Canada is known as a multicultural country in which the great part of the population is made by the immigration. Within the open-door policies, the percentage of immigration of Canada has increased dramatically recently. Then, with the ethnic diversity background, whether Canada has a mix-up “messy” culture or not. Likewise, will the immigrants be confused because of choosing to follow their own culture or Canadian culture? In “Immigrant Integration in Canada and the United States,” Harles quotes Kymlicka’s claim, “Canada does better than virtually any other country in the world in the integration of immigrants” (223). Generally speaking, the majority of immigrants and new Canadians can keep their own culture and also blend into the society while living in a multicultural country like Canada. As a matter of fact, they have the support from the Government under the “Multiculturalism Act” policy, and from the local Canadians with their open-minded attitudes. Moreover, as long as they keep in touch with their own small community in Canada while being involved in Canadian culture, they will be considered to be Canadians and also not distance themselves from their own culture.
First of all, under “The Canadian Multiculturalism Act” policy, which has been effective since 1988, all people who immigrated to Canada have the right to keep their own origin, and then they feel free to integrate to Canadian culture. This policy states that all people have the rights to “enjoy their own culture, practice their own religion, and use their own language”; and also, “the Government of Canada is committed to preserving and enhancing our multicultural heritage and to working for the equal access and full participation of all Canadians in all facets of our society” (Canada 6). Additionally, Clauses 3(1)(a) and (b) “affirm that multiculturalism is a fundamental characteristic of our Canadian identity” (Canada 13). Therefore, the new Canadians can keep their own culture and adapt to the new culture at the same time; this creates an ethnic diversity in Canada. Against this policy is the article “No Place Like Home” by Neil Bissoondath. He argues about two false assumptions of this Act; these are “culture could be transplanted” and the immigrants “wish to transport their culture of origin” (363).
However, at the first point, multiculturalism does not mean “culture transplanting”, it means integrating to the new culture, it helps the immigrants feel like home and overcome the culture shock for a period of time. Moreover, with the second point, he acknowledges about the point of emigration is that people once immigrate to another country, they throw out all of their past. In fact, it is absolutely true, but, eventually, the more people get older, the more they want to come back to their own origin. Then, “The Multiculturalism Act” is helpful for immigrants to maintain the own culture. Discover another side of integration issue, Peach claims, “There are two main theories about the way in which the accommodation of minority groups within a state may be achieved: assimilation and multiculturalism” (3). Opposing to the multiculturalism is assimilation, which happens in the United States, for example. In America, they treat all immigrants as if they are from the same country, have the same culture; they ignore the minorities.
Compared to Canada’s culture, America’s is called “Melting Pot” while Canada is “Mosaic”. “Melting Pot” is simply explained as “melting together”; all different elements become one, which is monoculture. Conversely, “mosaic” is the mix of ethnic cultures; all exist in the same place, and it is called multiculture. Which one is better? Each country has each policy which is appropriate to its citizenship. However, in fact, people definitely cannot be isolated themselves from their own ethnicity. Moreover, whether or not, an abandon is better than an encouragement. In reality, if people are encouraged to keep their own culture, then they feel free to be involved in another culture because combining the old and new cultures is the proper way to get along with the new one. In brief, the new Canadians are supported by the Government to adjust themselves between two different cultures. Furthermore, with the acceptance attitude of local people, the newcomers to Canada can probably retain their ethnic heritage as well as adapt to the Canadian behaviour and lifestyle. For example, in some traditional festivals of the minorities, local Canadians are very excited and interested in; they also join in those activities.
Moreover, now there are some private companies offer days off for workers if they are in their own holidays, such as the Lunar New Year of South-East Asian countries. However, the discrimination still exists in some ways. In the survey Finally, within the support from the new country, the immigrants should also practice their ethnic traditions not to forget their roots while living in Canada for a long time. Once immigrating to another country, people expect to be considered as local people, feel like home in the new place. When time goes by, the more they are involved in the new culture, the more they forget their ethnic tradition. Then, retaining their own culture and also adapting to the Canadian culture at the time is necessary for the new Canadians. They can probably do it with the points mentioned above. Briefly speaking, because “everything has two sides”, there are some problems still exist and somehow can affect the immigrants’ attitudes, however, as long as they are under the Government’s policy, have a hand of local people, and keep the interaction between their own culture and themselves, they can mix up the “culture solution” but not dissolve into each other.
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