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Old 02-20-2013, 07:49 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,144,896 times
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Toronto is over half overseas born, and is cited as one possibly the most multicultural city in the world. Sure NY and London have more nationalities/languages represented, but neither are as foreign-dominated as Toronto. Also, it's a similar size to Toronto.

I feel the two are both multi-cultural but in different way, and in my opinion, Singapore is in a more 'authentic' way. Toronto basically has a base of most Anglo-influenced culture and is English speaking, and immigrants become culturally Canadian fast (which isn't a bad thing). Yes, I realise modern Canadian identity is based on immigration, but peoples from different countries tend to become more culturally homogenised.

Now while Singapore has unity in identity and English too, the three main communities or 'races' as the government refers to them, have had separate identities since Singapore was founded, and even today large segments of the population speak Mandarin, Hokkien, Teochew, Malay, Tamil, Hindi.etc as their FIRST language. In Toronto this is mostly the case among newer immigrants. Anyway, I think Singapore is one of the few cities which is authentically multi-cultural in that sense. There's also been a lot of mixing of the 3 cultures, but there are distinct linguistic, cultural/religion and culinary traditions/boundaries if you like.

So in that sense while more Asian, Singapore is more truly multicultural than Toronto, NY, London, Sydney.etc IMO. Toronto might have more cultures represented, their cultures aren't as living and vibrant as they are in Singapore. I'm not saying one is better than the other, but Singapore is a more authentic version of living 'multiculturalism' in that sense.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Both coasts
1,580 posts, read 4,127,697 times
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i have been to both..and although I acknowledge Singapore has an interesting mix and co-existence of Chinese, Malay, Tamils and expats...it is certainly not as racially diverse as Toronto- which is really like the United Nations. You have to go there to get what I'm saying. And in Canadian big cities, you feel that even if the minorities have lived a long time there they retain alot of their cultural ways (for better or worse). Whatever it is, it seemed very racially harmonious there.

Also, I have spent time in London and NYC and imo they still more multicultural than Singapore. Actually, LA and SF Bay Area are more multicultural than Singapore. The races may not be as harmonious or co-exist as much in California- but there are far more different races and groups represented. But again, depends on your concept of "multiculturalism"
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:29 AM
 
Location: Scotland
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Lol London has residents that speak Mandarin, Hokkien, Teochew, Malay, Tamil and Hindi to.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:05 AM
 
2,214 posts, read 3,751,665 times
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I haven't been to Singapore to I have no opinion, but I'd like you to develop on the concept of "authentic multiculturalism". I don't understand it at all.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:09 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,144,896 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f1000 View Post
i have been to both..and although I acknowledge Singapore has an interesting mix and co-existence of Chinese, Malay, Tamils and expats...it is certainly not as racially diverse as Toronto- which is really like the United Nations. You have to go there to get what I'm saying. And in Canadian big cities, you feel that even if the minorities have lived a long time there they retain alot of their cultural ways (for better or worse). Whatever it is, it seemed very racially harmonious there.

Also, I have spent time in London and NYC and imo they still more multicultural than Singapore. Actually, LA and SF Bay Area are more multicultural than Singapore. The races may not be as harmonious or co-exist as much in California- but there are far more different races and groups represented. But again, depends on your concept of "multiculturalism"
Singapore actually has a ton of nationalities, but like I said, it's more about how much the people practice their culture and how cultures co-exist, rather than just seeing different faces from around the world or having lots of ethnic restaurants. Apart from older residents, most immigrants quickly assimilate. Not that that's a bad thing, but how truly multicultural is that?
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:10 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,144,896 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paull805 View Post
Lol London has residents that speak Mandarin, Hokkien, Teochew, Malay, Tamil and Hindi to.
Yeah, obviously some do, but not to the degree of S'pore and it's not as ingrained in the culture. Singlish is actually a mix of English, Hokkien, Malay, Mandarin and even smatterings of Tamil.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:12 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,144,896 times
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Originally Posted by barneyg View Post
I haven't been to Singapore to I have no opinion, but I'd like you to develop on the concept of "authentic multiculturalism". I don't understand it at all.
Well Indians in Singapore are in many ways like Indians in India, even after all those generations, as are Chinese-speakers. Malays are much like Malays in Malaysia. None of which divides them or alienates them from each other. Indeed, it seems the government encourages the cultural diversity, while at the same time encouraging a national identity and sense of pride.

In contrast most Torontoans - no matter where their parents or grandparents are from - are culturally pretty similar. Sure some of them might speak to their parents in Mandarin or Punjabi, but overall they don't seem as much 'living communities' as in Singapore.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
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I guess in Singapore's case it was settled by a variety of immigrants at the same time and so no one group had an 'ownership' of the national identity (if there even was one as many people still saw China, India as their homes). Ethnic divisions were quite marked in the past and to some extent still are, that said everyone these days seem to get along harmoniously.

As much as anglo countries may theoretically profess a policy of multiculturalism, most immigrant groups are culturally assimilated very quickly and those that don't are generally looked on with suspicion.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:04 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,144,896 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sulkiercupid View Post
I guess in Singapore's case it was settled by a variety of immigrants at the same time and so no one group had an 'ownership' of the national identity (if there even was one as many people still saw China, India as their homes). Ethnic divisions were quite marked in the past and to some extent still are, that said everyone these days seem to get along harmoniously.

As much as anglo countries may theoretically profess a policy of multiculturalism, most immigrant groups are culturally assimilated very quickly and those that don't are generally looked on with suspicion.
That's pretty much what I mean. It seems in Asia the 'ethnic groups' tend to hold onto their identities more after leaving their country of origin. Chinese is probably the modified out of all the ethnic groups. 'Chinese Singaporean' food is mostly unique to Singapore although there are many dishes common to South-East China. Whereas in the West, immigrants tend to assimilate more to the host culture. Like you said, it's probably because the Chinese and Indians were since the beginning of modern Singapore and were somewhat segregated until more modern times. Even today, some areas are a bit more Malay or Indian, for instance, but overall Singaporeans are very integrated.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
20,573 posts, read 25,637,861 times
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It depends on your definition of multi-cultural.

What has occurred in Singapore sounds like a triality (similar to a duality) where the groups in play still retain many of their cultural particularities. This does not mean there is no cross-pollination or convergence with the others but they remain more segmented than they would be after a similarly long period of time in most cities of the western world.

As was predictable, people will respond to you that immigrants and their descendants do for the most part retain their languages and cultures intergenerationally in places like Toronto, New York and London.

By and large, this is not the case and while some character traits from the old country remain (think of Italian-Americans as a good example), with every generation the links become weaker and weaker. With few exceptions, third generation children of origin X in Toronto speak little or none of the language of their grandparents. The languages and cultures of many communities appear vibrant at the moment because there is still new blood coming from the old country or implantation is fairly recent (the 1950s were not that long ago). But once the immigration tap is turned off, things drop off very quickly. Just 50 years ago there were 500,000 Canadians who spoke Ukrainian at home. Today there are less than 30,000.

That said, a city like Toronto does have way more ethnic diversity and cultures of the world represented in its population than Singapore does. Toronto pretty much has almost all them - in appreciable numbers in most cases. But these groups are all slowly converging into a single Torontonian (or Canadian or North American even) identity centred on the English language and a mainstream culture.
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