Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Canada: Open-minded?

Canada is a multicultural country and it is its diversity that makes it a unique and a good country where to live. It is a good example that we are constantly showing to the rest of the world. We are able to do what a lot of other countries can't do: living peacefully with different people who have different cultures. There would probably be less war in the world if everybody was like that. We are very open-minded and it is like that, that we learn new things from the others. It is our differences who make us strong and proud of our nation. Of course, it would be utopic to say that everything is perfect in Canada. Sometimes, exaggeration can create problem in our society.

People from the province of Quebec will certainly remember the ‘reasonable limits’ and the Bouchard-Taylor Commission. Few years ago, it was and it is still creating controversy. It seems to be impossible to have everybody agreeing on the same thing concerning some cultural differences. Should we have the right to carry a knife called kirpan in school for religious purposes? After all, a knife is a weapon and if it is use inappropriately it can be very dangerous. It is also a religious symbol and everybody have the right to practice their own religion. It’s a fundamental right. This is an example that brought controversy in Quebec. It seems that we do not know how to deal with these differences. It is a nice thing to be very open-minded, to know other people, to learn and share new things, but there ought to be a limit. Foreigners shall respect that Canada also has its own culture and that it might be different from their country. We cannot impose our culture to the others and it is not because you are from another country that everybody else has to live like in your previous country. At home, you are free to do what you want, to live the way you want, but you cannot impose your way of living to everybody. It’s very difficulty to determine a limit between what we should have to right to do and what we shouldn't. Since immigration is more and more important, these situations are uneasy to deal with. It’s a question of cultural identity. We have to realise that there are no cultures that are more important than the others.

Differences can bring us a lot: cultural enrichment as well as problems. It is probably why there are so many conflicts on Earth. Even though we can live some difficult situations, Canada is still a good example. We are generally well welcoming differences and all kinds of things we are not used to do. This mix of differences is contributing to create a very special culture that we can be proud to show to other countries.

Words by Hugo Coulombe; photos by Sally Nofal and Laurie

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