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Multiculturalism in Canada: Critical Analysis

Critical Essay

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Multiculturalism in Canada: Critical Analysis

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Multiculturalism in Canada: Critical Analysis

Multiculturalism is a fundamental factor that has shaped the lives of Canadians. Canada has been categorized as one of the nations that have promoted multicultur­alism over the years. The concept entails respecting the diversity that exists in the Canadian population. MacDonald noted that multiculturalism relates to the creation of policies that are grounded on a worldview of their communities. Since the 1960s, several critics have addressed the topic of Canadian multiculturalism. The trend is attributed to the fact that cases of formal inequality and discrimination have been reported in the country despite the existence of multicultural policies. Furthermore, MacDonald noted that even though the sui generis rights of the Aboriginals have been recognized, significant levels of political, social, and economic inequalities still exist. The challenges affect both the settler populations and the aboriginal community. The differences notwithstanding, multiculturalism is a factor that significantly affects the lives of immigrants in Canada.

I was born in India and later on moved to Canada. India is a country with unique culture, religion, and language. It also differs from other states around the world in terms of architecture, food, and music. When I arrived to Canada, the thought of living in a multicultural society was overwhelming. I looked forward to living in favorable conditions where I could interact with people from different parts of the world. The government has always held that there is a diverse society in Canada that is characterized by unique ethnic, linguistic, and cultural mix. Also, it is a populace that is guided by the belief that all citizens are equal and they can work together irrespective of their backgrounds to develop the country and improve their wellbeing. These beliefs have helped in creating a diverse society in which people respect the cultures and views of each other no matter what the background of a person is.

Once people get to Canada, the differences between their native countries and the new home become apparent. My experience in the healthcare sector, for instance, has made me realize that the idea of multiculturalism has significantly improved the wellbeing of immigrants. Canada offers high quality care to all citizens, and my experience as an immigrant has been positive. Every time I visited the healthcare facilities, I was able to get first-rate care and interact with healthcare practitioners who understood my condition and background. The workforce in the hospitals is diverse, and it is common to find people of Indian origin also working in the facilities. Furthermore, caregivers acknowledge cultural differences and work hard to identify and respond to the specific needs of the patient. The Canadian workers understand that the cultures and beliefs of the patients may affect the care delivery process. Every time I visited the facilities, my opinion, religion, and beliefs have been respected with regard to the kind of services that I got. Thus, I realized that multiculturalism has contributed to the creation of a culturally sensitive healthcare system in Canada. In India, I believe getting such high-quality services would not be easy for a foreigner because of cultural differences and less diversity in the workforce.

Compared to Canada, Indians seem to be a society that is largely driven by competition, success, and achievement. During my stay in Canada, I have realized that members of society are more focused on the quality of life and caring for other people. In India, people tend to spend most of their time working on how to be successful and out-compete others in different areas of life, including work and business. Every family strives to be better than the other in terms of income and business performance. In Canada, I realized that people are friendlier to each other compared to India. In my early years, I was able to easily fit into any social group because my neighbors and friends did not consider me a foreigner but rather one of them. Another interesting discovery that I made is that Canadians feel comfortable communicating with each other irrespective of their positions and socio-economic background. Furthermore, they have embraced diversity and consider it as one of the factors that can contribute to the development of the country. It is for this reason that I felt comfortable interacting with the natives even in my early years in the country. In India, communication has normally either more formal or condescending tone due to the clear power structures. Therefore, a foreigner needs to understand the power hierarchies both at home and in the workplace to be able to communicate effectively. In Canada, the power structures are not as evident as in India, and I often feel comfortable communicating with people from diverse backgrounds.

The Canadian Multiculturalism Act has created a framework that can be used to help newcomers to overcome the barriers they may face after moving to Canada. In addition, it has been used to promote principles of multiculturalism, including respect for diversity, harmony, participation, and equality. I agree with MacDonald to the extent that the Canadian Multiculturalism Act has a huge effect on how immigrants live. However, it is also undeniable that non-natives can face certain hurdles that make it difficult for them to settle in the country fully. MacDonald also studied the complexities underlying the discourse of multiculturalism in the education sector and revealed how newcomers can overcome discrimination. This research has led the author to a conclusion that there is a need for genuine reflection and dialogue about the subject of multiculturalism so that immigrants can learn how to deal with challenges of getting used to the new environment once they move to Canada.

From the foregoing discussion, it is evident that multiculturalism programs greatly affect the lives of immigrants in Canada. The legislation has helped in promoting integration in the country and ensuring that people live in harmony, irrespective of their cultural backgrounds. In my view, multiculturalism programs have opened up the Canadian borders to legal immigrants. I was able to fit easily into the surrounding society after moving from India to Canada. However, some people continue to face significant hurdles, including discrimination and stereotyping as they strive to settle down. Further improvements are required to create a conducive environment for immigrants and enable them to settle in the new country of residence fully.

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