Diversity and Inclusion

Hey people,

Hope you are ready for another edition of the Canada reality series. So today, we’ll be discussing diversity and integration.

In a nutshell, diversity and integration refers to the bringing together of  people from different tribes, races, cultures and religion to form a blended society.

Canada has been described as a melting pot and is one of the most diverse countries in the world. The government of Canada encourages migration from mostly Africa, Asia, the  middle east and South American countries. The aim is to increase the general population and on the long run strengthen the economy.

A lot of Canadians welcome the idea of diversity and integration and believe it will help the economy. I remember when I first landed in Canada, i was thrilled by the warm reception I received at the airport. The immigration official smiled at me warmly and said, “welcome to Canada”. I was so happy, expecting it to be the same everywhere.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. A lot of people; Canadians and immigrants alike have still not got a grasp of  the idea of integration. One very noticeable characteristic of this are the clusters of ethnicities in different parts of Ontario. The Chinese in Markham, Indians in Brampton, Eastern Europeans in Vaughan, Caribbeans in Scarborough and Africans in North York . Is this truly integration?

This is also noticeable in corporate organisations.Employees tend to move together in groups of their own kind. It is easy to feel left out during group conversations because some of your colleagues  growing up have had same or similar experiences. In my first few weeks of work, I noticed that some of the bosses and colleagues were very careful around me. Taking care not to make jokes or even eye contact.

But do not get me wrong. I am not saying people are bad or mean. No. What I am saying is, it takes a while to blend in and understand how things work. And make your own Canadian experiences that you can share.

So when you arrive in Canada, be patient. Don’t feel discouraged or feel that people are trying to demean you. Don’t get overly aggressive. Understand that some  people do not know how to interact with people from different cultures and are trying not to seem offensive or characterized as racist.

Take part in group events. Listen and be a team player. Canadians are amazing people. But give them the opportunity to know you. It takes time.

I hope this series gives you some clarity on Diversity and Integration in Canada. Stay tuned for the next edition of the reality series. Till then, keep keeping on.

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