Canada Multiculturalism

'Where Are You From?' Is Clumsy, but Not Racist

Deena Douara | Posted 10.09.2015 | Canada Living
Deena Douara

There are a range of reasons people have asked me about my background and reasons I'm curious about yours. Maybe I've traveled to your country of heritage and would like to share my experience; I'd like to visit one day and would welcome your insights. We shouldn't have to pretend not to see skin colour, hear accents, or recognize features. No, we're not all the same -- but why is that the goal?

Why Canadians Aren't Always so Kind

Reeha Korpal | Posted 08.02.2015 | Canada Living
Reeha Korpal

We are not all the ideal, liberated, and wonderful "Canadian" which we assume to be part of our national identity. We're not all there, but hopefully one day we will be. One day we can proudly proclaim that these wonderful positive stereotypes we hold dear to ourselves are complete, factual truths.

It is Time to Move Beyond Harper's Politics of Division

Arnold Chan | Posted 07.20.2015 | Canada Politics
Arnold Chan

The Harper Conservatives have focused their time in power on dividing Canadians and creating fear for their own political benefit. We have seen countless examples of this from groups that have questions about criminal code legislation being called "soft on crime," to the use of terrorist propaganda to stoke fear when talking about political rivals (just look at the latest online Conservative attack ad against Liberal leader Justin Trudeau using material from jihadist propaganda), to the politicization of citizenship ceremonies and the meaning of citizenship as a whole.

Why Calling Me a Brown Girl Isn't Racist

Reeha Korpal | Posted 07.14.2015 | Canada Living
Reeha Korpal

Here is the thing -- "brown" is not a derogatory term. It is not a word rooted in oppression, exclusion, bigotry, or hatred of any kind at the social or institutional level. The term is value neutral. It holds no malice, or intent to harm. It is not a powerful reminder of disenfranchisement and racial divisions such as the term"n*****." As wonderful as it is that people want to step up to the plate to help create inclusion and openness, I just wish it was with some context. Instead, get up off your feet when you hear some of the following slurs that are offensive and have been historically directed towards brown people.

The Conservatives Have Changed What it Means to Be Canadian

Arnold Chan | Posted 07.03.2015 | Canada Politics
Arnold Chan

As a second generation Canadian I grew up with a proud sense of attachment to our nation. I often listened to stories from my parents about the effort they made to immigrate to Canada so that my younger brother and I could enjoy the many opportunities that this nation has to offer.

What Immigrants Should Know Before Coming to Canada

Suresh Kurl | Posted 06.24.2015 | Canada Living
Suresh Kurl

Canada is a dream come true for those who immigrate here. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is the envy of the world. Its multiculturalism welcomes new immigrants with open arms, open hearts and open minds. If new immigrants are to become a part of the Canadian multicultural fabric they must know what their obligations as Canadian resident/citizen would be.

My Refugee Journey Involves Gunshots, Homelessness and Hope

Patrick Bizindavyi | Posted 06.30.2015 | Canada Impact
Patrick Bizindavyi

Over the following months in 2001, the violence continued in Burundi between the rebels and the government. My passion for my work diminished. I no longer felt like doing anything. I even stopped watching the news on TV, or even listening to it on my own radio station. Everything looked hopeless. In 2002, some Canadian journalists visited Burundi. If I were going to ask for help, it was now or never. Six months later, they invited me to visit Canada, and I jumped on the opportunity. I arrived in Canada with $60 in my pocket -- my mother's life savings.

Being Tamil Isn't Just About Speaking the Language

TamilCulture | Posted 06.08.2015 | Canada Living

My Canadian-born son isn't proficient in Tamil. I have not been successful in teaching him. I feel that my ineffectiveness comes off as un-Tamil to some. We're used to the idea of the cultural mosaic and pride in our heritage by proudly declaring that our kids are proud Tamils.

How I Finally Embraced Being Korean

Jason Lee | Posted 06.07.2015 | Canada Living
Jason Lee

If someone said to me 15 years ago that I would be talking publicly about my Korean cultural identity today, I'd have been the first person to say: "You must be kidding." Until recently, despite having been born in Korea, I would not have called myself a Korean-Canadian.

As a Parent, I Support the New Sex-Ed Curriculum

Marc Roy | Posted 05.19.2015 | Canada Parents
Marc Roy

The new, modernized Physical Education and Health curriculum is supported by the overwhelming majority of Ontario parents. However, there remains a small, yet vocal few, who strongly oppose any changes. Although I currently serve as a School Board Trustee, it's as a parent that I wish to engage in this debate. There is rarely a week at home when my kids don't speak of things I never would have touched at their age. As a father, raising my children in these times, I'm happy to be able to count on the support of professional educators who can complement what my kids learn and discuss at home.

Why We Must Ardently Defend Multiculturalism in Canada

Dr. Boluwaji Ogunyemi | Posted 05.03.2015 | Canada
Dr. Boluwaji Ogunyemi

Unless we, as a society, systematically protect the right to reasonable accommodation of expression of religion in all arenas of Canadian life, others that would be in a case similar to that of El-Alloul will be systematically unwelcome form fully participating in the judicial system.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism Asks Iranian-Canadians "Why Are You Here?"

Susan Khazaeli | Posted 04.08.2015 | Canada Politics
Susan Khazaeli

Mr. Leung asked a member of the audience, "If you like Iran so much then why do you come to Canada?" He then demanded to know: "Why are you here?" Some audience members were so offended by his comments and his dismissive attitude -- which one attendee characterized as "arrogant" -- that they decided to leave the event. Mr. Leung is also the Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism. It kind of sounds like a bad joke, doesn't it?

