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Racial Rant

I work at an international high school with boarding. Obviously there will be noticeable differences among individuals’ habits and mannerisms. For the most part, our job is to help them assimilate and understand what to expect living in Canada as well as what Canadians expect of them, in addition to getting their credits and marks on track. Its an extremely eye-opening experience to work in a school like this but it is also extremely frustrating. Not just trying to get the students to understand why they can’t wrestle every time they pass each other in the hall or why its not acceptable to blast music late into the following morning, but also because we know we are teaching these things to them only so they won’t be looked down on or ridiculed and outcasted by the nativist Canadians. 

I understand that if you are going to immigrate into another country, you do need to assimilate enough to fall into the system. Insisting on doing things a different way just because that’s how its done back home often causes more problems for others which is just prideful and inconsiderate. But I remember being a child and having, not only classmates, but their parents glare at me because of the foods i chose to eat during lunch and the fact that i was dressed much more casual than other students. As if my family was some kind of untouchable because I was different. As with any childhood, I learned that kids were mean and whatever their parents said at home would be twisted and said at school because as any child will tell you, mommy and daddy are always right. After a while, I began to hate white people (they were the only ones who liked to point out everyone else’s differences at the time). Why were they always making me feel inferior and outcasted? I was quiet, obedient, and friendly to classmates but i was still treated like the deviant.

As an adult, I look back and realized that as this went on, I subconsciously DECIDED to be the complete opposite of what the White Americans thought I should be. I rebelled. I made the decisions to befriend the other outcasts and minorities and we embraced our differences. As this helped me with my confidence and identity, it didn’t help me assimilate as much. Now i know there will be people who judge and people who accept, regardless of race. But standing out like a sore thumb doesn’t help your case.

I had the privilege to be born and raised in the environment I needed to assimilate to so even though I resisted, it still happened. these kids, however,  are coming to the country in their late teens. I struggle with how to handle these students at times because although I don’t personally believe they HAVE to change their identity to blend in, I know that in a way they do if they want to be taken seriously. 

All we can do is educate them and hope they find a balance.

Filed under immigration Struggles