What Does it Mean to be Canadian in Today's Canada?

Topics: Canada, Culture, Multiculturalism Pages: 6 (2114 words) Published: March 2, 2014
Multiculturalism in Canada is the sense of equality between race, religion, and cultural backgrounds. There is coexistence in Canada between several cultures from across the globe shaping into one “cultural mosaic” with the intention of forming a society both peacefully and equitably. This was the idea behind the moving forces geared towards growing Canada into a culturally diverse place. The mass immigration into Canada was thought to have had a positive effect on the country. It was supposed to help shape Canada into a place where “new” Canadians and “old” Canadians could fit into Canada’s lifestyles while maintaining individual past traditions. With the amount of immigrants in Canada today, to what point is the line drawn on allowing immigrants to abandon Canadian traditions and focus primarily on the lifestyle they left behind when moving to Canada? In an effort to become a more culturally diversified nation, Canada has felt a sense of loss or has taken negative steps in maintaining the Canadian way of life, by allowing immigrants to practice their own values and traditions while leaving Canadian traditions behind, especially that of religion which poses even more challenges for the peaceful cultural mosaic that was once dreamed about. In today’s world, Canada is seen as the one of the most culturally diverse nations, as it is accepting to almost any potential immigrant to the country. “Canada has more immigrants per capita than any other country accept Australia; 17 percent of the population is foreign-born” ("Strike Multiculturalism from the National Vocabulary" 2010). As Canada continues to move forward, the percentage of immigrants will continue to increase, having the potential to slowly drift away from the ideal notion of Canada that was once known. With more and more immigrants coming to Canada, Canada is losing its sense of “Canadian” identity and moving towards a mosaic nation with different cultural thoughts and beliefs. When immigrants initially started making their way to Canada, “immigrants were encouraged and expected to assimilate to the pre-existing society. The hope was that, over time, they would become indistinguishable from native-born Canadians in their speech, dress, recreation and general way of life. Any groups that were seen incapable of this sort of cultural assimilation were prohibited from immigrating to Canada, or from being citizens” (Source 2). As we see today, that is not the case. Today’s immigrants are now encouraged to speak their own languages and practice their own traditions. The initial idea of immigration into Canada would have helped preserve the traditional Canadian lifestyle, but as we see in everyday life, immigration has taken a different turn. Today “when newcomers come to Canada they bring with them homeland vales and traditions, but Canada is not a blank state” (Source 3). This being said, Canada and Canadians have their own homeland values and traditions that should be accepted and practiced by immigrants upon immigration into Canada. When new immigrants bring their homeland values and traditions, it takes away from what Canada was built upon and the idea of what Canada is about. With every new immigrant into Canada, it seems Canada loses a sense of its own identity. “Consider that every four years Canada accepts a million newcomers. Within two decades, nearly 30 percent of the population will be foreign-born” (source 4). Cultural diversity also drifts into Canadian businesses, taking away from original Canadian policies and procedures. With the different cultural beliefs in today’s Canadian society, the view of the original Canadian businesses or a sense of the original Canadian identity has shifted. There are new regulations to help support immigrants’ national holidays that take away from Canadian holiday traditions. By giving into the different cultural needs in business, we have “began seeking the line between cultural sensitivities and office morale” (Source 4)....
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