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Visible minority: Immigrant or born?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Vinayaka, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    My early morning shopping trip included an interesting dialogue with a young Sikh. This is 2020, and there were waves of immigration (Canada, but also America, Europe, and elsewhere) in the last 30 years of the 20th century, and that continues, and will continue.
    I like to talk with folks, there was nobody else in the cashier's line (he's young, tall, in turban) ... so I started with ... born in Punjab, or in Canada? That was the opener. Turns out he's only been to Punjab once, family went back for 2 months one summer. Heck, I've been to India more often than he has.

    So ... here's the question ... when you see a visible minority, do you jump to any conclusions at all?
    Here are some facts about early immigration to Canada.

    Before 1920 ... Chinese to work on the railroad, runaway slaves, Japanese fisherman, Muslim fur traders from Lebanon, Sikhs to British Columbia ... all of these and more have been here over 100 years, and descendants are into 4th and 5th, yet are still visible minorities.

    1960s and 70s ... waves of immigration from India, Indian diaspora, Islamic countries, Hong Kong, Africa, Caribbean ... now into 3rd generation ... still visible minorities

    Simultaneously there's been a lot of immigration from Europe, and it continues. Non-visible minorities

    So ... there is really no indicator that would indicate the time of immigration/ Are you still making false assumptions? If you get curious, what do you do about it, if anything?
     
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  2. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    I am planning to become a Canadian.
    I expect to be asked if I speak English.
     
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  3. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Welcome to Canada. I'm not sure how that works. Are you? All I know is that some of my Tamil friends had to take a basic English test when they actually got around to applying for citizenship. I think, although am not sure, that there may be an exception for older folks (parents of immigrants, no longer working) on that.

    I personally see no valid reason for the rule unless your employment deems English as a necessity, and indeed often it is.

    One 'funny' language thing (I thought it was funny) was my Sikh computer tech guy who pronounced the internet security company Kaspersky as Casper sky (rhymes with high), and I did it the Eastern European 'skee' as in Gretzky.

    If your verbal skills are even close to your written skills, you will ace it.
     
  4. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    Do you?

    Seriously, though, it used to be easy to tell
    the ABCs from the fresh-off-the-boat Asians.
    Not obvious anymore.
    BTW, people (Asians) often assume that Mrs Revolt
    & daughter can speak either Beijing Hua or Korean.
    Waiguo ren, aka Yang guizi (whites), simply assume English
    .
     
    #4 Revoltingest, Jan 14, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
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  5. epronovost

    epronovost Well-Known Member

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    You might also be asked if you speak french though that might be relevent only if you want to migrate in Quebec.
     
  6. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Apparently I've a bit of accent, but I can't hear it.

    I was at the Louis V flagship shop on the Champs de, talking to a ( French / Asian
    ancestry).

    He immediately identified me as American.

    I imagine Canadians would too, hearing me talk.
     
  7. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Depends on which version of American you speak. Some are way more obvious than others.
     
  8. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    Of course I do - it's human nature. But it behooves me to catch myself in the act and realize that I've jumped to a very possibly false conclusion.
     
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  9. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Took two yrs of French at uni and am able to semi communicate in France.
    Vancouver is my preferred destination.

    When I can get out ofHong Kong
     
  10. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    I'm often mistaken for a Christian (by Christians).
    Really.
    I seldom correct them.
     
  11. epronovost

    epronovost Well-Known Member

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    A good choice. Vancouver already has a large population of former Hong Kong resident and they have their own organisation to help fellow expatriated and immigrants from the region to navigate the immigration system, find job, housing, provide reference, etc. That's always an interesting thing to have for recent immigrants. The only problem is that it's a very expansive city since it has a booming industry and a quickly rising population. Then again, Hong Kong is also very expansive from what I heard. I hope you manage your move in well since things aren't looking to bright in Hong Kong these days.
     
  12. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I think I've managed to stop, as my first thought is usually ... 'hmm, I wonder where that person is from, or if they were born here. At the temple I attend, I like to guess, before asking. The young man this morning didn't really surprise me. It would be more surprising if he was a descendant of a double diaspora ... like Punjab to Kenya to Canada. We have lots of folks here from the Indian diaspora. For me, the most recognisable are the South African Indians, as they have a distinctively half-British accent usually.

    African is trickier, as there are so many countries to consider.
     
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  13. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Nice town. Expensive as heck though.
     
  14. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    I have relatives in Vancouver, and I have been there. HK sure has a better climate,

    HK is where someone recently paid a million
    dollars for a parking space.
     
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  15. Orbit

    Orbit I'm a planet

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    Christians out in public seem to assume everyone else is some variety of Christian, and it bleeds over into civic life. I find it a bit annoying, but I'm cranky like that. I too don't bother correcting them because I've no urge to be proselytized.
     
  16. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I get that too. In India it really ticked them off.
     
  17. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Well-Known Member

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    I live in an area that's relatively small, but has had heavy immigration, as we tend to be a place where refugees settle. Just knowing a bit of the history can help some; Bosnians started arriving in 1997 due to war, Burmese started coming 5ish years ago? Judging off of age, you can take a good guess on who is born here(an elderly Bosnian woman, probably not, but her granddaughter, probably so).

    There are other groups of immigrants as well, and that's where its not so clear cut. One thing I have to stop myself from assuming is that a Latino person must be Mexican. While we do have a large amount of Mexican immigrants, we also have a fair amount of people from Honduras and Guatemala that have moved here. You can't always tell who was born here, or who moved later.

    We are starting to get a lot of immigrants from Africa as well; mostly Congolese, but not always. Most tend to be in their 20s-40s, so its easy to tell who immigrated, as this is a recent trend. Their children are usually born here.
     
  18. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    I may have mentioned this before. I was at the post office near my job dropping off a return to the same company a woman standing in line was. We noted that and started chatting. She looked at me and said “you’re not from around here, you’re from Newark”. Or “Nork” in Newark accent. Now, I haven’t lived in Newark in 50 years. I looked around like “ok, where’s the camera... this has to be Candid Camera”. I said yes I am. She said she knew by my accent, an accent I didn’t know I had. Weird. :shrug:
     
  19. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I've heard of American linguists who can recognise 50+ unique American accents. I think the British are similar. Here in Canada the only one I can get usually is Newfoundland. That's not even an accent, more an entirely different language.

    Sri Lankan Tamil is different from Indian Tamil.
     
  20. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    Well I’m mixed race myself the child of an immigrant mother. So I largely don’t care. Since I literally grew up around all different races, I stopped noticing skin tones years ago.

    Hilariously I was once accused by a customer that I didn’t serve her because she was of Indian descent. (I simply didn’t notice her right away at the time.)
    When my boss asked I laughed and replied in Hindi that I am a person of Indian descent
     
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