Reconsidering Canadian Multiculturalism Through Post-Colonial Exilic Narratives
Keywords:cultural diversity, integration/invisibility, citizenship/belonging, multicultural policy
The reason behind Canada’s choice of a multicultural policy as a significant identification of its national identity remains a mysterious enigma. The focus of this paper will be on how Canadian ethno-racial minorities, especially Asian-Canadians, would question the Canadian multiculturalism in their literary narratives like the novelists, Joy Kogawa, Hiromi Goto and Gurjinder Basran. As a matter of fact, the characters of Kogawa’s Obasan, Goto’s Chorus of Mushrooms and Basran’s Everything Was Good-Bye, go beyond the fact of being a part of literary imagination to encouraging the reader to revisit the efficiency of the Canadian multicultural system in the real world. They are unable to tell if this multiculturalism really guarantees them the right to be culturally different and at the same time to be regarded as Canadian citizens. On the one hand, this system encourages the cultural diversity of the ethnic Other and this is viewed by minorities as an act of segregation sending them back to their ethnic Otherness. On the other hand, it tends to assimilate them within the mainstream culture, which is taken by racial groups as an attempt to erase their racial origins. Thus, the reader of Asian-Canadian literature finds him/herself as confused as the Asian diaspora studied.
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