Friday, November 2, 2012

Illegal Aliens.

I will give you this, Canada. You seem to be one friendly place.
Not as in, everyday life is overly friendly. I do encounter a few rude people now and again, like anywhere else in the world. It's the overall feel of the country that I've noticed.
Canada seems to pride itself on accepting others. Not in a 'citizens of the world' aspect, but in a you want to live here, then live here, kind of way. The United States, on the other hand, I believe to be a very selfish country. Below are my top three observations on this: 
1. Canadians seem to be okay with the fact that other people want to live here, and they show it: The subway cars are lined with signs advertising immigration lawyers, immigration hot lines and immigration support. There's a sign I always seem to look at that tells you all the reasons why you belong in Canada.
Would you see advertisements like these in the United States? I don't think so. I don't know why, either. Shouldn't we brag about the fact that so many people want to leave their countries to come be with us? If I had to choose between moving to Canada or the United States and I wasn't already from the United States, I probably would choose Canada. Yeah, taxes are high and it's bloody expensive but damn it could be worth it.
2. People are okay with diversity: I have never lived somewhere where my friend group consists of so many different races and languages. The best part? All of these people are from other places and recently moved here too. 
I am going to be totally honest right now and say that I was a little shocked at first seeing so many Middle Eastern, Asian, Africa, South American, etc people. There have been times when being white has been the minority. I am not racist or anything but growing up in an environment where "the token black kid" was a normal thing (because there wasn't much diversity even though we were open to it) and winding up in a location where roles are reversed was a bit shocking at first.
I'm used to it now and I really love it. It makes conversations a little more then 2 sided. With all the different opinions, backgrounds, languages and beliefs, it makes for some interesting dialogue.
3. The different languages are so prominent: Through the course of my lifetime, I've heard many people say many times "If you live here, learn English!" Yes, most schools require some time spent studying another language but it's mostly, well almost, never practiced outside of those classes and certainly almost never required anywhere else. Comparatively, Americans know nothing about other languages.
During my (so far) short stay here in Canada, oh the languages I've heard! I've heard more languages on a morning subway ride then I think I heard living in Oregon. So many interesting ones too! And I have never heard or seen or read anything derogatory towards those who speak multiple languages. I love the idea of a French immersion school, too. Mainly because I think kids that learn a second (or third or forth) language are so ahead of their game.

The world I'm used to isn't like this. We want uniformity and everyone to be like us. But we don't see the beauty behind the different.

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