Few citizens of Canada or America who were originally from Japan returned to their previous homes after the war. The new waves began in earnest before the takeover of Hong Kong when many Chinese arrived, and this has continued from China and southeast Asia.
Each new wave has tried to fit in with the existing society; even in rare cases where several shops in several malls placed only Chinese or other ethnic ads in their windows, causing excitement at city hall.
No bylaw was necessary, after delegations reminded the merchants they were turning away potential customers.
Soon signs in many languages showing sales were in shop windows. In fact, many languages in English and Hindu and Vietnam were soon sprouting throughout the malls and neighbor merchants-strangers, began to bow and meet and buy each from each other.
Their children began to feel comfortable in the strange other shops and play with those children. The signs are now all clearly in Chinese, Hindi, whatever plus English.
This uplifting story of peoples of various ethnic backgrounds learning to live with each other and their strange smells, habits, customs, sounds, religious peculiarities such as our Christmas- should be encouraging to all persons of good will.
The city of Richmond has a low violent crime rate, a fraction of most comparable American cities.
It has taken many discussions between different groups to finds ways to live quite strange different lives in harmony. And yet in this lovely island city by the sea, with the grand mountains as backdrop it is happening.
I live also in a city surrounded by water with a view of mountains, lovely Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 50 miles by seagull or ferry from Richmond.
Chinese legend is that to live at such a place is Heaven on Earth; all seem to move here to seek that and it does help the mood. We others then try to behave accordingly, they become excellent new citizens.
I have mentioned my recent personal experience of this evolving new world recently at a mall escalator: ahead of me was an young Chinese Canadian lad with an elderly Chinese woman.
She was holding up traffic; she was nervous about her first step onto the escalator. She excitedly spoke in Chinese, and she was asking the boy to help get her hand on the escalator hand rail.
The young lad quickly looked back at me, an old white male in a navy blazer, and he said speak English, grandma.
And grandma exploded in fury, and shouted at him in English, speak English, speak English. You no good little Chinese boy any more. You little Canadian boy, and muttered to herself in Mandarin, turning her head from him.
That boy told her, and me, and now you how the world should evolve when he responded, “Well, yeah, grandma. We live in Canada”.
Funny thing is, I grew up in Anglo Vancouver in the 1950 era. We moved with my family to Los Angeles in my Grad Year, and I saw more racial diversity there than I could have imagined, mostly black and Mexican Americans with us Anglo kids, some Japanese. We got along.
Since, back in Canada, fifty years later we have seen so many waves of Chinese and other South East Asians into coastal Canada that some cities have more foreign born residents than local.
How this works out creates stresses but opportunities for us all to grow together, become more than we were, and we all get along.I can happen, it is happening.