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  #281  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2014, 4:32 AM
geotag277 geotag277 is offline
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Originally Posted by saffronleaf View Post
What a silly argument.

1. In my opinion, trying to be tolerant is far better than being xenophobic, nationalistic, and exclusionary like many other places in the world, including some parts of Canada.

2. It's utterly outrageous to suggest that a woman wearing a burqa in hot weather does not actually want to wear a burqa. Yes, a burqa in hot weather might be uncomfortable. However, people forego comforts all the time if they believe in some higher ideals. It is conceivable that the woman feels her relationship to her God and her devotion to lead a modest life outweighs the temporary discomforts attendant to wearing lots of clothing in hot weather.

Hell, there are times when I would feel more comfortable in hot weather without wearing a shirt, but I nevertheless wear a shirt because I feel kind of odd walking around shirtless in public unless I am at an area where it is very common to do so (like a beach or a swimming pool).

I don't like burqas and I don't like religions, but it is bizarre to conclude that a woman wearing a burqa in hot weather is doing it against her will.
A pretty insightful comic on political correctness IMO:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmsV1TuESrc
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  #282  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2014, 4:37 AM
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Originally Posted by saffronleaf View Post
Something like 97% of businesses have English signage on them. Only about a dozen to two dozen businesses use Chinese-only signage.

If you find that psychologically troubling, I don't know if that's a level of sensitivity that society should reasonably accommodate, given that it will impose restrictions on others' freedom of expression and how they operate their businesses.
Many more businesses might have English on the signs, but it's often hidden away and in very small print.

What do you mean "reasonably accommodate?" We already impose much greater restrictions on business operations such as safety inspections, which working at a restaurant, believe me, are much more disruptive than asking a place to buy a new sign for a couple hundred dollars.

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Originally Posted by matthew6 View Post
Will to be blunt maybe they are not welcomed anyways. A poorly dressed person is not particularly welcomed in a BMW dealership. Plenty of clubs/bars that appeal to a certain demographic are blatantly exclusionary to those who don't fit the mould. Canada is plenty exclusionary in the private sphere without bringing Chinese signs into it. And who knows maybe the shopkeeper who does have Chinese only signs is welcoming to English speakers. Why not go in and so 'hi'?
Nobody at BMW would turn me away if I came in shorts, a tank top and socks and sandals. And I to be honest the only discrimination I've seen at clubs is against having too many dudes there. And either way, both of these would be trivial compared to race. I'm not trying to say that Chinese shopkeepers are purposely trying to drive away non-Chinese customers, but that's what ends up happening. If I go to Guangzhou, I would not expect to be catered to linguistically, even as a tourist. But I should be able to understand everything in my own country. Ethnic segregation, even when it's selfmade, is just not good for a city. It creates much more conflict and resentment than is necessary.
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  #283  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2014, 4:38 AM
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Originally Posted by GlassCity View Post
I don't quite follow, how would Canadian born Mandarin-first-language kids feel like outsiders? Because of the amount of English everywhere that they are unable to navigate?

If I understood the question correctly (if I didn't, let me know and I'll try again to answer) then it's not the same, because this area has English as the main language. Whether or not you were born here is besides the point; I have mentioned several times now that I, for example, was not.

I feel really narcissistic by constantly using myself as an example, but here I go again. When I immigrated to Canada, I felt like an outsider, because I was. I didn't speak the language at all, I didn't know the culture or anything like that. But I learned the language, because this seems like an obvious thing that you should do when you move to a foreign country. If Mandarin-first-language kids feel like outsiders here, whether they were born here or not, it's their job to learn the language to no longer feel that way, not the city's job to make sure they can read everything in Mandarin. I just feel that it's common sense that immigrants should adapt to their new home, not the other way around.

