Ruptured Rhapsody

A different kind of "blog," consisting of selections from my scribblings over many years. The date of each post is the date I originally wrote that piece. So, the top post is usually not the latest post, because I continually add writings from different years to the blog. If you have visited here before, you are likely to find new posts anywhere on the page. I'll continue to add "new" posts as my time allows.

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Location: Toronto, Canada

15 June 2000

The fact that by choice or necessity people sometimes give up their citizenship does not mean that they give up their nationality.  This is why a multicultural society like Canada can really only survive if it is willing to implement a quite radical form of multiculturalism.  Especially for a first-generation immigrant, the culture of the old country, its poetry, literature, and generally its ways of being are integral elements of his or her identity.  To ask this person to give all this up is akin to asking someone to not be who he or she is.  Of course, the supposedly insurmountable objection that is always made is that a country can only have one culture, one way of being, and one nationality.  In other words, encouraging different cultures to express these differences will only increase the alienation and segregation of different cultural and ethnic groups in the country.  The reality, however, is that this alienation is an existing fact, and not something that multiculturalism has created.  Canadians reject “foreigners,” whether or not these “foreigners” adopt Canadian ways.  So things cannot get worse than they already are.  Multiculturalism has not created the problem.  It can, however, be a step towards its solution.  Education is the solution.  It should aim to increase people’s appreciation of different cultures, of multi-cultures, and ways of being.  This can be a solution both for the social problem, as well as for the individual problem of the immigrant individual who is forced by the current circumstances to suppress his or her identity.


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