A Great Collection of Nonsense From a South Of The Border Guy

Wanna play? Let’s play! 5 Questions for Canadians

In From other latitudes on April 30, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Hi all!

Last year my readers prepared 5 questions for canadians… Most of them are the things they wanted to know from you before arriving to Canada, as you will notice. Giving them a second look they are kind of… let’s say… “not so politically correct questions” but I was not aware of that an year ago… Swear!

question

The fact is that I’d like to bring them up again and, now that I ahve a (small) canadian/northamerican readership, may be we can find new answers to these old questions. If you feel uncomfortable, you can “anonymize” yourself… or send me an email wityh your answers to “thetiredprop@gmail.com

Thanks…! You can find the questions after the jump

5 Questions for Canadians

1. What are the main characteristics that define a Canadian? / Quelles sont les caractéristiques principales qui définissent un Canadien ?
2. What would you change in Canada, if you could? / Que changeriez-vous du Canada, si vous pourriez?
3. Honestly, do you really believe that multiculturalism is a benefit for Canada? Its risks include the creation of cultural ghettos. Don’t you think that it would be better to assimilate the immigrants into Canadian culture? / Honníªtement, croyez-vous vraiment que ce multiculturalisme est un avantage pour Canada avec ses risques, incluent la création de ghettos culturels; ne pensez-vous pas que ce serait mieux assimiler aux immigrants dans la culture canadienne?
4. What cultural features do you think immigrants (Latinos, in particular) should change in order to facilitate the process of assimilation into Canadian culture ? / Quelles caractéristiques culturelles des immigrants (Latins en particulier) devraient-ils changer afin de faciliter le processus d’assimilation í  la culture canadienne?
5. What do you think about the separatism movement in Quebec? Would you like Quebec to be a province or to be an independent entity from Canada? Why? / Que pensez-vous du mouvement séparatiste de Québec ? Aimeriez-vous que le Québec puisse íªtre une province ou íªtre une entité indépendante du Canada ? Pourquoi ?

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  1. Well, I don’t want to be facetious with these. But here goes:

    1. That we can’t define who we are except to say we aren’t American and that some of us speak French. Seriously, Canada is a huge huge place. I don’t think you can easily define who we are. Can I turn that question around? How do define a Mexican? A Cuban? A Brazilian?

    More seriously, to understand Canada or any culture you need to go and understand the history (something that many really haven’t done) and the railway. Boils down to peace, order and good government.

    2. I’d make the summer cooler. The winters slightly warmer.(Ever so slightly.)

    3. Yes. Yes I do. I think the melting pot is a myth. Even in places like the U.S. you end up with “little Italy” or “Chinatown.” Singapour has a “Little India”. Where we fall short, however, is in not encouraging people to talk to each other.

    I’ve travelled in the U.S. a fair bit. Inevitably you end up going two blocks the wrong way and end up in the wrong part of town. I don’t think you get that as much here.

    What we need to work on is finding value to all these culture, and making it easier for people to find work. We need to be a bit better about our attitudes about people from outside Canada.

    4. As a rule I don’t think people should change. But it’s important to understand what’s acceptable and what isn’t — I think everyone should do this when they travel.

    5. My Canada includes Quebec. I am a francophone from New Brunswick. I did all my education in French, without Quebec we would have been assimilated a long long time ago. But, there is a bit of an us vs. them sentiment out there. There are a lot of parallels between Quebec and the immigrants coming in: Taking jobs, they aren’t the WASP ideal. Funny what you hear coming out of people’s mouths in this regard…

    Short answers. If you’d like me to think on these in more depth, drop me a line.

  2. 1. What are the main characteristics that define a Canadian? I think we’re laid back, liberal thinking, friendly people. We are very much fence-sitters, I think. This is often a good thing because we’re always open to another point of view on issues, always ready to make exceptions for rules and laws, always ready to embrace differences. It can also be a bad thing though because we end up looking wishy-washy and uncommitted. Canadians are also among the funniest people in the world. We know how to laugh and to make people laugh and we know how to have fun.

    2. What would you change in Canada, if you could? I would like to see some of the more conservative factions of this country mellow out. I believe they are holding this country back from becoming something truly unique; something more along the lines of some European models while still maintaining our new world attitudes.

    3. Honestly, do you really believe that multiculturalism is a benefit for Canada? Its risks include the creation of cultural ghettos. Don’t you think that it would be better to assimilate the immigrants into Canadian culture? NO! Our multiculturalism is what makes this country unique and special and colourful. Immigrants add so much to our culture – they ARE our culture. This country was built by immigrants and will only continue to grow and develop and thrive through immigration. We all adopt and adapt to changes and additions to our populations. When we live among people from other cultures some of that rubs off on us and enriches us as individuals and as a nation. That being said, it behooves the new Canadians to truly become Canadians by being open to that same sort of enrichment. I know arriving in a new country can be frightening and the tendency is to congregate among your own kind of people – that’s when we get cultural ghettos populated by people who want to recreate a small version of their home country within Canada.

    4. What cultural features do you think immigrants (Latinos, in particular) should change in order to facilitate the process of assimilation into Canadian culture? This is kind of a continuation of the previous question. Of course you want to hang on to your culture and you feel more comfortable among people who have the same background, same language, same experiences as you. We are all like that. But it’s equally important for all of us to open ourselves up to new people, new experiences. Canadians love to learn about the world around them; we want to know your stories; we want to hear about your country, try your foods, learn about your culture. So, don’t be shy about joining things. Talk to people – we don’t care if your English isn’t perfect. You’ll find out many of us are from a lot of different places, too. Break out of your small community of fellow immigrants and blend. Blending cultures is what Canada is all about.

    5. What do you think about the separatism movement in Quebec? Would you like Quebec to be a province or to be an independent entity from Canada? Why? No, of course not. Quebec and the Francophone culture adds something very special to the country. They can’t afford to separate and we can’t afford to let them separate – not just financially or politically. It’s sad that so many Francophones don’t consider themselves Canadians and that they feel hard done by. There are certainly resentments still on both sides which I’m not sure will ever be resolved.

  3. Ladies, Thanks for your great answers! You can send your friends if you want…!

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