Being Nice is in our Roots

Canada is a country made up of genuinely nice people. They have a reputation for being warm, kind, open hearted and welcoming. Every day I’m reminded that I live in a beautiful country that thrives on multiculturalism and diversity. At the same time, it’s disheartening to hear that across the globe racial tensions still exist. In Canada, I am accepted and welcomed with open arms.

Mariam in St. James Park Toronto Nice


On a recent trip to the east coast of Canada. I found a lot of people looked at me differently. This may be because I cover my head but it didn’t cause them to treat me harshly or refuse to serve me. On the contrary, they actually recognized me and remembered that they had seen or spoken to me – despite the number of tourists they encountered every day.


Roots “Be Nice” Campaign

This is one of the reason’s the Roots #BeNice campaign really spoke to me. It celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday and its people – the ones who found it, the immigrants and everyone else from the east to the west. It wasn’t just about the polite nice, the funny nice but about the real nice. Watch the 1-minute video to know what “real nice” is.


Roots We Nice buttons Canada 150


Roots Collaborates with WE

Roots went one step further and partnered with WE, a movement that brings people together, to raise funds for its Indigenous Youth Empowerment programs. Nice buttons were sold to raise funds in order to provide the necessary tools for Indigenous youth to be leaders in their communities. The packet contained two buttons – one for yourself and one to give to someone who displays nice qualities. So I gave one to my husband. He is someone who always thinks of others before himself. He goes out of his way to make me happy and he always sees the good in people. His patience and resilience to keep going despite the daily struggles of life is inspiring. I hope some of that rubs off on me.


Couple against red wall in Toronto Nice


When I first came across this campaign, I thought “Nice, that’s such a blah word.” Now having watched the video and understood its deeper message, the word has a whole new meaning. It’s about overcoming obstacles, being selfless, promoting peace and caring for the environment. Being Canadian means going out of your way to be nice, even if that means risking your own safety or speaking up for others who have no voice. So c’mon, let’s show the world how nice Canadians are!


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