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Old 10-18-2013, 12:09 PM   #1
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Ethnic Segregation in Vancouver

I came across a post in the "No Need to Start a New Thread" thread and felt that it was deserving of its own thread. I hope this doesn't devolve into another hard-to-navigate discussion riddled with tangents and laced with pointless personal attacks... but hey, this is Revscene. Who am I kidding?


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Immigrants failing to assimilate means more racism: Oppal | News1130
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“By failing to assimilate and by living in ethnic ghettos and ethnic enclaves, immigrants do a disservice to themselves and that is often a cause of racism,” says Wally Oppal. “It becomes offensive to other people, moreover, if you don’t assimilate people don’t get to know you. It’s ignorance and the lack of knowledge in particular communities that breeds racism.”
One could easily argue that the existence of ethnic enclaves in Vancouver has lent to the development of Vancouver into one grand multiethnic community. Having created lively hubs of international culture, the enclaves are assets for the region. Their collective richness and diversity contribute to the uniqueness of the Greater Vancouver area on indeed a global scale. That granted, Wally Oppal highlights that those very same enclaves contribute to a host of concerns including racism. It's no stretch to say that, driven by segregation, these ethnic enclaves are not only enriching our community, but simultaneously damaging it.

We often think of residential segregation -- the obvious examples being Chinese in Richmond and Burnaby and South-Asians in Surrey -- but the dynamics in our region sees the segregation of different ethnic groups not just spatially. High levels of cross-cultural interactions in social, employment, and education settings certainly develop diversity and awareness between cultural groups, but this notion, however true, is incessantly haunted by segregation manifest in common discourse. Anyone can recall with ease the issue of Chinese signage in Richmond earlier this year.

The residential segregation extant in Vancouver is often touted as being voluntary, but is it? I would go as far to say that it is rooted in discrimination.
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Old 10-18-2013, 12:17 PM   #2
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It is not assimilation. It's education.
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Old 10-18-2013, 12:29 PM   #3
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I think the only thing we need is for people who plan to live and work here is that they atleast learn some english.
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Old 10-18-2013, 12:36 PM   #4
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if they don't, their kids will...since they attend our schools, will be forced to speak our language in school, and be exposed to north american culture.
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:16 PM   #5
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Ofcourse the residential segregation is choice.. Yet it is only choice because:

In Richmond, there are so many asians, that tons of asian specific shops base themselves in Richmond because they know they will prosper there. Same thing happens with EI's in Surrey.

I just wish that before one could buy property, or in fact live here, they had a Grade 5 level of English.

Example of why:
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:20 PM   #6
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i know of people living in this country for 30 plus years. don't speak a word of english, and nor do they need to.

that's the only problem here, is that we have official languages but they are not respected when immigrants come here. i'm certainly not expecting fluency, but enough to get by at a minimum standard.
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BillyBishop View Post
I would go as far to say that it is rooted in discrimination.
This isn't the West Bank. People may live where they please. Your ethnicity does not determine where you can or cannot live.
I'm not going to speak about Native reserves because I know they are sovereign land and I don't know enough about those places to know if non-Natives can live on a server, but aside from that those places there are no involuntary restrictions on where you can and cannot live in Canada.
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by El Bastardo View Post
This isn't the West Bank. People may live where they please. Your ethnicity does not determine where you can or cannot live.
I'm not going to speak about Native reserves because I know they are sovereign land and I don't know enough about those places to know if non-Natives can live on a server, but aside from that those places there are no involuntary restrictions on where you can and cannot live in Canada.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyBishop
The residential segregation extant in Vancouver is often touted as being voluntary, but is it? I would go as far to say that it is rooted in discrimination.
I do not believe a single answer to this question exists.

I see some residential segregation as rooted in discrimination, such as landlords unwilling to rent to certain tenants.
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looking for new place to live.
on CL, found nice almost new TH in Richmond, at price I like.
call right away, "hello sorry, chinese speaking tenants only laaaaaaaa"
why she post it on CL then....
I also see voluntary segregation. An immigrant choosing to never learning English implies voluntary segregation.

