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  #161  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2018, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by kwoldtimer View Post
Beyond the Northeastern elite and, perhaps, bits of the old South? I wouldn't have thought so, although things British, and in particular the accent, do seem to have more cachet among 'Muricans than Canadians.
I guess I was not aware that people in the Bay Area were more familiar with Kurosawa than Bridget Jones and Harry Potter, or that school kids in Minnesota studied Ibsen as opposed to Shakespeare...
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  #162  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2018, 10:13 PM
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Another thing is, on that topic of media exposure of non-Anglophone countries, people say places like the US and Canada deemed "Anglo-Saxon" should be recognized as more diverse and look towards countries other than the UK (or the UK and France in Canada's case) since the people other than those settler groups should be recognized (eg. African Americans, Germans, Irish, Italians, Ukrainians, Jews, Chinese, Mexicans etc.).

But having people of those descent (aside from first generation immigrants) does not appear to make the average American or Canadian care more about those places than news from the UK.

Does having a large German American population or Italian American population, or Mexican American one, make Americans as whole follow Germany, Italy, or Mexico in the news more? I don't think so to that great of an extent, if at all.

Does having a large Ukrainian Canadian or Chinese Canadian population make Canadians as a whole follow Ukraine or China in the news more either? I don't think so either.
It's an oft-contested notion in Canada but a huge proportion of culture is language-driven. Even stuff that doesn't appear to be like cuisine is often indirectly affected by language. Which why North African merguez is easy to find in any grocery store in Gatineau or even Quebec, but tough to find outside of specialized shops even in Ottawa. And Indian stuff like samosas is very hard to find north of the Ottawa River.
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  #163  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2018, 10:26 PM
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It's an oft-contested notion in Canada but a huge proportion of culture is language-driven.
That's definitely true for pop culture like movies, music, literature. Do non-Hindi speaking Canadians living in places with lots of Indian communities watch Bollywood movies at higher rates than those without? I don't think so. I think the popularity of (insert foreign country's media) in a given country is driven mainly by members of the diaspora who still speak the language, often first generation or second.

Another thing is whether or not, interest in learning non-official (or languages that are not the de facto official language of that country, since some countries don't legislate this) languages have ever been influenced strongly by neighboring locals being influenced by immigrant groups (rather than the idea that the immigrants' languages are just to be ignored until they assimilate).

I know in parts of the US, Spanish is the popular language to take in high school, but some people take German or French still. I know it's still common to hear once in a while American high school students to study German out of interest in family background in places like the Midwest, even if it's just a slight nod to heritage and not something really deep. It'd be interesting to know whether having a large population of speakers of a language influence non-native speakers or their kids to take interest in learning them in school. I doubt the effect is large though I have heard things like how some (non-Asian descent) Australians take Asian languages as their language requirement because Australia does a lot of trade with Asia and is in the Asia-Pacific region.
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  #164  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2018, 10:36 PM
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That's definitely true for pop culture like movies, music, literature. .
It also goes deeper than that, and extends to stuff like the nursery rhymes you sing to your kids, personal space and relationships and interpersonal contacts, high culture, etc.
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  #165  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2018, 10:37 PM
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It's an oft-contested notion in Canada but a huge proportion of culture is language-driven. Even stuff that doesn't appear to be like cuisine is often indirectly affected by language. Which why North African merguez is easy to find in any grocery store in Gatineau or even Quebec, but tough to find outside of specialized shops even in Ottawa. And Indian stuff like samosas is very hard to find north of the Ottawa River.
Language is often also a strong deal-breaker for whether or not homeland countries see their emigrant/diaspora communities as "one of them".

I know many American and Canadians of various ethnic backgrounds who have told me that traveling to their ancestral country while knowing the language versus not knowing it is like night and day. Many people say that speaking and understanding some of the language, even if not very well, is much better than totally not, in terms of being seen as if not a local, a long-distance returnee member of the community, versus just another foreigner or tourist, albeit one that happens to share the surnames and facial features of the local populace.

