Vancouver's Two Solitudes…
2001 Census: Scottish? Chinese? How many?
Many people ask me why the fascination of Scottish culture, or the
unlikely fusion of Scottish and Chinese traditions for Gung Haggis Fat
I usually reply that the Scots and Chinese are really Vancouver's
earliest pioneering cultures, along with First Nations of course.
I regard the Scots and Chinese as British Columbia's “Two Solitudes,” which Wikipedia describes as “A phrase expressing Canada's bilingual and bicultural nature.
Traditionally, French and English Canadians have had little to do with
each other — hence the “two solitudes”, together but separate, alone
nationalist fiction, Hugh MacLennan's Two Solitudes is the story of two
races within one nation, each with its own legend and ideas of what a
nation should be. In his vivid portrayals of human drama in prewar
Quebec, MacLennan focuses on two individuals whose love increases the
prejudices that surround them until they discover that “love consists
in this, that two solitudes protect, and touch and greet each other.”
Gee… it's kind of a love story similar to the hate between the
Montague and Capulet families in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
story. Maybe this is the reason there are so many people with
Scottish names in my extended family tree now.
According to the 2001 Census results for Vancouver.
The top ten total responses for ethnic origins were:
Total population: 1,967,480
East Indian 142,060
These results are for people who checked these responses in the
ethnicity box. In reality they could choose as many boxes as
applied to them, or as they wanted. But ideally, these are the
people who most count English, Chinese, Scottish as the ancestry.
Of people who selected only one ethnic group the results are:
Total responses: 1,226,280
East Indian 123,570
Dutch (Netherlands) 21,115
These are the people who chose only one ethnicity. These numbers
also would most likely represent the newest immigrant groups.
People who checked “Canadian” most likely did so, because they did not
want to be defined by “ethnic origin” or simply didn't have a clue as
to what to check. Former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson
admitted that she checked “Canadian” even though it is documented and
widely known that she was born in Hong Kong.
Now it gets more interesting with people who chose multiple ethnic
boxes. Groups below can be said to represent the groups that have
inter-married most with a different ethnic culture. Although this
could be misleading if you lump English, Scottish and Irish together as
“British”- just make sure you don't separate them into Catholic and
Prostestant because some Irish Catholics would be more likely to marry
a Filipino Catholic rather than an Irish Protestant. But in
Canada, we are all “Canadian” and the great thing is we are more likely
to be open-minded about race, religion, and culture…. aren't we?
Total responses: 741,195
Dutch (Netherlands) 46,050
East Indian 18,495