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  #1  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2020, 6:22 AM
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Are many people outside Canada aware that Canada has a large Asian population?

It seems like many people, even some Americans fairly close to the Canadian border, are surprised to see so many Asian Canadians (in cities at least). That demographic doesn't seem to be as well known outside Canada (except for family members of Asian Canadians abroad).

Canada is 17.7% of Asian descent (not quite comparable with the definition of Asian American, since it includes those of "West Asian" (mideastern) descent but still very high by western hemisphere standards). That means about 1 out of every 5-6 Canadians (also close to the proportion that Hispanic Americans are in the US).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_Canadians

Ontario, with 3.1 million Asian Canadians and British Columbia with 1.3 million (the two Canadian provinces with the largest numbers) are up there with California's over 5.5 million Asian Americans and New York state's 1.6 million (the two US states with the largest number).

Last edited by Capsicum; Jan 25, 2020 at 6:44 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2020, 7:03 AM
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In Australia, it's around 16% according to wikipedia which draws the data from the 2016 census: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_Australians

Our next census is in 2021 and given most NOM is from the Asian region, I'd expect the number to steadily increase too.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2020, 7:43 AM
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I'm aware
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  #4  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2020, 9:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capsicum View Post
It seems like many people, even some Americans fairly close to the Canadian border, are surprised to see so many Asian Canadians
I don't believe "many people" are "surprised to see" Asians in Canada. It seems like you just made that up.
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  #5  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2020, 11:13 AM
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This is going to be the new "Americans with skis on the roof in July". "By golly, Martha, this place is full of Chinamen!". I don't think this is a major narrative or perception.
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  #6  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2020, 2:25 PM
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Originally Posted by kool maudit View Post
This is going to be the new "Americans with skis on the roof in July". "By golly, Martha, this place is full of Chinamen!". I don't think this is a major narrative or perception.
You almost made me spit my coffee!

Story: My mother was a medical translator for a pharma giant in the 1960s, before I was born.

She was at that point, in her 20s.

She was dispatched on a work trip to Indiana for some reason.

She was coming home, and a young man sidled up to flirt w/her at the airport.

It was July, he apparently asked her if she would miss all the warmth, going back to Canada.

Needless to say, he didn't get to first base.

*****

I take for granted that in this day and age most Americans are at least somewhat more knowledgeable of Canada.

I'm sure some were then too.

But I wouldn't be surprised if some folks came to Toronto and Vancouver and find it rather more cosmopolitan than they first expected.

That's not suggesting a high level of ignorance; but Toronto is now majority-minority and majority foreign born.

That is comparatively rare among major cities and would surely be surprising to some.

I'm less certain the surprise, as such, would be specific to the Asian-subset of that diversity.
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  #7  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2020, 3:11 PM
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I doubt most non-Canadians are aware of the demographic nuances of Canada. Most Americans probably aren't aware of the demographic nuances of their own country.

You think most people know that U.S. isn't even 2% Jewish, or that there are far more Latinos than African Americans? I doubt it.

Also, the differing definitions of Asian probably matter. Canada has very large Persian, Lebanese and Middle Eastern populations. Those folks won't be classified as Asian in most non-Canadian contexts.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2020, 3:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kool maudit View Post
This is going to be the new "Americans with skis on the roof in July". "By golly, Martha, this place is full of Chinamen!". I don't think this is a major narrative or perception.
Ya, I don't know why that whole skis in July myth gathered steam in the first place..I hate it when somebody lies about that story when they tell me it happened to them...And I never got the "you know Gord?" either..Another myth.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2020, 5:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
I doubt most non-Canadians are aware of the demographic nuances of Canada. Most Americans probably aren't aware of the demographic nuances of their own country.

You think most people know that U.S. isn't even 2% Jewish, or that there are far more Latinos than African Americans? I doubt it.

Also, the differing definitions of Asian probably matter. Canada has very large Persian, Lebanese and Middle Eastern populations. Those folks won't be classified as Asian in most non-Canadian contexts.
A "pan-Asian" identity doesn't really exist in Canada. East Asians and South Asians are pretty separate and few really see Iranians and Lebanese as "Asians."

The vast majority of Armenians and about half of Lebanese identify as "White" on the Census.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2020, 6:56 PM
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I think this is fake news.

If Canada actually had such a large Asian population, there would be a lot more oriental hockey players.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2020, 8:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigs View Post
I don't believe "many people" are "surprised to see" Asians in Canada. It seems like you just made that up.
Well, I know at least a few cases where such surprise was expressed -- including those traveling to Toronto from the Midwest, and even Asian Americans from California.

