Thursday, June 16, 2011

Open Essay

Loss of Identity

Do you ever feel a bit embarrassed not knowing how to speak the language of your parents, grandparents or ancestors? Being in a new country, knowing new people, and learning a new language is fascinating and beneficial. It widens one’s knowledge, broadens people’s sense of the world around them and most importantly, it teaches you a new way of communicating. However, learning a new language sometimes makes new comers in Canada question the use of their mother tongue. While some people argue that knowing their first language is not necessary, it is truly important for New Chinese-Canadians to pass their first language on to their children.

Everyone needs to know about their unique culture and heredity. As humans, it is genuinely essential for people to know where they are from, their ancestors and their traditions. Not knowing one’s background or first language is like a tree without its roots; it can grow tall but it won’t be stable and it is more likely to fall. Out of all the different elements in a culture, language best represents one’s lifestyle. Chinese language is exceedingly crucial for Chinese people. It is our mother tongue and our roots. Not knowing Mandarin, we will fail to understand the Chinese culture, we will fail to understand ourselves and lastly, we won’t even know what we are missing. Not only is Chinese a requirement for one’s identity, it is also extremely advantageous to know it.

Living in this civilization, the use of the Chinese language is beyond people’s imagination. According to Kwantlen University, Mandarin has more native speaker in the world than any other language, English included. There are countless merits that come along with the Chinese language. First, Mandarin is going to help people maintain their competitiveness in the world. Knowing Mandarin brings people opportunities and enables them to communicate with foreigners. Secondly, Mandarin gives one another view point towards things. It is a researched fact that languages help brains develop and make people smarter. Moreover, China is advancing and has become the largest market and the biggestfactory in the world. Speaking Mandarin gives people possibilities for doing business with the Chinese. Lastly, Chinese language will help you when you are ordering Chinese food. Chinese is indeed incredibly useful.

Overall, it is clear that it is significant for Chinese-Canadians to pass down Mandarin to their children. The Chinese language is how Chinese are recognized and valued as and it is what they are equated with. Moreover, it gives opportunities for people to advance and to survive in today’s economy. Knowledge and understanding of Mandarin is not only a prerequisite for different kinds of educational programs now, but also a guaranteed asset for employment opportunities both at home and overseas. Unlike African-Canadians or Korean-Canadians, Chinese-Canadians are looked down upon with contempt when people acknowledge that they can’t speak Chinese. Therefore, it doesn’t matter where we are and where we are heading, our mother tongue should be a part of us as individuals.

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