You don't have to look very far these days to challenge the melting pot idea. All that is needed is a glimpse at the racial divisions that have marked the 2016 United States presidential election and others prior. In fact, those who boast about the American melting pot are generally thinking about the successful assimilation of white Americans in a society with perpetual racial divisions than run deep across the country.
It is widely believed that Donald Trump will not win a second term as president. In fact, some outspoken Americans have opined that he will not even finish his initial four-year term. If we assume that Donald Trump would not serve a second term, permanent resident status in Canada is clearly not required. There are several options available that would permit a U.S. citizen to temporarily reside in Canada for the next four years.
Incorrectly suggesting that the TPP will mean greater numbers of migrant workers is a form of dog-whistle politics that further entrenches the dangerous anti-immigrant sentiment that exists in Canada. We should instead oppose the TPP because it will impoverish and displace some of the poorest in the world.
This is how Canada treats its immigrants and its citizens who have dared to fall in love with a foreigner. Because while the details of my story may be different than other immigrants to Canada, the general premise remains the same. The Canadian immigration system has failed us and has failed our Canadian partners.
With the U.S. election less than a week away, the number of people threatening to migrate north should Donald Trump land in the White House are multiplying. I guess we should feel flattered that our American neighbours consider us a suitable alternative. Yet, I can't help but feel like a jilted lover reduced to sloppy seconds.
Food is how I think of my cultural identity. It's like a table of food. It has plates of cozido and chow mein, but it also holds the new dishes that my parents have picked up in Canada. Just because there are new plates on the table doesn't mean I have to take any of them away. It just means I need a bigger table.
A term associated with dual and/or multiple expressions of identity alongside national identification, "hyphenated Canadian" identities are now an important part of our diverse ethnic landscape - and we owe it to the efforts of the very same individuals who regarded such multiple identities as a source of division.
Learning my grandmother's life stories helped me to reconnect with my own Indian-American and Indian-Canadian identity in a way that Bollywood movies never could. If you're the first-generation child of immigrant parents, you owe it to yourself to learn the language of your grandparents. Spend some time with them and ask them about their life. Go deeper than the mere sequence of events you might've never ventured beneath because of language barriers. It could just be the key to unlocking dimensions of who you are. And if history is cyclical, perhaps who you might become.
Canadians may be surprised to learn that United States citizens who have been convicted of (or who have committed) a single instance of Driving under the Influence ("DUI") will actually be barred from Canada. Some U.S. citizens may believe that this is unfair also, especially since Canadians who have DUI convictions are generally not barred from the United States.
I made a choice to abandon learning Vietnamese as a kid. Part of it was me being lazy. I didn't want to spend Saturdays inside another school. Three hours learning about the Vietnamese alphabet can seem like prison when you're six or if you're 12. But another part of it was me wanting to fit in. To stay at home. To watch weekend morning cartoons. To have stuff to talk about during recess come Monday. I made a choice to turn my back on part of my identity. In return, I got to fit in within a multi-ethnic schoolyard in a suburban Ontario neighbourhood circa 1995. Today, that decision would make a majority of Canadians pretty happy.
For 10 years, 20, maybe 40 years, you spend more of your life away from your family than with them. You pay into that country's taxes and employment insurance programs, but you are denied access to any benefits. You're seen as a labour commodity, not a person -- permanently "temporary," forever a "foreigner."
My mother calls me a banana. In her words, I'm white on the inside, but yellow on the outside. She's not wrong. As a Chinese-Canadian, I often call myself the whitest Asian you'll ever meet. While this used to stem from a rejection of my Asian culture, being a banana has become my identity as a child of a Chinese immigrant.
Keeping relationships within a culture can be convenient, comfortable and maybe even somewhat expected of you -- but it also makes it easy to keep one's culture alive. Our parents had a clear blueprint for passing on their traditions, something the growing number of culturally mixed couples like us simply don't have.
The wedge politics and fearmongering of the Conservatives in the last election were resoundingly rejected by Canadians. Whether it is Kellie Leitch playing to xenophobia with her values test or Tony Clement gleefully trampling our rights, it seems the Conservative Party still hasn't gotten the memo.