Commentary | Multiculturalism: been there, done that

Re: “The irresistible scream of mutual respect” | Letters | January 28

Bogdan, I don’t see how you can say you’ve “experienced no other society in which there are so many diverse cultures living with such a high degree of intercultural understanding and open-mindedness” when a line later you mention the Indian Students Association. Could it be that this represents not Canadian multiculturalism but – oh my word, my word, my word – Indian multiculturalism?
I have no doubt that Canada is a multicultural society, or will be if it isn’t so already. Indeed, one of the reasons Indians like Canada is that it’s so much like India with its crazy delicious ideas of “everyone can get along” and “you don’t have to be x religion or y race to be a patriot” and street signs in Punjabi. (Also, Canada is partly the reason India is a nuclear weapon state, but we don’t like to bring that up.) Consider, though, that India is run in 26 languages (including English and French – nyah, nyah) and maintains a secular democracy in a country of one-billion mostly rather religious people. And although the Republic was founded only 60 years ago, this has been more or less how India has been run for the last five millennia. We were multicultural before Canada was even founded (or found, for that matter). Recognize.

As for assimilation, we have Chinese, French, Japanese, Swedish, Romanian, and Singaporean “honourary Indians” (including, um, you!) at McGill, who between them have learned Hindi, rush to Bollywood films before I do, and can finally eat with their hands like grown-ups instead of messing around with forks and knives. Who’s the Borg now, eh?

Manosij Majumdar
U3 Chemical Engineering


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