A Look at Heritage and Culture
In Canada, there is a lot of mixing of cultures; many people are the third or fourth generation of immigrants. They were born and grown up in a different society where they have few reminders of their own heritage. In the poem “What I have left is imagining” by heather MacLeod and “Ancestors-The Genetic Source (adapted)” by David Suzuki, Both of these authors feel that they are separated from their culture. However, heather still feels connected to her homeland, while Suzuki doesn’t feel that same connection. David Suzuki a “pure-blooded member of the Japanese race” grown up in Canada as a “Sansei” (the third generation of immigrants). He speaks poor Japanese and admits English is his language. The Canadian environment has diluted his relation towards Japan. Even though Suzuki carries his Japanese last name and understands that he is pure-blooded Japanese, he does not share the same culture. Similarly, Heather Macleod, a Métis whose heritage is also been isolated because she spent little time in her homeland. She used to live in the arctic “but she left so often” that her leaving “became unnoticed”. Suzuki and Macleod both detached from their roots and isolated from their culture, and yet they see themselves in two completely different ways. Macleod describes herself like “a boomerang” whose “point of origin the north” but grew up in Cariboo. Deeply in her heart we can clearly see that there is desperation of being in her homeland. She hopes that instead of “bit and bridle, Bay and Appaloosa”, she is more comfortable with “inukshuk and ulu, Char and Whitefish”. Macleod wishes to live in the arctic where her “Indian blood” is able to “find room to live”. In the fourth stanza, Macleod uses a pleasant imagery of her Indian blood cycling within her body as a metaphor for her life in the arctic. Macleod is able to be herself in her homeland, and that is where she wants to be. However, unlike Macleod, Suzuki has a hard time adjusting...
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