I hear places like Italy and China feel strongly disconnected from their diasporas once they realize they're no longer fluent in the language and are only monolingual English speakers.
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  #166  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2018, 10:46 PM
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It also goes deeper than that, and extends to stuff like the nursery rhymes you sing to your kids, personal space and relationships and interpersonal contacts, high culture, etc.
There's some evidence from psychological studies, that some young children may pick a person's spoken language over racial appearance as the marker of identity, prior to later socialization. Though I don't have enough background in this field to know how strong or general these studies are, or how applicable they are to everyone.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28542847

https://news.uchicago.edu/article/20...young-children
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  #167  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2018, 3:00 PM
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(...)
I hear places like Italy and China feel strongly disconnected from their diasporas once they realize they're no longer fluent in the language and are only monolingual English speakers.
Just like Quebeckers feel totally disconnected from Americans and Canadians who have French-Canadien ancestry and / or surnames but don't speak a word of French.
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  #168  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 1:04 AM
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Come to Austraila if you want to talk about a nation's media being ''obsessed" with the UK. Canada isn't as infatuated nearly as much.

But regardless, I'd rather our media be obsessed with the UK as opposed to that crap we are attached to the south. We are a Commonwealth country; let keep with our Commonwealth roots. If anything, we should be up in arm about the amount of Yankee influence that has plagued this country. Seriously, who wants to be like them anymore?

Bring on CANZUK.
The argument that we should retreat back to our colonial relationships doesn't mesh with modern Canada. We're a multi-cultural state and haven't been a 'British' country for many many decades.

Lots of people seem to think the world has 2 solitudes: American or British. Reducing influence by one doesn't automatically mean one becomes more like the other. We need not gravitate to either. It's time to accept that we're a strong independent nation and shake the habit of seeing the world as either British or American.

There are 200+ nations in the world. I'd like to know what's going on in these places instead of incessant news about Trump and what Kate Middleton is wearing. CANZUK? No thank you. I'd be more interested in CANAMEX.
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  #169  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 1:14 AM
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Canada, for the most part, started out as an extension of Britain. The most fundamental aspects of our society - language, culture, religions, institutions - are all derived from Britain. It has nothing to do with "Anglo-Saxon stock" or ethnicity. Those of us who aren't of Anglo-Saxon stock are just as affected by the British roots of our country as those who are. These are fundamental things that will always tie us to them and always make them a bigger part of our consciousness than most other countries. It's the same way with the way Western culture pays more attention to ancient Greece and Rome than other civilizations of that era that were similarly dominant, like the Persians, Arabs or Chinese. This is never going to change regardless of how much Anglo-Saxon stock there is.
I agree with this but disagree that it's our destiny for things to remain the same forever. Canada is just a few decades into its birth as a multi-cultural state. Our culture, traditions, structure are in a continual state of flux. The idea that they are set in stone and won't change is unrealistic. 150 years from now, we might be majority Asian-Canadian. I honestly wouldn't care if Mandarin became the language of day to day life. Canada should be what Canadians deem it should be. It's what makes this country dynamic, vibrant, and continually current/relevant.

Change is unsettling to many people but these things happen slowly. If a Mandarin Canada in 150 years sounds awful to many of us it really doesn't matter. We'll all be long dead.
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  #170  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 2:45 AM
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150 years from now, we might be majority Asian-Canadian. I honestly wouldn't care if Mandarin became the language of day to day life. Canada should be what Canadians deem it should be. It's what makes this country dynamic, vibrant, and continually current/relevant.
If this is a Mandarin-speaking country in 150 years time, then the territory in which we currently live will not be known as "Canada". In the intervening time between now and then, something violent and quite possibly genocidal will have had to transpire, because the majority linguistic group of a nation state generally don't give up their language without a fight.
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  #171  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 3:33 AM
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The argument that we should retreat back to our colonial relationships doesn't mesh with modern Canada. We're a multi-cultural state and haven't been a 'British' country for many many decades.

Lots of people seem to think the world has 2 solitudes: American or British. Reducing influence by one doesn't automatically mean one becomes more like the other. We need not gravitate to either. It's time to accept that we're a strong independent nation and shake the habit of seeing the world as either British or American.

