1. In your group, do the following tasks or answer the questions:
a) Try to define the following terms:
b) Is it possible to change one’s nationality/culture/ethnicity/ race/religion?
c) How useful do you find each of the terms in defining a person’s identity?
2. Many countries (and colleges!) claim to celebrate “multiculturalism”.
a) What do you understand by this term?
b) What metaphors do you know of (invent your own, if you wish) which capture the concept of multiculturalism? For example, what metaphor does post-Apartheid South Africa apply to itself?
3. Some people argue that immigrants should adapt to the culture of their new country, compromising at least some aspects of their original culture. Others argue that cultural diversity is an asset and should be encouraged. What do you think? (Be prepared to justify your views, preferably with reference to real situations.)
4. Read Neil Bissoondath’s article, No Place Like Home (New Internationalist, Issue 305/September 1998).a) What were the objectives of Canada’s Multiculturalism Act?5. “Multiculturalism doesn't simply mean numerical plurality of different cultures” (Bhiku Parekh)
b) According to Bissoondath, what false premises was it based upon?
c) What have been some of the negative consequences of the policy?
d) What kind of society does Bissoondath advocate?
Make notes for an essay in which you will explain what multiculturalism means to you.
Frankie Meehan (November 1999)