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.
Introducing Born and Raised. A Huffington Post Canada series that will delve into culture and language, growing up in Canadian cities and the responsibility some of us feel when we think about our parents' future. The stories are told by our editors, writers and by Canadians from coast to coast. We explore the effect of parents who never told us they were proud of us, what it means to be mixed-race in blogs, features, and through video and Facebook Live segments with our editors. These are daily conversations second-generations have with each other, but this time, on a larger platform.
The recent revelations that Conservative Party leadership candidate Kellie Leitch has been consulting conservatives around the country about whether we need to screen newcomers to our country for "anti-Canadian values" prior to permitting them entry is both disappointing and, unfortunately, not surprising.
There has a fair bit of talk about the possibility of Americans flocking to Canada in the event of a Donald Trump presidency. At present, a Trump victory is a long shot. Yet, even if many Americans were contemplating some escape to Canada in the wake of "Trumpism," doing so would be more complex than might be assumed.
There are multiple ways to identify as a minority in Canada with language, ethnic, religious and/or racial/racialized status amongst the principal basis. Even if in certain situations you identify as a minority, that may not be how you're seen by others and/or how you feel in day-to-day interaction.
Donald Trump's apocalyptic acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland was easily the scariest political event I've ever witnessed outside of 1930s newsreels. As CNN's Anderson Cooper summed up: "He painted a dark and frightening picture of America, he talked about people being attacked by criminals, attacked by terrorists, betrayed by their leaders, the game is fixed. And he said he can be their voice." The thing about this tactic -- a far cry from conservative saint Ronald Reagan's inspirational "shining city on a hill" much less Obama's hope and change optimism -- is that it captures (and, yes, fuels) the zeitgeist of white America.
Late on Tuesday afternoon, minister Goodale -- or likely his staff -- issued a press release that appears as a blog on the Huffington Post Canada. In it, the minister says he has heard the concerns and is working swiftly to remedy the problem -- but he just needs more time. Yet, under his watch as minister of public safety, three people have died in immigration detention in the last five months. This is a tragedy and a political crisis. These three, Francisco Romero Astorga, Melkioro Gahungu and an unidentified man, all ran out of time. And so has the minister.
CBSA carries a serious and difficult responsibility under the law - to protect the integrity of Canada's borders and to keep Canadians safe, while also facilitating the free and legitimate movement of both people and trade. The vast majority of border encounters are brief and routine. But a few present serious problems.
These days you don't hear a great deal of praise for the American melting pot. Perhaps it's because there is a growing realization amongst Americans that historically the melting pot was more virtual than real. A frank look at the evolution of the race relations across America's history throws the melting pot idea into question.