There are 200+ nations in the world. I'd like to know what's going on in these places instead of incessant news about Trump and what Kate Middleton is wearing. CANZUK? No thank you. I'd be more interested in CANAMEX.
Things have never evolved in any other way in Canada. As they say, nature abhors a vacuum.

Every time there has been a hole to be filled in Canada as a result of British or Canadian influences receding, it's U.S. stuff that fills the hole every single time.
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  #172  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 3:35 AM
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Just like Quebeckers feel totally disconnected from Americans and Canadians who have French-Canadien ancestry and / or surnames but don't speak a word of French.
Yes that is very true. It's quite odd to us for example to see people who speak no French be involved and active in Franco-American associations. You'd obviously never see that here, although I suppose that's the point that the community down there is at in its evolution
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  #173  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 3:42 AM
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If this is a Mandarin-speaking country in 150 years time, then the territory in which we currently live will not be known as "Canada". In the intervening time between now and then, something violent and quite possibly genocidal will have had to transpire, because the majority linguistic group of a nation state generally don't give up their language without a fight.
I think we both know he's just using Mandarin as an example but I agree. One would need to have some kind of demographic invasion in order to bring about such a change.At the moment Canada is only about 5% Chinese and not all of these speak Mandarin anyway. Many speak other languages and even many kids of Mandarin speaking parents speak only English.
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  #174  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 4:27 AM
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Yes that is very true. It's quite odd to us for example to see people who speak no French be involved and active in Franco-American associations. You'd obviously never see that here, although I suppose that's the point that the community down there is at in its evolution
I never thought about this but it's kind of interesting. Even here in Vancouver, which is barely more "French" than most American cities, I am only aware of Francophone cultural groups that revolve around speaking French. There is little or no French culture or ancestry stuff. There are other groups for, say, Ukrainians which are as far as I can tell much more based around ethnic heritage than language. Many of these groups also have religious connotations. Maybe there was a time when certain Catholic churches played a role like this for French Canadians in cities like Vancouver.

I implicitly tend to think of "French background" as being about language or maybe place of birth. Having a French last name is not interesting, because it is so common in Canada and because so many people in that category are fully assimilated to English-speaking culture. The idea of somebody doing the Italian thing but with a French theme seems very silly. As far as I know it does not happen.
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  #175  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 4:51 AM
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Things have never evolved in any other way in Canada. As they say, nature abhors a vacuum.

Every time there has been a hole to be filled in Canada as a result of British or Canadian influences receding, it's U.S. stuff that fills the hole every single time.
Well, (Anglo-) Canada has tried to fill the hole with "multiculturalism" or the idea that all immigrant cultures are equally Canadian, according to our national mythos, but while bandied around from elementary school classrooms to national media, it still doesn't really work as a foil in deflecting our similarity with the US, despite all the talk, well at least not that I've seen so far.

If we (Anglo-) Canadians really walked the walk about multiculturalism (and all cultures equally acceptable as Canadian when brought over here) versus the American melting pot, we would not put Hollywood on a pedestal over say, Bollywood or Nollywood. Clearly not the case. Most Canadians also think of "making it" when Americans notice us (eg. the idea of TIFF as a launching pad to the Oscars).

If Canadians really wanted to use "multiculturalism" to distinguish ourselves from our southern neighbors, we'd see an immigrant fresh off the plane from Lagos or Hanoi as equally "Canadian" as an immigrant fresh off the bus from Nashville or Portland. Yet, in fact, despite how much we define ourselves as "not-American", funny thing if the immigrant from Lagos or Hanoi starts acting more like the immigrant from Nashville or Portland or eventually assimilates to the culture of the latter, we still start to see him or her as being more "Canadian" than if he or she kept their home culture within Canada! That shouldn't happen if we defined ourselves as "not American" and also a mosaic not a "melting pot", which shows a lot of denial of US-Canada similarities and playing up of the influence of non-western culture in Canada is all bluster.

