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Opinion: Canadian immigrants playing cricket….. differently

I found the following on Canada Cricket, and thought it was an interesting statement.

Waves of immigrants from cricket-loving nations have arrived here before. What’s provoked the recent demand for the game is an attitude shift in newcomers, says Carl James, a professor of education specializing in youth and sport at York University has stated that. “Playing cricket is a way of reclaiming their identity and culture. For those who came 10 or 20 years ago, there was more pressure to fit in,” so parents encouraged their children to play mainstream sports, James said. What’s more, teachers today are more sensitive to equity issues and the cultural diversity of their students, James added.

What this statement is implying is that we should not go by what has happenned in the past to judge how Canada will be in the future. So the expats may have been non serious in the past, and the born and bred may have only looked at the game as a pastime activity to please their parents, but apparently so, not any more. This article states that there is a lot more passion for the game now.

I find this situation to be drastically different from USA, where the game is taken non seriously by the expats barring a few. There is pressure to fit in, and even if there isnt, there is so much media attention for the other sports that the kids are likely to fit in because of media. Also, many of the parents are not interested in pursuing the game seriously either themselves, or for their kids. It looks like USA expats are at the stage that Canada expats were 20 years ago. The only thing is that Canada cricketing expats number close to 15%, while those in the US are less than 1%, so they may not get into a situation anytime soon when they want to ‘reclaim their identity’. Instead they would probably want to get mainstreamed themselves. Personally, I dont see anything wrong with that thought process.

However, this is all prediction and speculation. One has to wait and see what happens, and until then, it looks like Canada is going to be an import driven team.

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Categories: Canada
  1. Cuen Lucas
    September 12, 2006 at 4:49 pm

    It’s going to be a tough balance to strike between considering cricket to be an integral part of a culture, whilst also not making it an exclusive sport, but like you said, we’ll have to wait and see….

  2. Ray
    September 13, 2006 at 9:45 am

    In the past if you asked a non-immigrant Canadian about cricket you might get a response about Englishmen wearing white clothing. With the immigration wave from South Asia, cricket has reached a point where it is viable as a school activity in some areas and is getting more attention from the media and politicians. It is a critical period where growth of the game in non-traditional cultures is essential. I hope now, just as cricket is making headway in the conciousness of Canadians, it won’t be seen as a sport of Asians wearing white clothing.

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