Here is my propsal to the Canadian government: it should force all newcomer and first-generation immigrants to take a paid vacation from Canada every year to a normal popular warm tourist destination (Spain is lovely, but Cuba, Hawaii and Honduras are good options too).
You see, the problem is that immigrants do not take real vacations, like ordinary Canadians who visit Europe or Latin America for their vacations. They go home. And going home, what with seeing ten thousand family members and eating ten thousand special home dishes and shopping, is not a peaceful vacation. In fact, most immigrants are known to count the final days they can escape the stifling, crowded noise of their native home town and flee back to their calm cool Canadian space, resting until the next time they can go home.
So, in fact immigrants become psychotic dual-polar people, who can only think of Canada and their own country as the only places in the world, at home in both, happy in neither. They never get a chance to see other countries, to truly rest, to hear a language other than English and their own language, which is quite a refereshing experience. In fact, the princess has already noticed that while her immigrant friends always go to Pakistan, or China, or India for the Christams holidays, her blond Canadian friends go to Cuba. Why? When can we go to Cuba, she asks?
Even though my current visit in Spain is not really a vacation, but for professional purposes, it has made me realise how necessary for the well-being and mental health of immigrants to occasionally visit some other country for vacation. In fact, I am thinking of changing my current research project (I have talked about so many times in the last few day during our games of Research Kill(1) that I feel I have written my thesis and I just need to collect my degree when I get back) to a new subject: Ä Study On the Effect Of Vacation In a Third Warm Country On the Mental Health And Well-Being Of First-Generation Immigrants.
I am sure, given the interest the Canadian government in the health of immigrants, they will have no problem for funding this study.
(1) Research Kill is an amusing game played at academic conferences. Basically, two complete strangers who are participating the same conference make eye-contact and start talking to each other in a university setting. They start describing their specialized research interest. At some point, one of the two crashes to the floor, senseless with boredom and fatigue. The winner wipes the metaphoric blood from his or her lips, and moves on to the next round. If the two players are both ladies, the game is more vicious, but ends more quickly. If one is male and the other is female, there might be a slight frisson which makes the game last quite longer, sometimes an hour or more.