Tag archives for: multiculturalism

Putting "Meta" in Front of Words Makes them Sound Cooler, Right?

One time, back when I was actually semi-active on Google+, I came across a rather heated debate. Someone had posted an article telling the story of a child bride who had died on her wedding night. The post was directed accusingly at self-described proponents of "multiculturalism", an ideology which, in the poster's opinion, was in the same category as "cultural relativism", which he considered deeply depraved.

Unsurprisingly, the debate didn't center around the question of whether child marriage was a horrific practice that needed to be roundly condemned in the harshest terms possible - of course it was, and no one needed convincing - but rather around the original poster's insistence on conflating "multiculturalism" and "cultural relativism". People were insulted.

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The Cultureless

I don't really consider myself Canadian.

Of course, that's kind of a lie. It does say "Canada" on my passport, so there's that. If you ask me about my nationality, I'll say I'm Canadian. If you mistake me for an American, I'll politely correct you. I mean, everybody's got to be from somewhere, right? And I'm from Canada. So I guess that makes me Canadian.

But I don't feel "Canadian" in the same way that many people feel, say, French or British or Indian (or even, dare I say it, Quebecois). My place of birth doesn't form a big part of my personal identity. The nationality of my parents takes up even less head space - I don't consider myself Italian, for example, despite the fact that my mother was born in Sicily. I've never felt a strong desire to go "back to my roots". It rarely occurs to me to care very much, beyond a fondness for lasagna and rapini.

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