An excuse to talk about multiculturalism…

October 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

Europeans Against Multiculturalism is not a particularly insightful article about immigration in Europe. The venality of the comments are even more ignorant.

The wonderful thing about working in a public school is that you get to see immigration in action. In the second generation, multiculturalism is a quandary. In the third generation it’s not an issue except for helping in the annual “Folk Fest” celebrations.

I once helped a young woman prepare her essay for medical school. She was to explain who she was and why she wanted to contribute to society by being a doctor. Her parents were Persian Baha’i who had escaped persecution in Iran. This young woman had spent her entire education in the “nice” neighborhoods in north Saskatoon. While her life wasn’t all roses, she made good friends among her European Canadian classmates.  She and I put a lot of effort into explaining how her faith and background had shaped her world view. However, it wasn’t fully her.

At one point, in exasperation, I said to her, “There is actually a part of you that is a nice blond middle class girl who is comfortable with all the cultural and social norms of your friends.” She agreed. She was okay going to the mall and checking out the latest CD releases. Her background and religion were pivotal to her identity, but it was not everything.

Will the children of immigrants change Canadian society? Absolutely. Will they fully integrate into Canadian society? Absolutely. Even for those second generation children who have to struggle with the conflicting values represented by their friends and their family, by the third generation it simply isn’t an issue.


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