Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Immigrants

I wrote the following while commenting on a post called Sectarianism or Multiculturalism? at Mick in the UK. Since then I have read more about the topic and talked to some friends. I may write another post on the subject. I would be interested in hearing what other Canadians think. I invite others to give ideas from their perspectives.



I have always felt that immigrants should adapt as much as possible to the new society. To do so is not to lose their society but to fit in and prosper.

Many immigrants to Canada are indistinguishable from the Aglo-French 'ideal/stereotype' but keep their religion and/or language. This was more true in the past when immigration was more controlled. Large scale 'family' supportive immigration has changed the dynamics. In some city areas you may forget you are in Canada. The ethic has been 'to go to a new land and take up a better (new) life'.

Victoria doesn't have large concentrations of ethnicities, as some other cities do, so immigrants don't seem to have the 'critical mass' to 'turn their backs' on integration. I can sit in a group and hear only Punjabi or Chinese but most will know English. Sometimes I notice my 'minority' and laugh but I never feel alienated.

I have heard people talk about some of the larger cities where neighbourhoods seem foreign. I would find this odd and uncomfortable.

If people wish to be 'cultural immigrants' and adapt enough to function here and be tolerant I say welcome. If they are merely 'economic immigrants' looking for no adaptation but only a better lifestyle and freedom from their homeland I say 'why not fight for more at home'.

Immigration is not just a move down the street. It is a commitment and promise to your new homeland. If people are not willing to give that commitment then they should not emmigrate in the first place.

2 comments:

Poompa said...

Very well put, I too believe that there is more to emmigration than leaving ones country. I give my homage to many immigrants that are able to adapt to their conditions in another country and in turn abet other citizens in making the country a better place.

Leon said...

Good comment poompa.