As far as me feeling alienated, I know it does seem silly, but the signs really do play the dominant role in that. While I have been discriminated against by Chinese people before (not being allowed to play with them in elementary school for example) for being white, it really didn't affect me. The city could be 99% Chinese for all I care. I don't know where you're from, and I'm sorry to make assumptions, but I'm going to assume you don't live in a place like this. Trust me, it honestly just sucks where you walk around what you consider your home and you can't understand the signs around you. It doesn't matter if the goods or services they offer are relevant to you, it's a psychological thing. You feel like you're being excluded from your city, and that this city is no longer your home.
Thanks for your honesty and patience. I'm sorry that you felt excluded. I too remember a time in my schooling when it felt like everyone was dividing into little race-cliques, and it became harder/different to upkeep childhood friendships with classmates that I'd never realized were different from me. Identity is a complex thing.

I'm curious: Have you noticed a change in Richmond over the years, or has it been more the less the same since elementary school? Secondly, and I mean this seriously, given that you live in an area with such a large Chinese community, do you regret learning French instead of Mandarin in school?
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  #284  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2014, 4:39 AM
geotag277 geotag277 is offline
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Language does not equal race, no one is prevented from learning any language.
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  #285  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2014, 4:50 AM
memememe76 memememe76 is offline
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Many more businesses might have English on the signs, but it's often hidden away and in very small print.
So, is this the issue of size?

Yes, most of the signs that garner the most attention feature Chinese *and* English--but the Chinese characters are certainly more prominent. But there is still English on them!

Like, is there even one Chinese restaurant in all of the Vancouver Metro that does not have at least some English on their signs? Surely, one can Yelp or Urbanspoon those restaurants, right?
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  #286  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2014, 4:52 AM
saffronleaf saffronleaf is offline
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edit - nvm.

Last edited by saffronleaf; Oct 23, 2014 at 5:08 AM.
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  #287  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2014, 4:55 AM
saffronleaf saffronleaf is offline
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Originally Posted by geotag277 View Post
A pretty insightful comic on political correctness IMO:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmsV1TuESrc
That video is both hilarious and insightful.

Railing against political correctness has become the acceptable way to express intolerance toward others.
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  #288  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2014, 5:01 AM
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Originally Posted by GlassCity View Post
Nobody at BMW would turn me away if I came in shorts, a tank top and socks and sandals. And I to be honest the only discrimination I've seen at clubs is against having too many dudes there.
Discrimination absolutely exists in many forms. It may not happen 100% of the time, but even 1% is too much. It's not always explicit. When I was younger, I remember waiting to go into a club. I'm white and got in no problem dressed in SHORTS. My Indian friend was denied entrance for having white parts on his shoes. I never went to that club again. Even the "too many dudes" thing is technically discriminatory. Can we ever eliminate all discrimination? I doubt it. We are human. The least we can do is avoid preferential treatment of cultures in legislation whenever possible.

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Originally Posted by GlassCity View Post
Ethnic segregation, even when it's selfmade, is just not good for a city. It creates much more conflict and resentment than is necessary.
With this point, I have to say I agree. Diversity (in every dimension of the word: socioeconomic, cultural, ability, orientation, gender, etc - things to do, places to live, places to work, ways to get around) is what makes a great neighbourhood.
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  #289  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2014, 5:05 AM
saffronleaf saffronleaf is offline
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Originally Posted by GlassCity View Post
Many more businesses might have English on the signs, but it's often hidden away and in very small print.

What do you mean "reasonably accommodate?" We already impose much greater restrictions on business operations such as safety inspections, which working at a restaurant, believe me, are much more disruptive than asking a place to buy a new sign for a couple hundred dollars.
What is the acceptable font size for the English signage?

I do not think that accommodating your sensitivity to foreign language signage should be mandated because the gain from that (i.e., ameliorating the psychological troubles you endure due to foreign language signage) is outweighed by the loss faced by others (i.e., their ability to freely express themselves, and their ability to operate their businesses as they see fit).

I think that following health and safety inspections has huge benefits for patrons that outweighs the burdens caused by such regulations. I think any business must ensure that their goods are safe to be used for their intended purpose. It is a basic legal principle that has huge benefits for the economy, businesses, and consumers; it tremendously reduces transaction costs.
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  #290  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2014, 5:06 AM
casper casper is offline
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Originally Posted by GlassCity View Post
There's not much of a slippery slope. Make the sign have English on it and you're good to go.



