The true North strong and free multiculturalism acceptance of differences
Very often, we hear of diversity issues, differences of opinion regarding policies affecting people with different ethnic backgrounds in corporations, social settings and even politicalÂ issues crop upÂ because of thisÂ very important factor Â time and again , we hear sparks flying, heated debates and battle of words because people cannot see eye to eye on multicultural issues. (Photo: Alpha Shaw)
What is multiculturalism?Â Does it allow for integration of segregation? How does it benefit the politicians? What does it do to the society? While this is a topic that is debatable because the views depends on the experience of the person who is asked this question. for example, if we ask an immigrant, he or she may feel to be a multicultural country ,the government should set policies that allows different people from different cultures to express themselves.Â On the other hand, if the question is posed to someoneÂ who was born andÂ brought up in the country which already has people from all overÂ the worldÂ living there, the response could very well be that the policies should allow newcomers to integrate well into their new surroundings but not go to the extent of changing the culture of the native land .
For example, not long ago month of December was the time to welcome Jolly old ‘St. Nicholas” or Santa Claus. Multinational corporationsÂ would plan corporate parties and send out communication asking their staff to join the charismas party.however,as ‘holiday party”’ andÂ believe that they areÂ beingÂ politically right. There is not harm in calling any festival by what it is, whether it is Christmas, Eid or the festival of lights. True multiculturism is a mosaic where people from different backgrounds can live in harmonyÂ while followingÂ their own traditions. However, multiculturalism does not mean following your own tradition and not appreciating or understanding the traditions of the native land .while we want others to accept us for what we are, similar we should not impose our views on others. It’s give and take a Â two way stream. Think of the time when we have beenÂ to community events and had to sing two national anthems. The Canadian national anthems, plus the national anthem of the country of our origin. Many people canÂ sing the national anthem of their countryÂ of originÂ but not the Canadian national anthem or vice versa.Â This is not the intent of multicultural policies, it is rather to have people sing both the national anthems. The idea is to believe in peaceful co-existence .multiculturalism is the first step towards recognizing different ethnic cultures and accepting that the world is made of people who follow different traditions. Especially in an age of globalization, where people move from one part of the world to another, it is important to understandÂ and promote various ethnic cultures. The policy of multiculturalism is generally linked to the concepts of assimilation and social integration. generally an organization, including countriesÂ accept and promote multiple ethnic cultures for practical reasons and implement policies dealing with multiculturalism. The goal is to advocate equitableÂ status to distinct ethnic groups without promoting any specific group. For example, multinational corporations have embraced diversity in workplace for the practicalÂ reasons of tapping into talent in theÂ global markets as opposed to the local market . like everything else, multiculturalism has its own pros and cons .advocates ofÂ multiculturalism believe that it is a fair system thatÂ allows peopleÂ to truly express whoÂ they are within a society, thatÂ is more tolerant and that adapts betterÂ to social issues .this creates a society that is more tolerant, appreciates and has respect for people with differentÂ backgrounds, who speak different languages, who practice different faiths .when you come across a personÂ wearing a head-scarf or turban, you don’t shy away or hesitate to mingle withÂ them. It is a better system because culture is always changing and is not one definable thing based on one race or religion, but is the result of multiple factors that change as the world changes.
Multiculturalism in the words of MalcolmÂ XÂ 1925-1965, American black leader, activist its just like when you’ve got some coffee that s too black ,which means Â its too strong. What do you do? You integrate it with cream, you make it weak .but ifÂ you pour tooÂ muchÂ cream in it ,you won t even knowÂ you ever had coffee. It used to be hot, it becomes cool. It used to be strong, it becomes weak. It used to wake you up, now it puts you to sleep.By Alpha Umaru Shaw Jr., Toronto, Ontario, CanadaÂ
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