Immigrants from numerous countries’ existence is a part of the nascent Canada which became a sign of Canada - Multicultural. The third or fourth generation of immigrants are indoctrinated with Canadian culture knowledge, so their ancestors’ culture are revoked in their daily life. Their appearances is the justification that many people read it as their identities which confused various people about to identify themselves. Immigrants’ identities are awry because of their evident look enslaved their freedom to become a total Canadian. Immigrants propagate the standpoints about identities and announced they are oppressed by the confusion of self identities. The term “culture” often conjures up large groups of people who have activities, attitudes, and attributes in common. And more often than not, the word is used to refer smaller minority groups within a larger society. However, this article remind us that units as small as a family or seemingly monolithic as an entire nation are rich with cultural identity and experiences that direct, define and distinguish its members within society.
Denise Chong is a Canadian-born economist who worked for Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau in the 1970s. In her book The Concubine's Children (1994), she told how she rediscovered the courageous and tragic story of what her Chinese forebears had done so that she would be born and grow up Canadian.
It was the kind of story others - perhaps even she - would be told to suppress or to glorify, but, as Denise Chong argues here, only truth can add real nobility to our roots. Her speech, delivered during Citizenship Week, 1995, is a stirring appeal to honesty and courage - and to pride in the country all our varied ancestors helped to create.
I ask myself what it means to be a Canadian. I was lucky enough to be born in Canada. So I look back at the price paid by those who made the choice that brought me such luck.
South China at the turn of the century became the spout of the tea pot that was China. It poured out middle class peasants like my grandfather, who couldn't earn a living at home. He left behind a wife and child. My grandfather was 36 when exclusion came. Lonely and living a penurious existence, he worked at a sawmill on the mud flats of the Fraser River, where the Chinese were third on the pay scale behind [email protected] and [email protected] With the door to Chinese immigration slammed shut, men like him didn't dare even go home for a visit, for fear Canada might bar their re-entry. With neither savings enough to go home for good, nor the means once in China to put rice in the mouths of his wife and child there, my grandfather wondered when, if ever, be could return to the bosom of a family. He decided to purchase a concubine, a second wife, to join him in Canada.
The concubine, at age 17, got into Canada on a lie. She got around the exclusion law in the only way possible: she presented the authorities with a Canadian birth certificate. It had belonged to a woman born in Ladner, British Columbia, and a middleman sold it to my grandfather at many times the price of the old head tax. Some years later, the concubine and my grandfather went back to China with their two Vancouver-born daughters. They lived for a t...