I know they're not, but I think it proves that while resentment of Chinese people exists here, it's not extreme to the point that you wouldn't allow them to participate fully in the culture. Whether they want to or not is a different story. I can only speak for myself, but I guarantee you I would be writing the exact same arguments if signage was in Spanish or German.
Takes these Italian, French names as examples;

L'Occitane En Provence
Mount-Cashmere
La Pentola
La Buca
La Quercia
Crepe Delicious

Does it make sense to have government enforcement people go around and try to figure out if these signs are acceptable. If the municipality has resources available to go inspect signs, I would rather have them spend that time working with the homeless or kids in trouble or a host of other things that provide more value to society that annoying business owners.
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  #291  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2014, 5:10 AM
geotag277 geotag277 is offline
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Originally Posted by RyLucky View Post
With this point, I have to say I agree. Diversity (in every dimension of the word: socioeconomic, cultural, ability, orientation, gender, etc - things to do, places to live, places to work, ways to get around) is what makes a great neighbourhood.
It should be said that the lack of diversity can also make a great neighbourhood. I love visiting Little Italy in Toronto and more often than not a city's Chinatown has many cultural gems worth visiting while you are there.

The lack of diversity of some neighbourhoods can actually add to the diversity of a city overall.
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  #292  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2014, 5:12 AM
saffronleaf saffronleaf is offline
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Originally Posted by geotag277 View Post
It should be said that the lack of diversity can also make a great neighbourhood. I love visiting Little Italy in Toronto and more often than not a city's Chinatown has many cultural gems worth visiting while you are there.

The lack of diversity of some neighbourhoods can actually add to the diversity of a city overall.
There should be diversity in the level of diversity. Diverse diversity.
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  #293  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2014, 5:13 AM
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Originally Posted by geotag277 View Post
There isn't much difference between music and advertising. Both are offering superfluous messages you can either take the time to understand or not. Some advertising is dense, some advertising is juvenile, some advertising requires you to understand the Income Tax Act, some advertising requires you understand calculus, etc. etc. You don't have any right to be able to understand any advertising, music, or message that is promoted by private enterprise, just like you don't have any "right" to understand all the allusions contained within "The Waste Land" by T.S. Eliot.

You are making an arbitrary distinction between arbitrary messages and worse, demanding the government get involved to sort it all out.
I guess I just don't see them as arbitrary. Hearing a Spanish song on the radio doesn't limit your ability to participate in your local culture. Signage in your community that you can't even begin to understand does.

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Originally Posted by RyLucky View Post
Thanks for your honesty and patience. I'm sorry that you felt excluded. I too remember a time in my schooling when it felt like everyone was dividing into little race-cliques, and it became harder/different to upkeep childhood friendships with classmates that I'd never realized were different from me. Identity is a complex thing.

I'm curious: Have you noticed a change in Richmond over the years, or has it been more the less the same since elementary school? Secondly, and I mean this seriously, given that you live in an area with such a large Chinese community, do you regret learning French instead of Mandarin in school?
Yeah, this has been a fun discussion for everybody, I appreciate everybody staying polite. These conversations don't normally go so smoothly for me.

I don't want to make it sound like I'm marginalized in the community or anything to that extent. I still go to the area where this is most prevalent (downtown Richmond) all the time. I've gotten used to it, and it's not like I get legitimately upset by it, but it does make me uncomfortable.

I really only started to notice it around grade 5, which was in 2005. Grade 5 was also the year I switched to a different school, so that may have something to do with it as well, but that'd be curious since the two schools are very close to each other. And when I got into high school, it was just crazy. It stayed the same throughout all of it, but it was to the point that walking down the hall at lunch, you'd easily hear just as much Chinese as English.

