UK in Canada 2 — Immigrants

February 14, 2010

Canada is an immigrant nation. And for generations, many of those immigrants have been English, Scots, Irish and Welsh. In fact, until Canada’s immigration policies changed in the 1970s, the UK was the single greatest source of new Canadians throughout the 20th century. My observation is that immigrants tend to show two kinds of behaviour once they arrive in their adopted country: the older members of the family try to adjust by recreating odd bits of the life they left behind, while the younger members knock themselves out to fit in at school as quickly as they can.

Canada, in turn, has responded to its immigrants by promoting official multiculturalism. Long after accents fade, passports change and points of reference are adjusted to fit the immense Canadian landscape, many immigrants and their offspring continue to hanker after the occasional Cornish pastie with Branston pickle or kilt for a wedding. And a small service industry is happy to provide it to them, in-person or online.

Gotta go — my haggis and tatties are ready.

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