Real Multiculturalism, Without Discrimination
By Kang Min-hee, Overseas Correspondent
As a foreigner in Canada, I believe that this country is really amazing. There are a lot of different people. Before I came here, I ‘imagined’ that Canada is a white people’s country but I was totally wrong. Here there are a lot of “new Canadians”, and migrates. According to the 2006 Census of Canada, around 20% of Canadians were born in other countries and 5% of residents are not Canadian. Especially here, in British Columbia, there are a lot of Asians, Chinese, Filipinos and so on. I can easily meet people who have other cultural backgrounds from many different regions. Canadian people do not mind it because they are just friends or neighbors. Where they are from definitely has no meaning. Ethnic or regional minority does not mean they are weak and it is not a big issue here.
Sarah Ryu, a Korean-Canadian, and a University of British Columbia (UBC) Student, said, “We have a lot of international students but I don’t know how many they are”. “If I was not a good student and not good at English, I could experience difficulties but it’s not discrimination. However, here, in Canada, English is necessary to study and to get by as a university student. Also, regional difference is not a big deal”, she said. When you visit the UBC homepage for international students, there is some information about discrimination and harassment. It explains what discrimination or harassment means. Also, there are some ways to deal with these problems, too.
As a student reporter of the Chonnam Tribune I have met some international students at Chonnam National University. Sadly, one of them said, “I sometimes feel discrimination in Korea and I can’t understand them. But I don’t know how to deal with this situation.” At that time, unfortunately, I could not say anything to him. Many said, “We need to change our thinking.” But who does now? Is there any rule or punishment? It’s not a personal problem. The University Administration has a responsibility to solve this problem, too, at least in the university. Our university has many international students and the number is growing now. I know Korea and Canada are totally different. Korea has its own cultural base but it can’t be a reason to discriminate people. Every ethnicity, region and language is important and they must be harmonious with each other.