Not at all, for several reasons, some of which may be controversial. First of all, I was in French immersion meaning all of my classes were taught exclusively in French from grade 6 to 8, with less and less being offered as I got to grade 12. This meant that I actually became quite fluent in French, something that never could have happened taking a Mandarin course every second day. Plus the fact that it already qualified as my second language requirement I didn't need to take another one. Second of all, with French being Canada's national language I got a special high school diploma and I just wanted to be a "full" Canadian, if that makes any sense. And third of all, to be honest I felt that by learning Chinese I'd be acknowledging the fact that they were taking over the city and I needed to conform to them now to get an edge. I promise that's not as racist as it sounds. At the end of the day, French just interested me the most.
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  #294  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2014, 5:21 AM
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Originally Posted by RyLucky View Post
Discrimination absolutely exists in many forms. It may not happen 100% of the time, but even 1% is too much. It's not always explicit. When I was younger, I remember waiting to go into a club. I'm white and got in no problem dressed in SHORTS. My Indian friend was denied entrance for having white parts on his shoes. I never went to that club again. Even the "too many dudes" thing is technically discriminatory. Can we ever eliminate all discrimination? I doubt it. We are human. The least we can do is avoid preferential treatment of cultures in legislation whenever possible.
I'm really sorry to hear that. I have a lot of minority friends, Chinese, Indian, Black, Mexican, you name it. Not once have we ever had a hard time getting into a club. If a situation like that happened to us I definitely wouldn't be going back either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saffronleaf View Post
What is the acceptable font size for the English signage?

I do not think that accommodating your sensitivity to foreign language signage should be mandated because the gain from that (i.e., ameliorating the psychological troubles you endure due to foreign language signage) is outweighed by the loss faced by others (i.e., their ability to freely express themselves, and their ability to operate their businesses as they see fit).

I think that following health and safety inspections has huge benefits for patrons that outweighs the burdens caused by such regulations. I think any business must ensure that their goods are safe to be used for their intended purpose. It is a basic legal principle that has huge benefits for the economy, businesses, and consumers; it tremendously reduces transaction costs.
Even just 50/50 would be fine. I don't really see having to have English on your sign as "the loss of one's ability to freely express themselves." It really is not that hard, and it would go a long way in making Richmond feel more inclusive to Whites.
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  #295  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2014, 5:21 AM
saffronleaf saffronleaf is offline
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Yeah, this has been a fun discussion for everybody, I appreciate everybody staying polite. These conversations don't normally go so smoothly for me.

I don't want to make it sound like I'm marginalized in the community or anything to that extent. I still go to the area where this is most prevalent (downtown Richmond) all the time. I've gotten used to it, and it's not like I get legitimately upset by it, but it does make me uncomfortable.

I really only started to notice it around grade 5, which was in 2005. Grade 5 was also the year I switched to a different school, so that may have something to do with it as well, but that'd be curious since the two schools are very close to each other. And when I got into high school, it was just crazy. It stayed the same throughout all of it, but it was to the point that walking down the hall at lunch, you'd easily hear just as much Chinese as English.

Not at all, for several reasons, some of which may be controversial. First of all, I was in French immersion meaning all of my classes were taught exclusively in French from grade 6 to 8, with less and less being offered as I got to grade 12. This meant that I actually became quite fluent in French, something that never could have happened taking a Mandarin course every second day. Plus the fact that it already qualified as my second language requirement I didn't need to take another one. Second of all, with French being Canada's national language I got a special high school diploma and I just wanted to be a "full" Canadian, if that makes any sense. And third of all, to be honest I felt that by learning Chinese I'd be acknowledging the fact that they were taking over the city and I needed to conform to them now to get an edge. I promise that's not as racist as it sounds. At the end of the day, French just interested me the most.
1. This has been a great discussion. Thanks.

2. This is not some type of story meant to one-up you, but I just wanted to share my personal experience. I grew up in an ethnic enclave in the GTA, where the majority of people were Punjabi or White. I'm of Indian origin, but not Punjabi. High school kind of sucked, because I had to choose between two distinct cliques, the Punjabi clique and the White clique. For whatever reasons, I ended up with the Punjabi clique, and I really disliked it. To be frank, White people were more accepting than the Punjabis, but to some extent choosing cliques isn't an entirely rational choice. You make a few close friends and then you kind of get pulled into their wider network. I guess I had a few more close friends on the Punjabi side.

