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20-Sep-2015 10:27 by 7 Comments

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The sound of children squealing in delight, punctuated by the lower rumble of adult chatter filled Trinity Baptist Church at a potluck supper held last Saturday.Joyful noises aren’t unusual in the space where community events of varying kinds are held.

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As Mohammed walked around the room, greeting both sponsor and refugee families alike, it appeared clear that he was at home amid the hubbub.

What was different, however, was the sounds were coming from 100-plus Syrians who have left behind lives marred by loss and upheaval and made the Central Okanagan home at various times during the last year.

Among those at the gathering was Mohammed Al-Shahoud, his wife Sara and their five children.

One of the signs of being accepted into a new job, for me anyway, was when colleagues would swear in front of me, like at lunch time, lesser meetings, certain workplace social gatherings.

Since my jobs were usually office environments with mixed genders it sometime took a while before I was accepted enough for the occasional sexist dirty joke whispered in a corner or in the cafeteria.

the later sometimes being associated with “damn Japs” or “damn Krauts” (remember, these were the Greatest Generation veteran members just 15-20 years past WW2).

I did manage to pull out the occasional “shit”, which was considered by my age group as being one of the very few “sacred swear words”; the words that got your mouth washed out with soap, the words that made old ladies gasp and parents shudder and grab for their black coffees and a cigarette. I learned from my mother that sometimes it’s HOW you use the word that determines if it is a swear word or not.titled, “The Complete Guide To Swearing At Work”, written by Roya Wolverson. In doing so myself it made me think of my own evolution into using cursory vulgarity and how using such terms has evolved over my own lifetime as I passed through a changing society.I was not raised in a household where my Depression Era parents used any sort of contemporary profanity, and of course, my immediate relatives never uttered a discouraging word in my presence either.We intentionally did not lead by example in some cases.Adults (generally) have a stronger understanding of how and when to utter profanity in order to stay socially acceptable.The Central Okanagan Refugee Committee sponsored Mohammed, Sara and the youngest five of their 11 children to come from Jordan, where they were seeking safety.