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Yes that is very true. It's quite odd to us for example to see people who speak no French be involved and active in Franco-American associations. You'd obviously never see that here, although I suppose that's the point that the community down there is at in its evolution
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I never thought about this but it's kind of interesting. Even here in Vancouver, which is barely more "French" than most American cities, I am only aware of Francophone cultural groups that revolve around speaking French. There is little or no French culture or ancestry stuff. There are other groups for, say, Ukrainians which are as far as I can tell much more based around ethnic heritage than language. Many of these groups also have religious connotations. Maybe there was a time when certain Catholic churches played a role like this for French Canadians in cities like Vancouver.

I implicitly tend to think of "French background" as being about language. You have it to the extent that you speak French. Having a French last name is not interesting, because it is so common in Canada and because so many people in that category are fully assimilated to English-speaking culture. The idea of somebody doing the Italian thing but with a French theme seems very silly.

Another thing that happens here is that people conflate French Canadian stuff and French stuff. It took me a while to remember to interpret "French" here to mean vague association with French language or derived culture rather than "born in France".
How common is it for ethnic organizations to totally disregard language ties and focus on cultural attributes without needing to think you need to learn the language to be "one of us" at all?

I think you'd miss out on a lot of ties to the (non English-speaking) ancestral country if you lack language connections (I mean, do these associations watch/read or discuss the "old country" media, unless you have some members translate and discuss in English or something), but if you just think of these clubs as more "meetups for people who share the same genealogy" kind of thing, or members of a shared church or religious group or something (if the service is acceptably conducted in English), then I can see how language becomes less important.
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  #176  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 5:29 AM
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Change is unsettling to many people but these things happen slowly. If a Mandarin Canada in 150 years sounds awful to many of us it really doesn't matter. We'll all be long dead.
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If this is a Mandarin-speaking country in 150 years time, then the territory in which we currently live will not be known as "Canada". In the intervening time between now and then, something violent and quite possibly genocidal will have had to transpire, because the majority linguistic group of a nation state generally don't give up their language without a fight.
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I think we both know he's just using Mandarin as an example but I agree. One would need to have some kind of demographic invasion in order to bring about such a change.At the moment Canada is only about 5% Chinese and not all of these speak Mandarin anyway. Many speak other languages and even many kids of Mandarin speaking parents speak only English.
150 years ago, Mandarin wasn't even the national language of China yet (it was chosen as official language in 1911, after the overthrow of the Qing dynasty, the last dynasty), and did not outnumber the other major Chinese languages and dialects yet.

http://blog.globalizationpartners.co...nd-taiwan.aspx

If I recall the Canadian census stats correctly, only recently (probably only in the 21st century even) did more Chinese Canadians speak Mandarin than Cantonese.
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  #177  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 2:50 PM
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How common is it for ethnic organizations to totally disregard language ties and focus on cultural attributes without needing to think you need to learn the language to be "one of us" at all?

I think you'd miss out on a lot of ties to the (non English-speaking) ancestral country if you lack language connections (I mean, do these associations watch/read or discuss the "old country" media, unless you have some members translate and discuss in English or something), but if you just think of these clubs as more "meetups for people who share the same genealogy" kind of thing, or members of a shared church or religious group or something (if the service is acceptably conducted in English), then I can see how language becomes less important.
I'd say the vast majority of long established ethnic communities in North America (for whom the immigration tap has been reduced to a trickle or completely shut off) have already transitioned to a non-linguistic identity and culture.

Ties with the old country become less important with each generation, and often you see media produced for and by them on this side of the ocean either bilingual or in English only to reflect the community's reality. I have the Toronto multicultural megastation CHIN (hello Johnny Lombardi) on my cable package and the variety programming for certain communities (especially the older ones) often features a host speaking in the old country's language and another speaking in English. They often banter back and forth in both languages.