I don't know, just wanted to share my experience of feeling somewhat alienated in high school. Although, overall, I had a blast because I just tried to focus on the few close friendships I had.
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  #296  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2014, 5:21 AM
geotag277 geotag277 is offline
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Originally Posted by GlassCity View Post
I guess I just don't see them as arbitrary. Hearing a Spanish song on the radio doesn't limit your ability to participate in your local culture. Signage in your community that you can't even begin to understand does.
Not understanding music does nothing to exclude people culturally while not understanding an advertisement does, are you kidding me? If you don't know the words to a song, you are excluded far more, at a cultural level, than not understanding some random advertisement. Sure, you can appreciate the harmonies, but you aren't getting the entire *cultural* message without the lyrics.

Music is frequently synonymous with culture. Advertisements? Apparently only in this thread.
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  #297  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2014, 5:21 AM
geotag277 geotag277 is offline
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Originally Posted by saffronleaf View Post
There should be diversity in the level of diversity. Diverse diversity.
Indeed, moderation is ideal, but only in moderation.
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  #298  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2014, 5:23 AM
saffronleaf saffronleaf is offline
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Originally Posted by GlassCity View Post
I'm really sorry to hear that. I have a lot of minority friends, Chinese, Indian, Black, Mexican, you name it. Not once have we ever had a hard time getting into a club. If a situation like that happened to us I definitely wouldn't be going back either.
This happens a lot, at least in two Canadian cities I've lived in quite a bit -- Toronto and Calgary.
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  #299  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2014, 5:31 AM
memememe76 memememe76 is offline
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It really is not that hard, and it would go a long way in making Richmond feel more inclusive to Whites.
I agree that it's not hard. That is why VIRTUALLY EVERY SIGN with Chinese Language also has English on them.

Although, even with the English on the signs, Whites apparently don't feel included in Richmond. Not sure how Indo-Canadians can still feel included, when their Chinese speaking ability is probably similarly limited.

The interesting thing is that the Chinese community has arguably done the best job of making their culture quite mainstream in Canada. Does anyone think T&T is exotic?
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  #300  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2014, 5:44 AM
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Originally Posted by saffronleaf View Post
1. This has been a great discussion. Thanks.

2. This is not some type of story meant to one-up you, but I just wanted to share my personal experience. I grew up in an ethnic enclave in the GTA, where the majority of people were Punjabi or White. I'm of Indian origin, but not Punjabi. High school kind of sucked, because I had to choose between two distinct cliques, the Punjabi clique and the White clique. For whatever reasons, I ended up with the Punjabi clique, and I really disliked it. To be frank, White people were more accepting than the Punjabis, but to some extent choosing cliques isn't an entirely rational choice. You make a few close friends and then you kind of get pulled into their wider network. I guess I had a few more close friends on the Punjabi side.

I don't know, just wanted to share my experience of feeling somewhat alienated in high school. Although, overall, I had a blast because I just tried to focus on the few close friendships I had.
Interesting. In my experience Chinese kids were the only ones to separate themselves, and obviously I don't mean all of them. Everybody else interacted with everybody and there were few ethnic divisions within a school. It existed in the larger region in terms of gangs and just plain racism, but not so much in small communities like schools.

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Originally Posted by geotag277 View Post
Not understanding music does nothing to exclude people culturally while not understanding an advertisement does, are you kidding me? If you don't know the words to a song, you are excluded far more, at a cultural level, than not understanding some random advertisement. Sure, you can appreciate the harmonies, but you aren't getting the entire *cultural* message without the lyrics.

Music is frequently synonymous with culture. Advertisements? Apparently only in this thread.
I may have used the wrong words. Of course music is a great indicator and example of culture than billboard ads are. But hearing La Vie en Rose in a restaurant doesn't keep you from being a full participant of a city, whereas seeing a flashy bus stop ad in only Chinese does.
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