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Old 10-18-2013, 09:57 PM   #9
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Although it's a problem most people do not want to be a minority nor do they want there kids to grow up as one either. I don't know how to solve the problem but I'll admit I'm as guilty as any new immigrant even though I'm born here. As soon as I had my son the first thing I did was move out of a neighbor hood he would have been a minority in and into one where he's part of the majority. Some might not admit it but deep down we don't want our kids being outsiders so I can see why people moving here stick to neighborhoods where they'll blend in.
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:08 PM   #10
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Why don't they just integrate the LPI exams into citizenship? How fucking hard is that, score a 4 or higher to get in.

It's frustrating dealing with some Chinese merchants with this "holier than thou" attitude if you don't speak canto, just because they assume I'm Cantonese.
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:21 PM   #11
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This isn't the West Bank. People may live where they please. Your ethnicity does not determine where you can or cannot live.
You know, i hear what you are saying, but years ago when I first came west, my family landed upon Abbotsford as our base. I just wanted to mention, I was not present when this voting occurred.

Anyway.

We lived in 2 basement suites in the EI part of town. We felt very welcome there, and enjoyed it. The street was nice, and both home owners were incredibly professional to deal with. Then, my sister and mom bought a house on the other side of town.

We're moving in.

"oh, where are you guys moving from?"

We tell them.

"oh well then. It must be so nice to be on the right side of town"

Let me ask you, was the other side left? or was it wrong? Maybe it was left. Great. I've thought of that guy as a racist for 13 years for nothing.

But would they even come over if we were an east indian family moving in? I kind of got to know the crazy neighbors on the street for the 2 years I lived there...I'll tell you, they would not. That street was motherfucking white, and that's the way they liked it. There were so many people in people's shit, it was unreal.

So yes, people CAN move where they want, and we don't hear of dropping property values when the black man moves in, but people still tend to stick to their own for a reason.
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:33 PM   #12
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Old 10-19-2013, 09:28 PM   #13
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It's true. This also causes people to judge you by stereotypes based wholly on your skin colour as well. I've noticed many many times at uni that, with myself and others who are (or appear to be) brown, some people try to keep their distance; especially the not-so-westernized asians. Every time people ask me where I'm from, the first thing they assume is that I am from Surrey. It's sort of sad and stupid that people don't even give you the time of the day b/c of your skin colour. It's a real trend because I have seen it and experienced it numerous times and so have others. I mean what other reason can there be for a person who is so polite, and nice to be shunned by the same groups of people? There are dozens of stereotypes for each of the different ethnicities, but it doesn't mean they apply to everyone. That's like me disregarding a native person because society depicts them as "alcoholics". What the fuck happened to having an open mind? Shit is fucked up, really.


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Old 10-19-2013, 10:06 PM   #14
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Old 10-20-2013, 02:48 AM   #15
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being chinese, the only thing i dont like is within the chinese community, there are some new immigrants which seem they are totally against learning any bit of english or even any attempt to be canadian and seem like they actually dont want to be here, but were forced to.

on the other side, i have met many new immigrants which try very hard to assimilate into our vancouver culture, almost as if they welcome that they can break free from their mold.

i like where i live, my neighborhood is as culturally diverse as a canadian model can be. my neighbors are from pakistan, philipines, china, france, poland, ireland... just off the top of my head. though we all have our own households where we live our own cultures, once out the door and in our back alley way, we greet each other as neighbors. theres no asian way of mowing the lawn or racking dem damn leaves.

ill be honest in saying i feel foreign when i walk into aberdeen. i may be asian, but ive been in vancouver long enough to lose my honger side.
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:15 AM   #16
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OK.. First off, I'm about as whitebread Canadian as it gets.

I love the multi-culturalism here in BC and several other parts of Vancouver; in fact, I wouldn't want it any other way. I grew up in Surrey, and even 20 years ago my group of buddies comprised of whities and brown dudes. Today, my wife is an asian immigrant from KL, and we have contributed two more mixed kids to the growing legion of halfies in Van(g)couver.

So; here is my take on the OPs query. Is Vancouver's residential segregation rooted in discrimination. It's a great question, but my answer is no.

