I went to a very multicultural high-school (Joseph-Francois-Perrault) and even there we could notice how each cultural group occupied a specific spot and hung out together without mixing. This means that this phenomenon is repeated everywhere around us, especially when there is a large presence of cultural minorities in the same society.
I read an article on the subject and found that in U.S.A., they describe their country as a “melting pot”, because no matter what nationality people are, they all still call themselves Americans. On the other hand, Canada describes its country as a “cultural mosaic”, meaning that they embrace the uniqueness of every ethnicity and encourage them to be different. Perhaps the different angle on multiculturalism changes the way people think. Sure, every ethnicity should be different and unique, but it doesn’t mean that they should separate themselves and restrain from talking to others. However, Americans may try to assimilate everyone into thinking that they are all one big nation, but since people don’t seem to learn about other people’s cultural backgrounds they may have bad prejudices about people who don’t “look” American, but that’s an entirely different debate.
I couldn’t agree more with Greta Hofman Nemiroff whom I interviewed, when she talked about the feeling of discomfort when students walk into a zone where they don’t feel like they belong in. People should just GO WITH IT AND EXPLORE despite the fact that they feel uncomfortable or scared. I believe that it’s the way they will meet the most interesting people!
So even thought it’s “normal” in society for ethnic groups to separate themselves and hang out only with similar ethnicities, I still believe that people are missing out. Instead of learning to live together, students decide to hang out with an ethnic group similar to them and stay with them instead of exploring, and by doing so they construct ideas about the other groups (stereotypes) since they have never gone and talked to them on their own. It is not a case of voluntary discrimination or prejudices, but there is still a clear segregation in school. I believe that this way of thinking follows us through life and in our career-life, which is why students should learn from the beginning of their education, to think open-mindedly and multiculturally.
If you’re reading this, thank you for being interested in this project and reading my opinion!
Now, I challenge you, whoever you are, today you will start a conversation with someone in your surrounding that you have never spoke to before but you already have constructed idea about him/her. Maybe you’ll find out that they’re not like you thought they were, or maybe they will be, but you’ll at least made your first step towards being a more open-minded person.
Now get out of your comfort zone and start living and learning!!!
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