I remember reading an article in NYTimes on Jan 21/09 covering the “Nation’s Many Faces in Extended First Family.” As an appendix to this article was the great graphic below giving us a glimpse of this First Family, to demonstrate that this family has multicultural roots.
Inherent in a multicultural family arise many issues for a society, which traditionally has been so ingrained in homogeneity, both with respect to visibly noted differenced as well as socially practiced ideals. Issues of tribe, religion, language, to name only a few.
No, I am not a member of a visible minority, that is, I’d like to think being female does not put me in that category. I was raised in Canada and would like to think that multiculturalism is an accepted way of life. However, I still question whether that is possible. As my focus tends to be about language and the inexorable connection between language and culture, let me develop the Canadian problem. French is an official language of Canada, but how many Canadians actually speak French? Let’s just say, in the US where Spanish is not the official language (nor is English for that matter), a larger percentage of English speakers are inclined to learn Spanish than Canadians learn are to learn French (after obligatory school instruction).
Can we really look at ourselves within our milieu and state that one culture does not predominate? Although we are getting better, I still think we have a long way to go…
I hope this First Family will pave the way for a truly multicultural society, free of race superiority and xenophobia.