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  1. One sees analogous trends in clothing. Cotton is widely grown in India. Cotton clothes are inexpensive there, whereas synthetic fabrics cost more and are associated with the West. After Indians immigrate to Canada, some have a field day purchasing synthetic clothes that may look a bit tacky to native-born Canadians. When I try to explain that trendy people in Canada often prefer cotton because it’s natural, more comfortable and environmentally sounder – I can get a reaction of incredulity from newcomers, who tend to dismiss cotton as “second-class”. Likewise, it may take some convincing that (compared to automobiles stuck in gridlock) bikes are more natural, more comfortable and environmentally sounder.

    Perhaps the real problem is that immigrants’ concept of a better life in Canada is based on environmentally destructive goals. We must make them aware that these goals derive from outdated stereotypes that were current in North America during the 1950s and are now being abandoned.

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