What it Means to Be
Melinda R Perkins
Professor Sharren Patterson
July 14, 2010
What it Means to Be Canadian in the 21st Century
Canada is a country occupying most of North America, extending from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward to the Arctic Ocean. It is the world’s second largest country by total area (Wikipedia.org, 2010). To be Canadian means more that simply living in Canada. In Canada we stand up for what we believe in and respect others opinion. Our life style reflects the need we have to be a part of a group. Canada consists of ten provinces and three territories, five great lakes and 27 million neighbours. The extreme weather conditions, our diverse ethnic cultures, and our democratic government are what it means to be Canadian. Our ever-changing climate unifies the populations of Canada. Being Canadian is not to be taken lightly. It includes so many amazing qualities, one of them happens to be its diverse ethnicity. As anthropologist Fredrik Barth has argued, “a marker of the boundaries between groups; or as a fluctuating combination of all of these, “ethnic” – or “ethnicity” – has been a key shaper of Canadian culture.” Ethnic backgrounds are mixed which makes Canada hard to define. Every culture has their own unique qualities and strengths; in Canada their qualities have merged to become one. This new nationality created from blended backgrounds is Canadian. In other countries a lot of people don’t accept ethnic minorities. In Canada, we treasure the various cultures that reside here. The more ethnic background we incorporate into our society the richer we will be. To learn the various traditions of surrounding cultures educates humanity. The term Canadian means you have the capacity to help others when they are in need. This giving personality that Canadians take on creates a neighbourly atmosphere. In some other countries people don’t even feel safe enough to leave...
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