My city has a decently large Portuguese community (massively from the Açores islands, so basically everyone knows each other). Through friends I've occasionally been at the events they run and they generally take place in a mix of Portuguese and French. If someone gets up on stage and sings it will be in Portuguese but if someone addresses the crowd with thank yous, etc. it most definitely won't be only in Portuguese. Most of the kids who of the same generation as mine speak little to no Portuguese. Especially those who only have one Portuguese parent.
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  #178  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 2:53 PM
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150 years ago, Mandarin wasn't even the national language of China yet (it was chosen as official language in 1911, after the overthrow of the Qing dynasty, the last dynasty), and did not outnumber the other major Chinese languages and dialects yet.

http://blog.globalizationpartners.co...nd-taiwan.aspx

If I recall the Canadian census stats correctly, only recently (probably only in the 21st century even) did more Chinese Canadians speak Mandarin than Cantonese.
That reflects the shutting down of the immigration pipeline from Hong Kong (primarily Cantonese) prior to the handover of the colony from the UK to China, and people realizing that it wasn't so bad over there after all.

In the absence of that specific factor immigration from China to Canada transitioned to sourcing from a broader geographic area, and that means more Mandarin speakers.
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  #179  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 3:57 PM
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Well, (Anglo-) Canada has tried to fill the hole with "multiculturalism" or the idea that all immigrant cultures are equally Canadian, according to our national mythos, but while bandied around from elementary school classrooms to national media, it still doesn't really work as a foil in deflecting our similarity with the US, despite all the talk, well at least not that I've seen so far.

If we (Anglo-) Canadians really walked the walk about multiculturalism (and all cultures equally acceptable as Canadian when brought over here) versus the American melting pot, we would not put Hollywood on a pedestal over say, Bollywood or Nollywood. Clearly not the case. Most Canadians also think of "making it" when Americans notice us (eg. the idea of TIFF as a launching pad to the Oscars).

If Canadians really wanted to use "multiculturalism" to distinguish ourselves from our southern neighbors, we'd see an immigrant fresh off the plane from Lagos or Hanoi as equally "Canadian" as an immigrant fresh off the bus from Nashville or Portland. Yet, in fact, despite how much we define ourselves as "not-American", funny thing if the immigrant from Lagos or Hanoi starts acting more like the immigrant from Nashville or Portland or eventually assimilates to the culture of the latter, we still start to see him or her as being more "Canadian" than if he or she kept their home culture within Canada! That shouldn't happen if we defined ourselves as "not American" and also a mosaic not a "melting pot", which shows a lot of denial of US-Canada similarities and playing up of the influence of non-western culture in Canada is all bluster.


.
The standard talking points on this is that multiculturalism allows Canada to pick from the best the world has to offer in terms of culture. But with the possible exception of cuisine the evidence does not support this.

It reminds me of when I was in university in Ontario in a Canadian Studies class, the professor threw a bunch of cultural stats at us. One of the stats that stood out was how francophone Canadians consumed Canadian (read = Quebec) entertainment programming on TV in a proportion of something like 85%. The stats were divided into Canada vs. foreign programming. The figure for the rest of Canada showed that "foreign" programming dominated to the tune of something like 97%.

Quite a few of my classmates had a field day with this figure, proclaiming that this was proof that Quebec was inward-looking and not open to the world, and that Anglo-Canadians were more worldly and global-minded. That is, until the professor told them that the 97% foreign content was basically all American stuff. He then asked them if they thought watching Roseanne and Baywatch really made people more wordly than watching La Petite Vie. Crickets.
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Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 4:04 PM
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The standard talking points on this is that multiculturalism allows Canada to pick from the best the world has to offer in terms of culture. But with the possible exception of cuisine the evidence does not support this.

It reminds me of when I was in university in Ontario in a Canadian Studies class, the professor threw a bunch of cultural stats at us. One of the stats that stood out was how francophone Canadians consumed Canadian (read = Quebec) entertainment programming on TV in a proportion of something like 85%. The stats were divided into Canada vs. foreign programming. The figure for the rest of Canada showed that "foreign" programming dominated to the tune of something like 97%.

Quite a few of my classmates had a field day with this figure, proclaiming that this was proof that Quebec was inward-looking and not open to the world, and that Anglo-Canadians were more worldly and global-minded. That is, until the professor told them that the 97% foreign content was basically all American stuff. He then asked them if they thought watching Roseanne and Baywatch really made people more wordly than watching La Petite Vie. Crickets.
Is it? That's a new one to me.
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