Talk about culture shock. The Canadian government housed Syrian refugee children in the same building where the fifth annual VancouFur convention was taking place. The furries in attendance, being the respectful folks they are, made sure to inform convention-goers that the refugees would be occupying the same space, stating:
“A major concern that VancouFur has is ensuring that each and every one of the refugees (and attendees) feels welcome and safe and the fact that this is likely to be a major shock to them”.
They also added:
“Keep in mind that they likely will not want to interact with you and consent is important to everyone.”
However, far from being terrified of the grown men and women dressed head-to-toe in anthropomorphic animal costumes, the refugee children absolutely loved it.
It’s not so surprising. After all, these kids are going from a war torn hellhole to a magical land of snow, men in funny red hats, people who say whimsical things like “what’s that aboot” and “oh yah, you betcha”—and convention centers full of walking, talking cartoon animals.
Hell, who DIDN’T see this coming?
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“One of the many highlights for me was when the new group of Syrian refugee children came in and got to interact with us,” writes Mike Schmidt, who attended the VancouFur convention.
“To them we were cartoons to come to life, to us [it] was a means to display our acting performance to a very appreciative audience. Win win all round.”
We have to express respect to the men and women of Vancouver’s furry community for making these children feel welcome in their new home.
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