What Barriers Do Immigrants Face When They Come To Canada?
Canada accepts immigrants from every part of the globe, with the most important flows coming from countries in South, East and Southeast Asia, also from UK and Europe and an additional of them from Africa and Middle East. New immigrants to Canada face many barriers and challenges. Not only are they dealing with the loss of leaving their country, they must adopt to new laws, customs and cultures and sometimes a new language. Many immigrants also realize that their employment options are limited because their credentials are not valid in Canada.
Himani Bannerji the writer of the story “The Other Family” was born in Bangladesh. This story is about seeing herself “different”. The command of other ethnic groups can be difficult for other immigrants if they do not belong to the same ethnic group. Like in the story the girl realises her ethnicity by looking at herself in the mirror and decides to change her picture of the family. She changes it by making the man, woman and the child dark skinned, dark haired and the dress of the women to be traditional. In the story we get to know that the mother is worried of losing her child who she thought wanted to be like the other whites and would later reject her dark mother. It's difficult for other religions and ethnic children to know about their religion in Canada. Yet most teaching of religion in high schools in Canada has mainly focused on Christianity. I think courses like “word religion” should be expanded. We also have to deal with issues on sexuality, lifestyles and marriage within our own I think new immigrants feel the need to stick together because we are all going through the same thing. In Canada, jobs may be plentiful but they are not the glamorous jobs. We might not find the same high paying job that we used to have back home or live in an equally fancy neighbourhood or have friends who we've known throughout our childhood, but we need to learn to adopt and look at things that matter like family, new friends, and succeeding in what we want to achieve during our stay in Canada.
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Isabel Vincent is an award winning investigative journalist and author whose work has most recently appeared in the New Yorker. “Finding a Nationality that fits” by Isabel is a story about how their Portuguese family who tried to “Canadianize” themselves in order to be accepted in society. Women are often the target of discriminatory behaviour in various industry fields. We often are left on our own to find ourselves in Canada. After a period of time living in Canada, may lose his/her family traditions, beliefs and values and it changes a person. Now, I see more young teens that came here with such innocence being involved in things that they shouldn't be, just because they want to take part in the “in-crowd”. By saying this I mean bad habits like smoking, drinking and most of all drugs.
The story ‘Newcomer' by Mehri Yalfani is an example of a language barrier, a common obstacle that immigrants face when deciding to live in Canada. She was silent because she could not speak English properly and knew she didn't want to be embarrassed. They may have access to ESL support but it is frequently the case that lack of funds can lead to lower educational outcomes, lack of basic literacy skills, inability to gain knowledge and attend training programs to pursue further education. Language affects access to care for immigrant children. According to a recent graph of the percentage of the population that have problems communicating with doctors: 48% usually had interpreters during a health care visit, 70% only fully understood what the doctor was saying, and 16% did not fully understand their doctor or ask any questions.
There still exists rampant racism and discrimination because of one person who has an accent or cannot speak English properly. There are many terrible sad stories I've heard and witnessed because of immigrants who have limited English-speaking skills end up feeling frustrated. Despite all this, I believe the system of bringing newcomers here to Canada is broken.
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The barriers extend far beyond language. Canada is traditionally a service based country and professional opportunities are very small, so nepotism plays above all. If you don't have any personal relationship, then all of your qualifications are worthless. Some obstacles I can think of that immigrants face are lack of professional networks with employers and social contacts, difficulty obtaining Canadian professional work experience, difficulty of unwelcoming workplaces, costs of training to each individual for their learning skills in order to progress, inadequacy of career counselling and information about how Canada's economic factors work, insufficient knowledge of employment opportunities and requirements, and most importantly, lack of international education, training and previous work experience. Youth unemployment is significantly high than of the general population. They may face racial discrimination, language barriers, culture shocks and lack of Canadian experience that gets in the way of them entering the labour market smoothly. Also immigrants are sometimes prevented from working at a specific organization because they cannot produce the required documentation about their foreign educational credentials.
The barriers which are mostly found are as follows:
Language is one of the most challenging barriers. As an immigrant woman who cannot speak the language it is very natural for her to feel alone. Most women cannot speak the language. Most of the educational institutions in Bangladesh still teach in Bengali, very few institutions teach in English. So though a women might have a Master degree that does not mean that she will speak and understand English.
Though many women may be able to communicate in English, but even then there is a communication gap. Sometimes the jargons used are not familiar to many of us. Also there the accent problem, there are many words that we pronounce in one way, and people here pronounce it in another way.
Adoption of A New Culture
New immigrants come to Canada and settle into a new culture. In the process of settling into a new environment, they encounter new problems and conflicts between their original culture and the new culture, creating a culture clash. The conflict involves not only the internal family structure and the external social structure but also the way of preserving their own culture. When two cultures are in many ways different it is very difficult to adopt a totally different culture. Also we see conflict among the older and younger generation. It is much easier for a child to adopt a new culture than.
I believe that if we all help each other and socially integrate among other immigrants, we can find opportunities and learn how to establish ourselves here. Therefore we can make our networks and amalgamate in the society. I hope Canada becomes a country of hope, not of shattered dreams.