Multiculturalism is the existence of people from different ethnic groups living together in a particular country harmoniously. Multiculturalism was solely adopted by the government of Canada in the early 70s. Since then Canada has been supporting different cultural practices from different ethnic groups including the immigrants in Canada. Multiculturalism is even mention in the constitution of the republic of Canada in section 27. It reflects on the freedom and rights of the citizens of Canada.
Most of the immigrants in Canada came from Asia and settled in Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary among other towns in Canada. Lord Tweedsmuir was the governor of Canada in the early 30s and he’s among the pioneers who supported and educated people on the need for multiculralism. Discrimination was based on the language that one speaks, skin color, and the class that one belonged in, that is the poor, middle class and the rich. Most of the Canadians in Quebec opposed multiculturalism because they saw it as a way of exploiting their cultural practices. They thought that one day the government will forget their cultural practices and adopt other from the immigrants. This became impossible because the highest population consisted of the immigrants. The immigrants who were educated influenced the Canadians for the need of multiculturalism through their touching novels and even short stories. The example of the writers is; Austin chesterfield Clarke.
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Austin Chesterfield Clarke is among the well known writer who emerged after colonization. Austin started his writing career in the early 50s, when he was working as a broadcaster in Canada. He has written other novels like, the meeting point, amongst thistles and thorns, storm of fortune among others. Most of his writings talks about the suffering that Indians went through living in Canada. His inspiration came from his own personal experience as an Indian immigrant and the challenges they faced in their stay in Canada. Some of the problems that were faced by them were cultural alienation, racism and among other discrimination. As an immigrant Austin has experienced many challenges from his childhood and has always campaigned in fighting against any kind of discrimination. Being a broadcaster in a national broadcasting station, Austin used the opportunity to influence people to stop discrimination and support multiculturalism.
As the saying goes, “when you go to Rome do as the Romans do”. Although Austin is not contented by the fact that he is black and still British, Austin and his wife goes ahead to adapt Canadian cultures one of them being, you shouldn’t wash your linen on public. This show how people begun appreciating each other’s culture. The government of Canada had started appreciating the immigrants and even reserved money for developing the different cultures of different ethnic groups that lived in Canada. The constitution of Canada was fair to everyone living in Canada; it didn’t favor the Canadian or the immigrants. Currently one of the worst crimes charged in Canadian courts is racism and any other kind of discrimination based on skin color or the origin of a person. Canada begun supporting multiculturalism and saw racism as a practice meant for the uncivilized. Civilization has also made them abandon dangerous cultural practices and concentrated on the important and the better ones. Canada is among the developed countries in the world this could not have been achieved if there would still be discrimination among them (Harris & Hodges 61).
Canadians have now realized that multiculturalism has bore them many achievement, even though some of the people in Quebec protested against it claiming that it would undermine nationalism in Quebec. Multiculturalism has economically stabilized Canada since it has more exports than the imports. Most nations have recommended Canada for its unity among its citizen and would like to join with other countries to be like Canada. Canada has also formed good relation with nations which are the homeland of its immigrants. Canada is an example of globalization on it’s own since it contain different people from different ethnic groups and form one nation and live peacefully as one community
Canada is among the nation with the best universities that sponsor bright student from developing countries which are mostly in Africa. This shows that Canada is not only interested on developing it’s own but even other countries that need help. This has made many people from different nations migrate to Canada to search for employment since it seems like the land of opportunities. Investors have also concentrated investing in Canada, thus contributing to its fast growth and development. Canada has showed it’s superiority in sports for example, basketball, rugby, swimming, and even in boxing. The unification of different people of different nations has made Canada peaceful country and it has not been involved in war since colonization. It has always been involved in peace making and giving funds to the affected families in countries like; Iraq, Afghanistan, among others.
Some of the best dishes are originally from Canada and most of these dishes are traditional dishes which were made by different ethnic groups. The most popular language also originated from Canada. English is now internationally known and people from different nation use it to communicate. It has also created employment for example, teachers employed to teach English, writers who have developed literature internationally among other jobs. English has also contributed to globalization by bringing understanding between people of different nations. French is also among the languages spoken in Canada and also worldwide. This gives the Canadians the ability to communicate with the rest of the world and share their cultures through entertainment such as movies, songs and even novels. Canada has also become the countries admired by tourists. This is contributed by the union of different cultures from different background and ethnic groups (Banks 68). The mode of dressing nowadays is based on fashion and in different designs created by people from different ethnic groups. Since the unification of different people from different countries in Canada, different modes of dressing have been developed and have also been competing on international market. Canada has almost been on the forefront in everything on international market.
Michael Ondaatje is also a writer and an immigrant from England. Although he was mature and educated by the time he came Canada, he also faced the challenges that encountered the immigrants in Canada. Michael has a couple of novel most of them discouraging multiculturalism. Michael Ondaatje outlines the condition of immigrants in Canada in his novel in the skin of a lion. In this novel he explains how the immigrants contributed in nation building in Toronto. He talks about the transformation of the relation between the Canadians and the immigrants. The immigrants used to be treated harshly by the Canadians but after some time they came to understand each other (Rowell 102). The united and started building the nation together as one community. For instance, if we were to count the writers in Canada most of them are immigrants. Thus indicating how great the immigrants have contributed towards building Toronto.