Not sure if it's super common, but I recall at least some of my previous Asian Canadian classmates when I was younger mention when traveling abroad the locals (in Europe, in Africa, even in Asia itself) are surprised and some even find it shocking for them to introduce themselves as Canadian -- revealing that there are Canadians with Asian faces, even when other minorities in the west (like American minorities) are more well known. I think it's that Canadian minorities don't have as much reach/image overseas (even Europeans and Asians abroad are aware of African Americans, Hispanic and Asian Americans because of the US's influence, military bases etc. but there are many fewer visible minority Canadians abroad).
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  #12  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2020, 8:43 PM
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Originally Posted by pj3000 View Post
I think this is fake news.

If Canada actually had such a large Asian population, there would be a lot more oriental hockey players.
Well, the first NHL player to break the color barrier was actually an Asian Canadian, though his stint was very short.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart...-94-180968557/
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  #13  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2020, 9:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Capsicum View Post
Well, the first NHL player to break the color barrier was actually an Asian Canadian, though his stint was very short.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart...-94-180968557/
Never knew that! Thanks for the info.
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  #14  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2020, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Also, the differing definitions of Asian probably matter. Canada has very large Persian, Lebanese and Middle Eastern populations. Those folks won't be classified as Asian in most non-Canadian contexts.
It's true that if you showed someone a Copt, an Istanbulite and an Israeli or Lebanese, their chances of correctly guessing who's the African, who's the European and who's the Asian probably wouldn't be very high. (On the other hand, I get that there have to be lines somewhere.)

Russia is also a good example - if you relocate to the other side of the Urals, you morph from being an European to being an Asian, while continuing to be completely indistinguishable ethnically/culturally/linguistically from old-stock locals.
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  #15  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2020, 10:08 PM
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Justin Trudeau has two turban-wearing Sikh men in his Cabinet, as well as a a Somali refugee. I think Canada does have an image abroad of being a multicultural and tolerant society though I don't know if people specifically know much about the country's specific demographics.
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  #16  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2020, 11:31 AM
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I met a guy from Argentina who was living in Victoria hoping to be able to immigrate, anyway he said when he landed in Vancouver, he thought he was coming to Canada not China, he said he didn't know there would be so many Asians
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  #17  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2020, 2:54 PM
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Every Canadian looks and talks like Bob and Doug McKenzie. Hosers.
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  #18  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2020, 8:00 PM
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Every Canadian looks and talks like Bob and Doug McKenzie. Hosers.
Take off eh!

Nope not going to pull out the Texan Boomhauer and Mirrored glasses stereotype..Nope
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  #19  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2020, 9:06 PM
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I don't think most people ever wonder about the demographic nuances of Canada. But I get surprised at the demographics of a lot of places, both in the U.S. and all over the world. Here are a few off the top of my head:
  • (East) Asians in west coast cities (U.S. and Canada), particularly in the SF Bay Area and Vancouver, are far more visible than they are in any major city in the eastern U.S.
  • When I first visited Paris there were a lot more people of sub-Saharan African descent than I was aware.
  • Berlin hardly feels German at all because everybody there seems like they are from some other part of the world. Turks are the well-known most visible group, but there were also a lot of people from all parts of Europe, as well as a few Africans.
  • I was surprised at how many mixed black and Japanese people I encountered in Tokyo.
  • Counter to my experience in Tokyo, I don't recall encountering any mixed black and Korean people when I visited there. But I have only visited Korea once, and I spent most of my time in Korea away from Seoul.
  • I was surprised at how few people of African descent there are in Argentina.
  • Santiago de Chile has a ton of Haitians for some reason.
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  #20  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2020, 9:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
I don't think most people ever wonder about the demographic nuances of Canada. But I get surprised at the demographics of a lot of places, both in the U.S. and all over the world. Here are a few off the top of my head:
  • (East) Asians in west coast cities (U.S. and Canada), particularly in the SF Bay Area and Vancouver, are far more visible than they are in any major city in the eastern U.S.
  • When I first visited Paris there were a lot more people of sub-Saharan African descent than I was aware.
  • Berlin hardly feels German at all because everybody there seems like they are from some other part of the world. Turks are the well-known most visible group, but there were also a lot of people from all parts of Europe, as well as a few Africans.
  • I was surprised at how many mixed black and Japanese people I encountered in Tokyo.
  • Counter to my experience in Tokyo, I don't recall encountering any mixed black and Korean people when I visited there. But I have only visited Korea once, and I spent most of my time in Korea away from Seoul.
  • I was surprised at how few people of African descent there are in Argentina.
  • Santiago de Chile has a ton of Haitians for some reason.
^In regards to the last two -- Argentina never had a large presence of Africans to begin with same for Uruguay most of their immigrants came from Europe especially Italy.

As for Chile -- a lot of it has to do with Haitians looking for work -- there were many that also went to Brazil and in many of those cases where they lost their jobs they ended up making the journey northward to the US Mexican-Border or to Chile where the economy was relatively stable.
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