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The idea of the Canadian mosaic claims that Canada is home to ethnic minorities who do not assimilate and become generic Canadians. Instead, like Francophone Canadians, they retain a distinct culture even as they are contributing members of Canada's society.
This is seen in contrast to the United States where there is a melting pot. In the US, it is said, immigrants simply become Americans. They lose their cultural distinctiveness in the "melting pot."
This is a concept that is very hard to prove, however. Many Canadians feel that this is an incorrect view of Canada's society. As an example of why this vision of Canadian society may not be true, look at the statistics on intermarriage shown in the "statcan.ca" links below. We are told that
In 2001, 11.3 million people, or 38% of the population, reported multiple ethnic origins, up from 10.2 million, or 36%, in 1996.
If 38% of the population is made up of more than one ethnicity, then there is clearly some degree of a "melting pot" dynamic occurring in Canadian society.
Even so, Canada tends to see itself as a society where ethnic minorities remain distinct parts of a "mosaic" rather than becoming generic Canadians through a "melting pot" mechanism.
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