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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Multi-Culturalism - Where Now?

I view multi-culturalism as understanding more than one culture.  It does not mean for any one group that moved to a new country to stay within only their culture, but to be part of the new country as well as their own within reason. 

Its a balance and truthfully, its hard.

Some personal minor examples.  I am glad that my daughter enjoys both the Chinese Culture (Red Envelopes on Chinese New Years for example) and her Birthday. As well as being fluent in both Mandarin and English.  This means when she goes over to a fellow students house with a Chinese and/or Taiwanese speaking parent she makes a very positive impression.  I am glad my daughter  knows whom the Monkey King is, as well as European fairy Tales such as Cinderella.  And that she can talk to her Taiwanese Grand Parents, who don't speak English, and to my parents who are English only.




Anonymous Leanne/wenjonggal said...

I agree with you. I find it very important for everyone, including all the "white" people, who act as if they have no actual ethnic background or that they are the gold star standard norm, and everything else is "minority culture". I learned some swedish and german which were the first languages of my grandparents and wish I had learned more. We went to Scandinavian society, and visited Sweden several times during my childhood/teens. It gave me an appreciation that I am not just generic "white", and a counterpart to my son's Chinese heritage, which I try to inform him of. Others will see him as "chinese" and I want him to be able to not be completely lost not knowing who the Monkey King is, Chinese New Year, the language etc... ie to replace his background culture with some generic "North American" culture. When I was a teen, the city I grew up in had "Mosaic" where various community organizations had open houses for like a week long, in churches and such, with their traditional foods, crafts, music, displays of photos etc, as well as live entertainment provided by citizens who had that background. You could take a paper passport around and get it stamped each place you visited, and there were buses that went around. It was great to see the huge variety of asian backgrounds, and european backgrounds for instance... and whether you were Norwegian, Greek, Vietnamese, Korean, Cree, Kenyan, you felt proud of showing your culture, and it was shared in a really positive manner. I think the fact that there were so many "white" backgrounds included kept it from being "exotic" and more "sharing". btw the food and entertainment were great! (but we were kids and hated to have to clean up the Scandinavian pavillion! lol!)

February 14, 2011 at 12:50 AM  
Blogger Ray - SoCal said...

I have been thinking a lot about what does multi-cultural mean. The key to me is the word multi, which means more than one, no matter the culture. It is not saying one culture is better than another.

And where culture means shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group. From https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Culture

What I am seeing is culture is moving beyond race, but becoming more based on education and background. And with the increase in mixed race (such as my daughter), its becoming even more interesting to watch how society is changing racial definitions.

February 15, 2011 at 9:44 AM  

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