Mon Keang School: Saturday School Student Stories

Mon Keang School: Saturday School Student Stories


Mon Keang Students


Photo Credit: Jonathan Desmond.

I was part of Mon Keang’s Saturday Cantonese School in 2019. My time there transformed my relationship to my culture and to Chinatown. As a first-generation Chinese Canadian, I grew up in Vancouver without learning much Cantonese and feeling disconnected to my heritage. Mon Keang helped me reconnect to my roots and gain a sense of confidence and understanding in my heritage through language. But they are much more than just a language school, Mon Keang’s place-based learning meant us students got the opportunity to connect deeply with the community and history of Chinatown and gain a new appreciation for the way Cantonese shaped this special space. My experience with Mon Keang was a time that I deeply treasure and it’s led me to helping with community work in Chinatown to this very day.

— Tim Lam, student of Mon Keang


In 2019 I had the joy of participating in the Mon Keang Saturday School program put on by the Youth Collaborative for Chinatown (YCC). A spontaneous decision which turned out to be an incredibly wholesome experience that allowed me to reconnect with my cultural heritage and forge relationships with a diverse community of people. One of the fondest memories that I have of Mon Keang was the school itself: walking up the stairs to the Saturday School classroom, taking in the charm of the antiquated furniture that filled the space, hearing the rich history of the building with each creak in the floorboards, and sharing a space with both community elders and students under one roof. The magic of Mon Keang is in its ability to bring people together to hold a space for learning and honouring culture, and experiencing language and exploring traditions in an accessible and interactive way. Although it’s been over 5 years since participating in the Saturday School program, I find myself taking a moment to pause each time I walk by and allowing those positive memories to come flooding back.

— Samantha N, student of Mon Keang


It was great learning Cantonese in a friendly, low pressure environment! My friends and I enjoyed connecting with our heritage and seniors from our community we might not have had the opportunity to meet.

— Jen Wong, student of Mon Keang