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Re: We DO want many more immigrants!

 an321@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (John Angus) writes:
 >Neil (neilends@U.Arizona.EDU) writes:
 >>> I've met many of each and can assure you the sense of community exists
 >>> with the europeans.  Look at the volunteers in virtually every area of the
 >>> community, asians are conspicuous in their absense.
 >> How many projects have you volunteered for, cook? 
 >I don't know about Vancouver, but I can honestly say that during a
 >two week period encompassing some 30 hours at the local Red Cross I
 >found it to be the whitest place in all of Ottawa. I think I saw one
 >non-white face among the volounteers, workers, and those coming in
 >to donate blood during that time (an asian, btw).
     I think this is an interesting example.  A definite data point.
 However, I'm not sure that this one case is enough justification for
 the conclusion that Asians don't contribute to communities by 
     You see, this case study raises some questions:
 1.  Are the Asians in the community newcomers?  If so, they may not
     be aware of the many activities going on.  If they have come from
     a community where certain projects that require volunteers don't
     exist, then they may not realize the importance of such work and
     hence not participate.  If I was an emigrant to Taiwan, I may not
     be aware of all that's going on, since I'm more worried about 
     settling in, taking care of the kids, doing my job well, etc., etc..
     I may still be in a mild state of culture shock.  I'm not sure
     that you can say that Asians specifically don't volunteer.
 2.  Are all members of the community properly informed about the event?
     Many volunteer projects get their support through word of mouth and
     friends asking friends to help.  If Asians don't know very many 
     people in the community, they are less apt to be called upon by
     others (non-Asians) to help out.  I know in some of the societies
     and clubs I belong to, we get people to help out usually by asking
     those who we know.  If through advertising we get people to volunteer
     to help,  that's wonderful.
 3.  Is there consideration given to the thought that Asians in a community
     may be volunteering in ways that others are not aware of?  Some 
     friends of mine who emigrated from Asia over 20 years ago participate
     in teaching night school classes, and many volunteer their extra time
     to spend either with their kids or working extra hours at the job 
     unpaid.  So you see, people volunteer their time to the community
     in different ways.  Perhaps the difference of ways is a reflection of
     the culture one was brought up in.
     I wouldn't want to jump to too many hard conclusions about volunteerism
 amoung Asians as compared to non-Asians, but my guess is that it may
 have a lot to do with culture.  Many North Americans like to think of 
 themselves as a culture of volunteerism.  This quality / attribute is 
 certainly one that politicians are trying to promote in modern society
 since it is one of the most effective ways of bettering communities and
 solving social and economic problems.  My guess is that if you look 
 at Asians who have been here for a lot longer period of time, or those
 who have been here for more than a generation, I think you will find
 that the level of volunteerism and generosity is on par with everyone
 else, at least in way I think you view it.
     You should also consider the fact that the effort to eliminate 
 racial/cultural prejudice is relatively young.  Many Asians who emigrated
 here 30 years ago were verbally abused or treated as social outcasts by
 their non-Asian North American counterparts; thus, poor relations that
 set in long ago prevented the development of relationships between