I understand discourse occurs with frequency between ethnic groups - it has gone on since the beginning of time, and always will; the bottom line IMO; people regard any form of 'difference' with skepticism and fear. I don't see this as intentional, and without me trying to sound like I know something about the human brain, to me it's an evolutionary trait that contributed to our survival.

For me, I always imagine a reverse situation where I for some reason had to leave Canada and move to Beijing. The first thing I would do when I landed would be to seek out a cohort or similar background, value, religion, language and situate myself near that cohort to help assimilate in, ease the transition, and give me some of the comforts of my heritage.

To me, residential segregation is driven by choice, and is certainly not a trait limited to Vancouver. There must be a China Town, or a Little Italy in every major city in North America, and we should celebrate this.
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:59 AM   #17
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"Whitey" checkin in.

I often think about the reverse for myself. If I was to move and live in China, India or insert any country, I would try and find people who speak english and who can relate to me (they don't have to be white). I think it would be quite taxing to 100% completely adopt another culture, language and just general way of life (at 28 years old). Not that I wouldn't try, or do so. I think having that comfort that you have others like you (language and culture) is important.

Which is why I think Vancouver continues to build a ethnically diverse community, but with some segregation.
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:57 AM   #18
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having lived in extreme examples of racist, segregated societies myself i can say that vancouver is not racist. people are accepting of others' cultures and on the whole friendly and open to other cultures.

i can also tell you that while people are friendly and open to other cultures, i've never lived in a place so cold and distant from people. i'm not sure if immigration is the root or not, but the coldness of this place knows no race or colour or culture. people here are living for themselves, by themselves, not as a community.
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Old 10-20-2013, 12:13 PM   #19
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Rich immigrants don't need to assimilate. its really that simple.
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Old 10-20-2013, 12:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Rich immigrants don't need to assimilate. its really that simple.
thats true to an extent. dont know why you were failed really

they have no social needs to assimilate. they have the means to live in their ethnic pocket comfortably. especially in a place like no3 richmond. there is almost no need to operate in English (buying groceries, playing sports in a chinese dominiated community centre, buying a car from chinese speaking car dealerships). And when the time does come for a need to (such as needing some government documents filled out for you, they have the money and means to get it done for them)

and assimilate is a horrible word in OP's post to try and cooerce new immigrants to learn the culture. it should be integrate or at least co-inhabit. assimilation sounds like they want to strip them of their culture, which no one in their right minds would want.

If the government wants to play the blame game, they should be blaming themselves as well. for example, they could have implemented a basic LPI exam for all entrants as someone mentioned earlier. but NO, this would discourage foreign investment into Canada. They want their money, so of course they are going to bend a bit to get it. It usually starts from the top
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[23-07, 02:03] shawn79 i find that at vietnamese place they cut ur hair like they cut grass
[23-07, 02:03] shawn79 do u go to vietnamese places for haircuts
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Old 10-20-2013, 06:43 PM   #21
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Old 10-20-2013, 07:01 PM   #22
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[23-07, 02:03] shawn79 i find that at vietnamese place they cut ur hair like they cut grass
[23-07, 02:03] shawn79 do u go to vietnamese places for haircuts
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:37 PM   #23
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What bothers me is people who have lived here long enough to be fluent in English (I wouldn't know they were not born here) who think its cool to talk to each other in Chinese or whatever language when in a group of other nationalities. There is no need for it, they do it by choice - in ur own home, fine, be my guest, but when ur with friends, it's just rude (and not to be private either, as there are other speakers of that language in the group when it happened.

This kind of behaviour is childish, but I see it so much in people I used to article with, mid to late 20 yr olds, professionals, fucking immature as hell - to me doing that is promoting segregation
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:29 PM   #24
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:17 PM   #25
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Frankly, it doesn't bother me how many cultures there are.

Let's just all be nice to each other. I certainly don't get that when I walk through some areas with certain cultural dominance. As much as a citizen as they are, I'd love to feel welcomed in their neighbourhood as I would welcome them to mine.

I've even tried to break the language barrier in some cases but was still brushed off. Oh well.
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