In his novel he talks about a man named Patrick Lewis who leaves his country that is Canada and move to Toronto in winter. He has no specific mission in Toronto and instead he only walk across the streets of Amazon like Englishmen who comes to explore the city. Michael Ondaatje has used many stylistic devices trying to explain what Patrick Lewis went through when living in a foreign country without knowing anyone (Cameron 59). He continues by narrating a story of Nicholas temelcoff a Macedonian immigrant who is employed to work on a bridge. The bridge is built to join don valley and Toronto. As Nicholas was working a nun falls near the bridge where Nicholas was working and Nicholas saves him. After sometime Nicholas gets an accident and fortunately the nun happens to be around and saves him. In the novel it’s like the nun is playing two roles that is like a nun and Alice who is a doctor. Patrick later meets with the love of his life after abandoning the business that killed his father. Patrick loses the interest of finding small but Clara dickens who is his fiancé insists on finding him. Patrick begs Clara to stop finding small but Clara become so angry and tells Patrick that he will still look for small and he shouldn’t follow him. Later, Clara meets her friend Alice who saved Nicholas. They are happy to have finally met again and Alice informs Clara’s mother of the return of her daughter. Patrick find out that Clara has been living with small. He is so angry and plots to burn Ambrose’s apartment where he has been working in a timber company. He gets injured when trying to set fire in Ambrose’s apartment and luckily he manages to escape to a hotel nearby. When Clara finds out that Patrick is in a hotel nearby he visits him and nurses his wounds and they even end up making love (Algoo-Baksh 68).
In Michael Ondaatje’s novel in the skin of a lion he outlines the life styles of people of different classes; that is, poor and the rich. He continues to explain how the poor suffers in the hands of the rich. In this novel Patrick isn’t the only one who hates the rich but the rest of the people including Clara. She says that the rich only spend their time laughing; they don’t do tough work and keep harassing their employee for not working properly. Clara says that she be glad to see the fall of the rich and watch them begging for money or even help. Alice who is Clara’s friend also passionately hates the rich and she goes on saying that something must be done to discipline the rich who go boasting with their money. The rivalry between Patrick Lewis and Ambrose Small represents the enmity between the rich and the poor. Patrick hates the fact that the wealth owned by Ambrose contributed to the death of his father. He is also annoyed when he recalls how the love of his life left him for Ambrose because of his money. Patrick hates almost every thing about the rich. He hates the way they take advantage of the poor and mistreat them only because they need money.
Finally, the people united and fought against the rich who were considered to be on top by then. They realized the need to fight against labor oppression due to sufferings the workers experienced. Patrick is seen on the forefront fighting against discrimination. He uses his knowledge of making explosives called dynamite to bomb several places in Toronto. His last bombing didn’t succeed because he told Harris of his bombing plans. McLennan is among the people who witnessed the bombings in Toronto. He was still a child by then but the way he saw people dying influenced him to be a writer. Since then McLennan has been educating people on the importance of nationalism and the need to fight racism other kind of discrimination. McLennan has been using the events that happened during the bombing in his writings to unite people (Atwood & Weaver, 89).
During the bombings organized by Patrick there was loss of lots of lives and property this shows how hard the immigrant fought to gain their dignity and end racial discrimination. This event has delayed the development of Canada as a country known for different ethnic groups. In this novel we have seen how painful it was for Patrick, when he discovered that his friend Enkidu together with Alice who was the love of his life were dead. He goes ahead and plans to avenge for their deaths. This is when Patrick goes setting his explosives in Utnapishtim but makes a mistake of informing Harris of his plans to avenge for the death of his people. Patrick is very tired of setting the explosives and he falls asleep while talking to Harris. He is woken by roars of the lions that were surrounding him. He fights them with anger and he finally manages to kill them. This demonstrates Patrick’s bravery and the love he has for his people On the other hand, Harris orders people to remove the explosive set by Patrick.
During that time Canada was only categorized as a nation because it was governed by some laws and it had a railway line. Civilization was brought by the awareness of their right which they read from the novel written by McLennan. Civilization made them see the need to fight against oppression they went through in the hands of the rich (Marquis 78). They also discovered the importance of developing their city. This begun by building the bridge in Bloor viaduct street in Toronto. McLennan in his writings he educate the people on how to use their power and wealth to develop the country and not to oppress the rest of the society. In this novel Patrick is seen as a hero in everything he done for example when he saves Alice on the stage where she is totally exhausted. He does not do this because Alice is his fiancée but for the love he has for his people.
Patrick develops leadership quality and sees the need of directing his people to the right direction. He unites the people and leads them in fighting discrimination of the rich who are considered as the high class to the unfortunate. In the struggle of fighting against oppression from people of the high class, some explosives are used to show the ability they had and how desperately they needed freedom from oppression. The war in Canada marked the development of the nation. For instance, if it were not for the war there would be no ships in the beautiful harbors in Canada. Finally, Patrick admits that he was responsible for the death of his fiancé Alice Gull although she died accidentally form the explosion of the bombs he had set. Later, Patrick withdraws the revenge he had planned against
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