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Speaking of Stereotyping

Canadian BoyDid you know how Canadian ‘norms’ compare to norms and values in other countries? If we compare the Canadian value system with other countries you might be surprised with the results. We are not that different after all or are we? According to World Value Survey (WVS), 2000-2002:

  • Canadians value family as much as respondents from India, Iran, Iraq and Mexico (over 90% suggested family is very important). Surprisingly, only 60% of Chinese respondents suggested they valued family highly in their lives.
  • Canadians are less trustworthy than Chinese but much more than Filipinos.
  • Work is very important aspect of live for most of the people living in Bangladesh, Iran, Mexico and Philippines, not so much for Canadians and Chinese.
  • Canadians, Chinese and Filipinos mostly believe that people try to be fair and do not take advantage of them, while people from Bangladesh, India, Mexico, and Pakistan think otherwise.
  • For Canadians and Israelis, the most valuable feature if looking for a job is ‘doing an important job’ followed by ‘a good income’. However, for Chinese and South Asians ‘a good income’ is of the most importance followed by safety of the job. For Mexicans and Filipinos a ‘safe job’ is number one feature if looking for a job.
  • Canadians believe that if jobs are scarce, men should not have more right to a job than women, while Indians, Iranians, Pakistanis, Filipinos and Iraqis believe otherwise.
  • Canadians were divided in their opinions as to whether when jobs are scarce, employers should give priority to nation [native-born] people rather than immigrants. However, Chinese, South Asians, Latin American, Filipinos and Middle East people strongly agreed that jobs should be given to nation [native-born] people over immigrants.
  • In Bangladesh, over 60% strongly believe work to be ‘a duty towards society’, while in Canada only 20% felt that way.
  • Canadians prefer to follow supervisor instructions unquestioned, while the Chinese felt strongly that they must be convinced in the right course of actions before following instructions.
  • Canadians believe that owners should run their businesses independently, while Indians believe that government should be involved in the process.

Source: http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/

iStock_000007622108XSmallDid you know that Chinese are responsible for many technological advances? They invented the first seismograph (132 AD), gunpowder (before 800 AD) and the first book (The Diamond Sutra, printed around 868 AD).
“…Today, Chinese-Canadians participate scientifically, intellectually, artistically, economically and politically at every level of society. One of them is the molecular geneticist, Dr. Lap-Chee Tsui, who now heads up the international Human Genome Organization (HUGO) which provides a network for many of the scientists working on the global Human Genome Project. No one can speak of eminent scientists without mentioning Dr. Tak Wah Mak. In 1987, Dr. Mak discovered the gene for the T-cell receptor, a major key to the working of the human body’s immune system. Another eminent scientist is Dr. Victor Ling, world renowned for his discovery of the existence and mechanisms of drug-resistant chemotherapy. These are just three of the many individuals of Chinese descent who have made a significant difference in our world….” (Senator Vivienne Poy, 2001 speech on achievements of Chinese-Canadians).

Source: http://sen.parl.gc.ca/vpoy/english/Special_Interests/speeches.htm

Businessman Wearing a Turban. IsolatedDid you know that many immigrants became successful entrepreneurs, company executives and important political figures in Canada? Just to name a few: Wajid Khan, a Pakistani immigrant, was the President and CEO of the largest automobile showroom in Canada, that of Dufferin Mazda, and who is a current member of the Canadian House of Commons, representing the riding of Mississauga—Streetsville as a Conservative Member of Parliament. Gurbax Singh Malhi, was educated at Punjab University and upon his arrival in 1975 worked as a factory worker . He is currently a member of the Canadian House of Commons, representing the riding of Bramalea—Gore—Malton for the Liberal Party. Finally, there is Moyez Gulamhussein Vassanji who was born in Kenya and raised in Tanzania. Several years after his arrival in Canada, in partnership with a few others he founded The Toronto South Asian Review (TSAR) which later spawned the publishing company TSAR Publications. There are Chinese owned or controlled businesses in Canada. Very good examples are Husky Oil of Alberta, Law Development, Vintage Inns of Niagara-on-the-Lake, in Ontario, and Grand Adex Developments in Vancouver.

Source: http://www.canadaimmigrantblog.com/successful-famous-immigrants-66/

iStock_000001674658XSmallDid you know that while some immigrants have heavier accents than others, that should not be a reflection of how well they communicate in English? A good example might be Kofe Annan, the Secretary General of the UN, who has a strong accent, and is one of the most influential and respected leaders in the world. The Californian Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger has a heavy Austrian accent too. Both of those individuals have accents but use correct grammar and good vocabulary. It is important to remember that highly skilled and intelligent people might have strong accents but bring extremely high value to societies, countries and companies. Some studies suggest that co-workers stop noticing accents in a matter of 2-3 weeks.

Source: Upwardly Global Toolkit.

Overhead View Of Two Businessmen Having Meeting In Office LobbyDid you know that there are over 40 versions of MS Office made for different regions and languages? These include different versions for China, Hong Kong; Ukraine and Russia and for UK and the USA. Training in technology is a priority for both developed and developing countries now and some countries like India have even developed their modern economies around the technology revolution. It is imperative to not discount immigrant technological skills and recognize that some skills might be easily learned or be transferable.

Source: Upwardly Global Toolkit.

iStock_000008816106XSmallDid you know that some universities outside of Canada, the US and other Western countries are ranked higher than many Canadian Universities? It might be challenging to evaluate credentials from schools and universities that are not familiar to Canadian hiring managers. However, it is unfair to assume that any education or experience from another country is not applicable to the Canadian context. For example, according to the Top 500 Universities in the world ranking*, Seul National University (Korea), National Taiwan University (Taiwan), University Sao Pablo (Brazil) and University of Montreal in Canada are ALL ranked within 100-151 best universities in the world. Similarly, in The Times
Higher Education Supplement Top 200 (2007), University of Hong Kong and McGill University were named in the top 20 universities worldwide.

Source: Shanghai Jiao Tong University ranking
http://www.arwu.org/rank2008/EN2008.htm and http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/hybrid.asp?typeCode=144

Happy Asian family.Did you know that one of the most commonly used words in Colombia is Mañana (tomorrow). It is best understood as “in the indefinite future.” This reflects many Colombians’ relaxed sense of time and punctuality. Interestingly, El Salvador is the most densely populated country in Central America, with an average of over 290 persons per square kilometre; by contrast, Canada’s population density is less than three persons per square kilometre. This might explain the very different sense of personal space that Latin/Central American have in comparison with Canadians.
Corazon Aquino was the first woman president of the Philippines.

Source: Government of Canada, http://www.cp-pc.ca/english/elsalvador/index.html