By Jonah Kondro
I remember my first night when I moved into my house. The furnace made such a racket when it fired up that I almost flew out of bed in fright. The noise it made every time it ran was so weird that I believed I would never get used to it. I developed an unrealistic thought: if I could never sleep straight through the night, maybe a lawyer could reverse all my mortgage proceedings and I could move out. But after a while I had no troubles sleeping at night; and I had stopped flinching when my furnace would reverberate and yawn its heat throughout my house — I got used to it.
Long before I even considered the possibility of owning a house, I thought about getting dreadlocks. When I was younger I remember watching music videos that had white guys, with their hair in dreadlocks, playing in heavy metal bands.Thankfully logic and reason (also known as my father) stepped in and I never did have a hair dresser backcomb my hair into a disaster.
My school had similar views on abnormal fashion. For a while certain haircuts or piercings were frowned upon: kids with mohawks had to leave his or her hair down under a hat or a toque and kids couldn’t have piercings anywhere other than in the ears. But eventually white guys with dreadlocks, kids with mohawks, and piercings in the face all started to seem normal; parents, teachers, and people started to get used to the different personal fashion styles or cultures.
I hope niqabs become like a noisy furnace, dreadlocks, and piercings — they’re all something people can get accustomed to other people having or displaying. There is nothing harmful in something that is simply different. Extending reasonable consideration and acceptance towards another person’s or culture’s differences and similarities is part of the reason Canada is such a great country to live in.
Canadian culture is dynamic, like internet and cell phone language — it is always changing whether the masses want to admit it or not. A few years ago “selfie” wasn’t even a word, now it has been added to the dictionary. It once was a career ender to get your neck tattooed—but employers are coming around to one’s decision to alter his or her external appearance with permanent ink. Once upon a time, everyone (it seemed) was baptised— not any longer. English, Spanish, or French must have been an obscure language to the aboriginals when all the explorers showed up on the boats and started talking
Niqabs aren’t anything that Canadians can’t handle. We’ve got a lot making up our country. The parameters of our multicultural status isn’t static, our national culture and the people within it are very much evolving: fashions, attitudes,religion, language, and many more features of our culture are constantly morphing.
The acceptance of a new Canadian cultural attribute isn’t easy like turning the noisy furnace on or off — openness and understanding are two important principles to the national cultural process.