Great Multicultural North
A Canadian Primer for Hosers, Immigrants and Socialists
This is a book,” says the opening lines of Great Multicultural North, “for anyone who has ever pondered what it means to be Canadian.” Read on.
It is clear that Ernesto (Ernie) Raj Peshkov-Chow (who will henceforth be referred to as Ernie) has pondered this question long and hard.
Ernie doesn’t beat about the bush. “What is a Canadian?” he asks in Chapter 1, which has a good news/bad news answer. Apparently the definition of Canadian continues to evolve and we haven’t yet chiselled out the final wording.
The good news is that because no one really knows, we all sort of slide in under the radar and can call ourselves Canadian with impunity.
Great Multicultural North is a small, readable, informative primer about “how the Canadian circle can accommodate all those who choose to live within it.” It tackles serious questions about immigrants and immigration policy with humour and wit.
It is funny and hugely entertaining, packed with interesting facts and statistics, probably drawn from the long census form! Did you know that Canada produces more comedians than any other country? Or that almost 20 per cent of all Canadians were born outside the country, second only to Australia?
Ultimately, Great Multicultural North is hopeful about the evolution of Canadians and multiculturalism. Living together in harmony and peace is our ultimate goal, says Ernie.
We all “belong to overlapping concentric circles of communities.” What we still lack is “a sense of community as a common humanity, or as a living thing, or as a part of the planet, or as an integral part of the universe. We need to expand our circle … Canada could be the first place to make it happen.”
Ernesto (Ernie) Raj Peshkov-Chow is an author and journalist whose favourite pets are peeves, who believes the Maple Leafs are holding back on greatness and who firmly believes in a new order of Canadian nationalism.-Judith Meyrick, Chronicle Herald November 2010