Why You Should Appreciate Life in the GTA

Blair Mlotek | Posted 04.01.2015 | Canada Living
Blair Mlotek

People are always going on about how Canadians aren't patriotic enough, saying that Canada doesn't have something to identify it. They think that sinc...

You Don't Have to Remove Christmas From the Public Square

Shimon Koffler Fogel | Posted 02.22.2015 | Canada Living
Shimon Koffler Fogel

The irony is that it seems to be some Christians themselves who, in an effort to show respect for non-Christians, often pre-emptively remove "Christmas" from their greetings, events, and public symbols. While the intention is laudable, the effort is largely unnecessary. I appreciate and welcome the deep connection Christians have to the symbols of their holidays.

Constitutional Rights -- Poetry or Practice?

Mona Elisabeth Brother | Posted 02.08.2015 | Canada Politics
Mona Elisabeth Brother

A celebration of our history brings us to reflect on the present. There are certain questions we must ask ourselves. What challenges do Norway, Canada, and other like-minded countries face in our efforts, for example, to promote democracy, protect, and live in an inclusive society with equal rights and non-discriminatory practices? What is our role in the global picture?

The Month I Spent Living on a Mattress

Ana Rodriguez | Posted 01.24.2015 | Canada Living
Ana Rodriguez

When I am nine, my parents and I immigrate to Canada from the wet, hot, and hurricane-ridden island of Cuba. Before May 31, 2002, I have never stepped beyond my beautiful little island, have never seen a landscape without palm trees or the ocean, have never smelt air that isn't rife with humidity with a hint of dog piss, sea salt, and garbage, and I have never wanted to.

I Don't Know What To Say When People Ask 'Where Are You From?'

Marina Rogers | Posted 01.11.2015 | Canada Living
Marina Rogers

I have thus alienated myself from the convention of associating a cultural, national identity to my name. I do not feel like a citizen of said country, but rather, a denizen of the world. I realize my situation is rare and privileged, but I am not insensitive to the many problems revolving national identity around the world.

It's Time To Stop Black And Orange Day And Let Schools Celebrate Halloween

Buzz Bishop | Posted 12.30.2014 | Canada
Buzz Bishop

So when the traditional North American holidays roll around, don't expect me to sanitize them. I don't expect my brother-in-law to dial down Hannukah thinking I'd find it offensive. I don't expect my mayor to skip Eid because I don't celebrate it. I look forward to the Chinese New Year parade and so do my kids. They shouldn't stop it because I'm not Chinese.

Why Are Black People So Committed to Supporting Rob Ford?

Anthony Morgan | Posted 09.21.2014 | Canada Politics
Anthony Morgan

It benefits us all to be honest with ourselves and recognize that adopted in 1971, enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982 and further enacted in law in 1988, Canadian multiculturalism is a socio-economic failure that now stains our national mosaic. There is nothing new in pointing out the failure(s) of multiculturalism. However, what has yet to be engaged as a public conversation is the consideration that, as our society's seeping open secret, the socio-economic failure of multiculturalism is what explains the festering phenomenon of black support for Rob Ford.

Where Are All the Role Models For Girls?

Amira Elghawaby | Posted 07.08.2014 | Canada Impact
Amira Elghawaby

If young women and girls can't find role models within the pages of typical teen magazines, or in most mainstream books and film, then where can they find them? The answer should be: within their communities.

7 Things Canadians Might Not Know About Canada

Johanu Botha | Posted 06.19.2014 | Canada Politics
Johanu Botha

If beer companies advertised countries, Dos Equis would rep Canada -- it is the most interesting country in the world. But many of those living here would never guess it. Hence the need for an internet list to all Canadians. You're welcome.

The Problem With Black History Month

Bianca Pang | Posted 06.04.2014 | Canada
Bianca Pang

The amazing thing about our country is that we're still young. Compared to other countries we're like barely-legal young. We're still losing our baby teeth, learning how to walk, working out the kinks and growing into our clothes. And from what I see, the core of what Canadian-ness is, is multiculturalism. So I have problem with Black History Month, and the reason is this: I don't believe we should assign one month out of the year (and the shortest month, mind you) to one race. Why? Because although, yes, it brings awareness to the history and celebrates its triumphs, it sets them apart from the norm, reiterating this whole notion of "otherness."

Why We Must Teach Our Kids to Be "Culturally Bilingual"

Amira Elghawaby | Posted 05.31.2014 | Canada Politics
Amira Elghawaby

The fact is our student populations are becoming more diverse, though that's barely mirrored in the staff make-up of most urban schools. And while there is recognition of a need to hire teachers that better reflect the student population, reaching that goal remains a long way off considering the comparably low number of teachers who self-identify as visible minorities. In the meantime, we need to foster culturally sensitive and inclusive schools where student engagement leads to higher graduation rates, the de-glamorization of gangs, and the nurturing of productive citizens of all backgrounds.

Black History Month is Not a Feel-Good Mass Therapy Session

Dr. Lisa Tomlinson | Posted 04.25.2014 | Canada
Dr. Lisa Tomlinson

Until we find concrete and genuine ways to take into account cultural differences and the institutional power relations that inform that reality in Canada, Black History Month, like multiculturalism, will continue to be sidelined and watered down to satisfy Canada's mythical narrative of togetherness, racial justice and equality.

Arti Patel

This Is Why Toronto Is So Multicultural | Arti Patel | Posted 12.27.2013 | Canada Living

If you're ever in Toronto and talk to strangers on the bus, chances are you'll find most people are originally from another country. In an effort ...