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Life of Pi

Yann Martel’s third novel, Life of Pi (2001), follows protagonist Piscine “Pi” Patel on a journey of survival after the cargo ship carrying him and his family sinks in the Pacific Ocean. As the lone survivor, Pi spends 227 days on a lifeboat in the company of a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. The fantasy-adventure novel explores the tensions between spirituality and practicality, and between reason and imagination. It also raises questions about the nature of stories. The international bestseller gained Martel global recognition and won a number of awards and accolades, including the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction, the Man Booker Prize for Fiction and the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. The 2012 film adaptation, written by David Magee and directed by Ang Lee, grossed more than US$600 million worldwide and won four Academy Awards.

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Commonwealth

The Commonwealth of Nations is made up of 54 countries, including Canada, that were for the most part once part of the British Empire. They work together on international policy and hold a major sports event every four years. It is one of the world’s oldest political associations of states.

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Religion

​Religion (from the Latin, religio, "respect for what is sacred") may be defined as the relationship between human beings and their transcendent source of value.

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Hells Gate

Hells Gate is a narrow rocky gorge of the Fraser River Canyon south of Boston Bar, British Columbia.

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Holland Tightens Drug Laws

This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on June 3, 1996. Partner content is not updated.

There is still the Van Gogh museum, of course. And plenty of tourists stroll along the canals of the red-light district, giggling at the windows of sex for sale and the dulled Asian hookers who barely lick their lips in return.


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Cannes Film Festival 2004

WHAT DOES IT take to shock Quentin Tarantino? As the gonzo director of Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill presided over the jury at the Cannes Film Festival, many of us expected him to award the Palme d'Or to some kick-ass movie about cruel vengeance and wanton bloodshed.

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SARS Epidemic Reaches Canada

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on March 31, 2003. Partner content is not updated.

"SEVERE acute respiratory syndrome" hardly rolls off the tongue with ease, but it may yet ingrain itself into the popular lexicon - not necessarily for its virulence, but for the lessons it offers.

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Chinese Music in Canada

The migration of Chinese to Canada began in 1858 as a result of the Fraser River Gold Rush in British Columbia. Most of the 19th-century migrants, including those contracted for CPR labour from 1882 to 1885, came from Kwangtung (Canton) Province, some via the USA.

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Communications in the North

Communications have played a special role in the North. Terrain, climate and distance made it difficult for northerners to communicate with each other or with southern Canada before the advent of electronic media. In traditional times, Inuit messages were passed through personal contact.

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Battle of Courcelette

The Battle of Courcelette, or the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, was part of the Somme offensive during the First World War. The Battle of Courcelette was fought from 15 to 22 September 1916. It resulted in thousands of battlefield casualties, but also signalled the start of new thinking in military tactics that would eventually solve the riddle of the trenches and help turn the tide of the war. Tanks were used in battle for the first time during the Battle of Courcelette as well as the creeping artillery barrage.

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Squirrel

 Squirrel, common name for family (Sciuridae) of rodents, comprising 262 species, found in North and South America, Eurasia and Africa.

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Racial Segregation of Black Students in Canadian Schools

Historically, many schools kept Black Canadians separate from white Canadians. Racial segregation policies excluded and limited Black Canadians’ rights. Some universities denied admission to Black people on the basis of their race. (See Anti-Black Racism in Canada.) This was particularly the case for medical and nursing programs.

See Racial Segregation of Black People in Canada.

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Pika

Pika is a common name for the smallest members of the order Lagomorpha, which also includes rabbits and hares.

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Battle for Hill 70

The capture of Hill 70 in France was an important Canadian victory during the First World War, and the first major action fought by the Canadian Corps under a Canadian commander. The battle, in August 1917, gave the Allied forces a crucial strategic position overlooking the occupied city of Lens.