Tuesday, November 16, 2010

No More 'Cow'gary

Calgary* conservatives now have a new reason to get bent out of shape these days (like they even needed one!). With their new, impossibly cool, Muslim (gasp!) Mayor, the city apparently just ‘isn’t the same’. Nossiree! Calgary ain’t no rodeo no more! Them people be edumacated… and them womenfolk is becoming all uppity, probably demanding equal pay for equal work next!

Sarcasm aside, this CBC article now states that the Punjabi Writers Association of Calgary wants Punjabi taught in schools. You’d think all conservative hell hath broken loose. Here is an actual reaction to this article, taken from a source on facebook: “I knew it wouldn't be long until we started to see stuff like this - the two official languages in Canada are English and French. If you want to learn either of these two languages then by all means, knock yourself out. If you want to get an education in Punjabi then go to a country where Punjabi is an official language!!! It would be like going to India and demanding a French immersion curriculum! Geez what is happening to this great country of ours?!?!”

We’ll ignore the fact that this person, had he been 30 years older, would probably have been one of the ones vehemently protesting French education when it was introduced (and no doubt denying its official language status). Instead, it is glaringly obvious that the individual didn’t read beyond the first line of the article. If he had, he would have realised that a) the association wants to introduce Punjabi ‘as a language alternative’, meaning a 2nd language with no immersion curriculum, and b) there are already five language options available for students required to learn a second language. It isn't just limited to French. French Immersion students are not required to learn an additional language, but many choose to do so

I think introducing Punjabi in schools is a wonderful idea, so long as the schools have the funding. But last I heard they didn't. Why? Oh yes, education funds were slashed time and time again by the Provincial Conservative government. I think it's time we take this change in Calgary and move it up a level. I can't say it in Punjabi, but I can say it in 4 different languages... which is probably 3 (and a half) more than all those who claim the city 'ain't what it used to be'.

*For my international readers: I was born and (for the most part) raised in Calgary, Canada, which is why I still follow what goes on there.

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