Canadians have used the term "multiculturalism" both descriptively (as a sociological fact) and prescriptively (as a political ideology) In the first sense "multiculturalism" is a description of the many different religious traditions and cultural influences that in their unity and coexistence in Canada make up Canadian culture. The nation consists of people from a multitude of racial, religious and cultural backgrounds and is open to cultural pluralism. Canada has experienced different waves of immigration since the nineteenth century, and by the 1980s almost 40 percent of the population were of neither British nor French origins (the two largest groups, and among the oldest). In the past, the relationship between the British and the French has been given a lot of importance in Canada's history. By the early twenty-first century, people from outside British and French heritage composed the majority of the population, with an increasing percentage of individuals who self identify as "visible minorities".
A vertical Tibetan prayer flag in the Zanskar region of northern India. The vertical style, called darchor, is less common than the horizontal style, called lungta. Horizontal prayer flags are squares connected at the top edges with a long thread. The vertical prayer flags are usually single squares or groups of squares sewn on poles which are planted in the ground or on rooftops. Unique to Tibetan Buddhism, these flags are panels or rectangles of colourful cloth strung along mountain ridges and peaks in the Himalayas to bless the surrounding countryside. Prayer flags are believed to have originated with the original Bön religion which pre-dated Buddhism in Tibet.