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Exploring the Culture and Traditions of Canada as an Overseas Pakistani

18 Aug 2023


You will be astonished to know that according to StatsCan's 2021 Canadian Census, 303,260 Canadians belong to Pakistani ancestry. In the year 2022, 11,585 Pakistanis were given Canadian permanent residence. This has increased the remittance inflow to Pakistan as more immigrants send money to Pakistan from Canada to support their loved ones financially. However, settling in a new region is a challenge, and this article aims to apprise you of the culture and traditions of Canada that will help you in adjusting more smoothly.
 

Canadian Traditions and Culture

Canada is a cosmopolitan country that values variety, inclusiveness, and acceptance of people from all backgrounds. Every one in five Canadians is an immigrant, which makes up 20.6% of the total population. Hence, Canada is a land of diversity where you will see all sorts of ethnicities.
 

Let’s look at the cultural diversity of Canada to help you quickly adjust to and improve your life in Canadian culture.
 

Diversity and Multiculturalism

The multiculturalism of Canada is a defining characteristic of the country's identity. People from all over the world live in Canada, and this diversity has influenced Canadian culture in a variety of ways. For example, Canadians enjoy a variety of festivals and events that highlight the diversity of the nation, such as the Toronto International Film Festival, Caribana, and the Montreal Jazz Festival.
 

Canadian Festivals and Celebrations

Many festivals and celebrations take place in Canada, reflecting the country's unique cultural background. National holidays like Canada Day and Victoria Day are observed throughout the country. Furthermore, several regional festivals highlight the distinct heritage of various Canadian provinces and territories. The Calgary Stampede is a rodeo and festival held in Calgary, Alberta, whereas the Quebec Winter Carnival is a celebration of Quebecois culture and traditions.
 

Canadian Cuisine

The cuisine of Canada is as diverse as its people. It is influenced by several nations, such as the French, British, and India. Poutine, butter tarts, and Nanaimo bars are among popular Canadian delicacies. Furthermore, each region has its own speciality, such as Montreal-style bagels and Nova Scotian lobster rolls.
 

Canadian Pakistani Community

Pakistani immigration to Canada began in the 1950s and 1960s. Many Pakistanis immigrated to Canada as skilled workers or students. They used to make money transfers from Canada to Pakistan to their relatives, which boosted the local economy.

As a result of political instability and economic hardship in Pakistan, the first large wave of Pakistani immigration to Canada occurred in the 1970s and 1980s. The Pakistani community in Canada has increased substantially since then.
 

Size of Pakistani Community in Canada

The Pakistani community in Canada is tiny but expanding gradually. The bulk of Pakistani immigrants in Canada live in major cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. Greater Toronto is home to one of the largest Pakistani diaspora communities in North America, with over 162,710 Pakistanis.
 

Pakistani Cultural Influence in Canada

Pakistanis have made important contributions to Canadian society. Pakistani Canadians have achieved success in a wide range of disciplines, including education, business, politics, and the arts. Pakistani culture has had an impact on Canadian culture as well, particularly in the areas of food, music, and fashion.
 

Opportunities and Difficulties for Pakistani Diasporas

The Hardships for Pakistani Expats

Living in a new country can be difficult for anyone, but overseas Pakistanis in Canada confront additional hurdles. Language is one of the most prevailing problems for almost every expat community. Despite the fact that English and French are the official languages of Canada, many Pakistanis are not fluent in either. Cultural transition can also be difficult because Canadian culture differs greatly from Pakistani culture. They might also have fewer affordable options to send money to Pakistan.
 

Opportunities in Canada for Pakistani Immigrants

Despite the hurdles, Pakistani immigrants in Canada have various options for exponential growth. Canada has a good living standard, excellent healthcare, and a robust economy. Furthermore, Canada places great importance on education, and Pakistani immigrants can benefit from Canada's outstanding educational system to advance their careers.
 

How ACE Money Transfer Assists Pakistanis Living Abroad in Canada

Pakistani immigrants in Canada can benefit from the services provided by ACE Money Transfer. Pakistanis can send money back home to their loved ones swiftly, safely, and easily using ACE Money Transfer. The service is simple to use and has market-competitive exchange rates, making it a great choice for anyone wishing to remittances to their loved ones back home.
 

There is plenty to learn about this lovely country, from culture and diversity to Canadian festivals and food. While Pakistani immigrants confront problems in Canada, there are also numerous prospects for a better life. ACE Money Transfer is a helpful service assisting Pakistani immigrants in Canada in maintaining contact with their families and loved one’s back home. ACE Money Transfer, with its great service, is a reliable and convenient option to send money from Canada to Pakistan online. Sign up on ACE for free to start the journey of affordable remittance transfers.
 

FAQs

How have Pakistani immigrants influenced Canadian culture and traditions?

Pakistani immigrants have made significant contributions to the Canadian cultural mosaic. Their influence can be seen in various areas, such as cuisine, music, literature, and fashion. Restaurants serving Biryani, Nihari, and other Pakistani delicacies can be found in major cities, highlighting Canada's culinary diversity. Furthermore, Pakistani festivals like Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha are now celebrated in many Canadian communities, fostering understanding and appreciation among different cultural groups. In the realms of art and literature, Pakistani Canadians have shared stories that bridge their dual identities, enriching Canada's artistic landscape.
 

What are the main differences between Canadian and Pakistani cultural celebrations?

Canadian cultural celebrations often revolve around national holidays, seasonal changes, and historical events, such as Canada Day, Thanksgiving, and Victoria Day. The emphasis is often on community gatherings, outdoor activities, and in some cases, religious practices. Pakistani celebrations, on the other hand, are deeply rooted in Islamic traditions and South Asian festivities, with events like Eid, Ramadan, and Basant. At the same time, both cultures value family, community, and festivity; the origins and practices vary, reflecting the unique histories and values of each nation.
 

How can Overseas Pakistanis maintain their cultural roots while integrating into Canadian society?

Overseas, Pakistanis can maintain their cultural roots in various ways. Joining Pakistani community organisations, attending cultural events, and staying connected with their traditions through language, food, and religious practices are some methods. It's also valuable to share these traditions with their Canadian neighbours, coworkers, and friends, promoting cross-cultural understanding. Integration doesn't mean forsaking one's roots; it's about blending the best of both worlds and finding harmony between them.
 

What challenges do Overseas Pakistanis face when adapting to Canadian cultural norms?

One of the main challenges faced by Overseas Pakistanis is cultural adjustment. The differences in social norms, communication styles, and even everyday behaviours can lead to misunderstandings. Additionally, Pakistanis may face challenges in understanding the nuances of Canadian humour, idiomatic expressions, or social etiquette. There might also be feelings of homesickness, missing traditional foods, or adjusting to Canada's diverse climate. However, Canada's multicultural ethos often makes it easier over time for immigrants to find their footing and build connections.
 

Are there specific regions or cities in Canada where Pakistani traditions and culture are more prominently practised or celebrated?

Yes, certain cities in Canada, due to their sizable Pakistani diaspora, have areas where Pakistani culture is more evident. For instance, cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Mississauga have neighbourhoods where Pakistani festivals are celebrated with zeal, Pakistani cuisines are easily accessible, and Urdu is commonly spoken. The Gerrard Street area in Toronto, often referred to as "Little Pakistan," is one such hub where the vibrancy of Pakistani culture can be experienced in Canada.


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