Speaker: Mr. Roman Mukerjee
Panelist at the Event: Sunday, July 27, 2008

Topic for the panel discussion: "Inter-cultural marriage: Challenges and Solution" — See the synopsis of Mr. Mukerjee's talk below.

Personal Profile of Mr. Roman Mukerjee

Roman Mukerjee has Indo-Slovak heritage. He spent his formative youth years in a school run by Canadian Jesuits in Darjeeling, West Bengal. With stimulus from the late Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson who visited the school, he came for undergraduate and graduate studies at McGill University on a full paid fellowship to gain a Master's degree in political science and developing areas. He was then hired to begin and to administer the first anglophone colleges in Montreal in general and technical education where he also taught Political Science and interdisciplinary Humanities.

Roman was voluntarily proactive in intercultural relations at the first Canadian Intercultural Institute established in Montreal. From here the federal government recruited him to address the basic integration of the heavy influx of South-East Asian refugees to Montreal. The headquarters were pleased with his services and transferred him to the national office in Gatineau to address the critical issueas such as, the Japanese Candian Redress settlement, the modification of RCMP dress code to include the Sikh kirpan and turban, the race relations policy at National Defence and the change in the House of Commons Christian prayer to be fully inclusive.

He took early retirement and continues to be proactive in interfaith relations at the Capital Region Interfaith Council, the World Conference of Religions and Peace and with the National Defence Chaplaincy Services plus, he has immersed himsef in the Muslim community by being active in the Islamic History Month that just began this year and which received parliamentary endorsement.

Roman feels proud to be with his elderly father who served Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in Berlin Germany plus his dear Jewish wife and their adopted aboriginal daugter from Honduras. In addition he has a son and two daughters from his first marriage. Here again there is one adopted Inuit daughter. He speaks five languages, Czech, Hindi, Bengali English and French. When Census Canda addresses his family, they get confused.

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Synopsis of Mr. Mukerjee's contribution to the panel discussion on "Inter-cultural marriage: Challenges and Solution"

It is in the full spirit of intercultural, inter-racial and interfaith understanding that Roman will try and present his life experience as he evolved in his diverse origins path. From his birth in Zlin, Czezh Republic to his father of Indian (Bengali) and Hindu origins and to mother, a Slovak of Christian faith. He had mixed blood right from the start.

In this discussion, Roman will share how upon India's independence, his family returned to India where he had his formative youth years and the struggle to define full identity in his "mix." This he will expose. As he peaked in his teens, he left India to study in Montreal, Canada where he seriously reflected upon and addressed his intercultural, inter-racial and interfaith identity which he will share in this talk.

Thereafter, it was a matter of putting into practice what he had defined and believed such as marriage, family, friends and job. This will be partially exposed for discussion. Most significantly, he hopes he does not leave all this as a mystery, though it is somewhat unique. There is common ground to share the diversity.

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