardens. The whole garden was all lit up with a Christmas theme, the main attraction being all the characters from the song “The 12 Days of Christmas”. There also were a carousel, large displays of lights, and carollers. It was the best day yet, but I hope that tomorrow will be even better!