“A Canadian is someone who keeps asking the question, ‘What is a Canadian?'” (Layton). Canada’s identity has continued to grow since it was founded. In the early 20th century more than sixty percent of Canadians were of British/French heritage. However, over the course of the 20th century and well into the 21st century, this had rapidly changed as many more immigrants were coming from all different parts of the world for all different reasons. Specifically, multiculturalism, traditional Canadian food, and Peace is what sets Canada’s identity apart from other nations.
Firstly, “Following the Second World War, Canada’s multiculturalism policies became more acceptable and even successful in, not only accepting, but inviting multiple ethnic cultures in” (Canada’s Identity Essay). No matter where an immigrant migrated from they would always find a place where they would feel comfortable in Canada, for example, in Toronto there are numerous districts where a certain ethnic group lives with one another, such as, Chinatown, Greektown, Little Portugal, etc. This gave those who wanted the option of living in Canada the ability to, while still being able to keep their own traditions and cultures. Also, thanks to the Canadian Charter Rights and Freedoms, all Canadians have the freedom of speech, religion, thought, and expression no matter one’s skin colour, ethnicity, religion, etc. Therefore, multiculturalism is an important topic when it comes to the Canadian identity as it is what mainly separates us from different nations.
Secondly, Canadian food is an important aspect of the Canadian identity as many people argue there is no such thing as authentic Canadian cuisine. Although Canada is well known for its poutine, maple syrup, and Tim Hortons, many people forget the idea of multiculturalism and that authentic Canadian cuisine should be of a mix of all the different cultures that live together in Canada. For example, foods like butter chicken poutine, which is a mix of the traditional poutine with spicy and flavour packed butter chicken that adds traditional Indian flavours to a classic Canadian dish. Maple syrup Lassi is another example of what should be considered Canadian cuisine, which consists of a indian yogurt-based drink with Canadian maple syrup. There are many more examples of what should be considered Canadian cuisine but these were just a few examples. Therefore, Canadian cuisine is an important aspect of the Canadian identity as it represents the foods of all different cultures that live within Canada.
Thirdly, the peace and kindness that is commonly associated with Canadian citizens is another crucial aspect to the Canadian identity. Ever since 1945 when the United Nations was created, Canada has been fighting side by side with other UN countries to bring peace to developing countries whether it be because of poverty, war, etc. The first Canadian peacekeeping mission took place in 1949 in India and Pakistan, which led to Canadian soldiers supervising the Karachi Agreement in 1951, which was a ceasefire between the two countries. Overall, Canada’s contribution to the UN and world peace displays its care for other countries and the sacrifice its given as it has lost the most soldiers per capita.
In conclusion, Canada’s mix of all different cultures and religions, its diverse cuisine, and its efforts put towards world peace is what really makes up the Canadian identity.