Re: Were falling victims to the PC virus, Letters, Feb. 1.
In his letter, Edward Bopp characterizes multiculturalism as an abysmal failure, citing the examples of countries like Britain, Holland, Germany and Australia. Why is this?
Many German towns have passed laws that mosques can be no larger than the local churches. France has made it illegal to wear headscarves in school. Yet both countries farcically pretend to have multicultural policies and religious freedom. In reality they have a strong dominant culture unwilling to accommodate new arrivals.
Then, when these immigrants and refugees cluster together to help each other, it is called self-ghettoization. True multiculturalism is not just letting people get on with their self-ghettoization, but also offering ways to interact.
As Dr. Joe Greenholtz stated in his recent column, the process of assimilation is one that takes more than one generation. With proper support, differences fade within two generations and cultural, linguistic and religious barriers break down.
As a teacher for more than 20 years, I have seen the impact multiculturalism has had on my students. No longer do embarrassed students throw away their different lunches from home, instead they form pot-luck lunch clubs where they share international flavours.
Sure, groups self-segregate by racial and linguistic ties, but they are no longer afraid to interact and share, something that was quite common a generation ago.
Our Canadian literature is full of the pre-multiculturalism immigrant experience that discriminated and exploited the newest waves of immigrants, as any difference was seen as a threat.
I love living in an environment where each culture can showcase their unique character, cater to the clientele they hope to attract and invite others to join in and discover.
If there were any signs in Golden Village that said, No English Speakers Allowed, I would be concerned, but as it stands shopping at a Chinese butcher there, is no different than the Greek butcher I used to frequent on the Danforth in Toronto 25 years ago the latter also spoke little English, but offered great product.
If signage is a safety issue, pass a bylaw requiring uniform numbering on all addresses in Richmond, regardless of the language on the sign though I doubt this is a true necessity in this age of GPS. Or follow the example of Japan, where police officers are stationed locally, know each business in their area by name, and actually help people navigate their neighbourhoods oh, but that would require a local police force that actually has ties to the community. A whole other debate!