Multiculturalism is the existence and promoting various cultural traditions within a given jurisdiction that is considered with regards to culture associated with a particular ethnic group. Both Neil and Wayson in their books have exhibited the two concepts in Canada and the US. But special focus of this essay will be the concepts as seen in Canada as the two authors write about it. Of importance in this essay will be the causes and the implications of multiculturalism in Canada. The causes of multiculturalism in Canada is primarily the drought that was in China where the Chinese went to the US and Canada to find food. Wayson (54) says that better to be an alien here than to be dead of starvation in China. When the Chinese came to North America specifically the US and Canada they were referred to as unwanted aliens. But the starvation was real in China and the only refuge that the Chinese found was North America and they went there to find food and other necessities for their survival.
The other reason for the multiculturalism was the slave trade that was present in the 19th century where the American countries like Canada acquired slaves and cheap laborers from China. According to Wayson (12), the Chinese people upon arrival in the 1850s were turned into bond-slaves, cheap laborers and even prostitutes.
The implication of the multiculturalism in Canada is real today as it was many years before. Neil (53), says that events like Miss Black Canada Beauty Contest have become part of the Canadian history simply because of the existence of the blacks in the nation. The fact that the people in a white nation accepts such event since their countries is a sign that the interaction of cultures has been embraced by people from both the nations. Neil further states that the cultural diversity is real and that racism isnt in the clear all the time. He says that not all people who wear dreadlocks smoke marijuana, and not all people who do Dragon Dance belong to secret criminal societies.
Another effect due to the interaction of the cultures as written by Wayson (36) is that the Chinese became soldiers in the Second World War wearing the American and Canadian uniforms. The fact that the Chinese had become integrated in the two nations gave them opportunity to become soldiers alongside their American and Canadian counterparts during this historic war. Chinese fought in the war but defended Canada which is the country that they were living in at this time.
After the Communist took over control in China the Chinese Exclusion laws which had been enacted in North America before, were revoked and the Chinese immigrants were granted citizenship in either Canada or the United States (Wayson, 56). The North American countries especially Canada became tolerant to the Chinese people who had come into their nation. They were even granted citizenship rights into the country. The Chinese could attend school and learn alongside either white counterpart.
There was rapid assimilation in the two nations. Due to the living together of the citizens of the two nations, Chinese started adopting the behavior of the Canadians. Neil (19), says that they the Chinese learn the Canadian culture and started behaving like them. In fact, the old Chinese people called the young Chinese as shallow bamboo butt-ends because they had been so assimilated into the Canadian culture that there was little of the Chinese culture that they exhibited or even remembered. The Chinese encouraged their children to go to school and get English education and acquire jobs with good prestige and pay. Dont work like me, work in an office the parents could be heard telling their kids (Wayson 12).
Neil (26) analyzes several cases of people who thought that they were not racists. He gives a case of a man who says that I am not racist but the Chinese are the worst drivers on the road. The man says so because of the shape of the Chinese eyes that he said deny them peripheral vision. This implies that racism still exists in Canada and the generalization of all Chinese men as bad drivers on the road is not justifiable-much worse if the saying is because of their eye shape that someone thinks but has no proof denies them peripheral vision.
In conclusion, there is racism in every part of the world. Neil (23) refers to racism in Canadian as Maple syrup and in Jamaican as ackee and in Indian as aloo. He continues to give a host of other similarities in his book. What he was essentially saying is that racism is all the world and the effects are real even in todays world. This essay has analyzed the causes and the most obvious effects of multiculturalism in Canada. The causes are the starvation that was in china and slave trade that existed in the nineteenth century. The implications are a more diversified Canada and the tolerance of the foreigners through events such as the black Canadian beauty contest.
Neil, B. I Am Not Racist But Australia New South (UNSW) Press, ***.Print
Wayson, C. I Am A Banana and Proud of It. Toronto. Press. Print.
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