I sit here on the dining room chair, with some Greek salad, spinach pie, and of course, this mediterranean meal would not be complete with out roasted lamb. Then I thought how great it was that anyone is able to experience any culture and religion one wished to, here in Canada. This would not be the case centuries ago, when Western Europe started accumulating power and wealth, with what we now recognize as the race of imperialism and colonization; however, such attributes will carry on till even this date of the present, and will continue into the future.

Fact0rs including religion and wealth have been the causation of the cultural downfall in many parts of the world. When the European conquistadors came looking  to expand their empire’s power, they would ensure the demise of any culture. The British were especially guilty of this that “the sun never sets on the British Empire” , with all of its colony’s inhabitants becoming Brits and working for their new mother country, many soon lost their normal lifestyles as they experienced this newly forced upon white elephant.  When the British Commonwealth commenced, the British pulled out their troops, yet an undespensable presence of the British culture still loomed over those now regaining their sovereignty; many countries were only left with pieces of what remains of their shattered culture. But the British did do something worth mentioning: they helped create new hybrid cultures between the British lifestyle and that of the new sovereign country, even if they practically streamlined everyone into the way of the British culture. This kind of cultural cleansing has been happening throughout history, and will continue to happen, even in our own country we call home.

 Assimilation into capitalistic society has been a major , yet misguided, goal for many western countries; such was the case with the Canadian first nations, with the government trying to girdle them into “normal” society with the use of residential schools. “In the 19th century, the Canadian government believed it was responsible for educating and caring for the country’s aboriginal people. It thought their best chance for success was to learn English and adopt Christianity and Canadian customs. Ideally, they would pass their adopted lifestyle on to their children, and native traditions would diminish, or be completely abolished in a few generations.” (CBC News, 2008, para. 1). Canada itself has adopted the ways of its mother country, and let the church abuse its power. How much different is a church from an organisation? They both collect money to raise power, convert other people into their ways, use propaganda to create fear in other’s hearts, and manipulate their followers which ever way they please. Coincidence? It seems that everyone is just using ruthless tactics to do what ever they can to let others experience their cultures. Hey, what do we know, we are just guided by centuries of tradition.

Cultural genocide acted as salt and pepper tossed into the timeline of humanity it seems, just to make it interesting. We like to perceive Canada as a cultural mosaic, and America a melting pot, even with all the atrocities that have happened since the statute of Westminster, when Canada gained its independence. Again comes the issue of how the past should affect the future, but culture will always be present, it can not be destroyed, only changed. Everyone’s culture and lifestyle will always be molding, affected by the others around them.

or maybe, we will end up in space, as fat boneless specimens that have destroyed the earth that we live in. At least we wont have to worry about pitiful things like culture.

Reference list

CBC News. (2008). A history of residential schools in Canada. Stolen Children: Truth and Reconciliation. Retrieved January 2, 2011 from http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/05/16/f-faqs-residential-schools.html

Related articles

http://archives.cbc.ca/society/education/topics/692/ – 22 videos on residential schools in Canada, via CBC News