As Mole, or was it Ratty? pointed out,
!!WE ARE ALL FOREIGNERS!!
(brits, Americans, everyone ‘not french’, in france).
Angela Merkel, David Cameron & Mr Sarkozy (I forget his first name, I apologise) have recently agreed with each other, that ‘multiculturalism’ doesnt work.
So; How is it for you?
Rich’s question is a good one imo.
(Hope it’s ok to snitch your Q, Rich)
"I’m an American living in France. Should I talk, live and act like I did in the States, or should I do my utmost to assimilate into the French way of life?"
What is your answer?
Is it likely that france will continue to accept the tidal wave of escaping brits, & others?
When will it feel ‘enough is enough’ & shut the door?
What do you think are the biggest problems in assimilating people from different cultures into a host country?
Do you think Merkel/Sarkozy/Cameron were correct in deciding Multiculturalism isnt working?
What do you thinkThis topic focusses on racism, but I wonder if we should first address cultural issues. Multiculturalism has become a flashpoint topic in many areas of discussion. Multiculturalism, as I understand it, means that when a person/persons of one nation relocates to another that they retain most, if not all, of their culture in the new land. I realize that this may be an oversimplification, but for discussion’s sake, I’ll stick with it.
A personal example for me is the time my grandparents migrated to the US in the late 1800s. Of Italian descent, they came to America to be Americans. Not Italian-Americans. They may have spoken Italian at home, but when out in the world, they spoke English and adopted American traits and mannerisms. In other words, they assimilated into the American culture because it was a better culture than the one they left.
I’m an American living in France. Should I talk, live and act like I did in the States, or should I do my utmost to assimilate into the French way of life? I will always be American, and I’m sure that no one would mistake me for anything but…at least when I open my mouth.
Racism, simply put, is judging/categorizing someone based on what you know, or think you know, about their nationality, color, or creed. In other words, all people of a specific nationality, color, or creed are inferior because of preconcieved notions, perhaps learned at a young age from adults.
Again, as an example, should I state that ALL Mexicans are illiterate criminals who would do anything to illegally enter the US? Of course not. But, unfortunately, that is a predominant attitude in the US. Do I resent having to “press 1 for English and 2 for Spanish”? You better believe it. But that’s not racist, it’s a reaction to rampant multiculturalism where Spanish has become the predominant language in large areas of six US states.
Let me state here that I have absolutely no problem with anyone who wants to go to another country to improve their lot in life. Just do it legally.
As Mole, or was it Ratty? pointed out,
Nice one, Catharine.
Point fully agreed with. The events of the last few weeks have shown that. BUT in this case the poster talks about loads of other stuff on a regular basis so ‘seems to be ALL people go on about’ sounds leading. To me anyway.
Enough. Bored with this one!
Great post and I agree with all of it - save the comment about the post about the shopping issue. Why is it ok for French people to complain about crap customer service in France but not Brits who live here? Why should we consider ourselves ‘foreigners’ rather than immigrants?
Totally agree with Stephen. It gets nowhere whining around. But sometimes it does feel better pouring them out. But complaining non stop is not a solution. I’ve lived in a few countries so far. And I should say I cannot compare a country with another.
They are like comparing pears with apples. But wherever I live, I do make a point to blend in instead of searching for comfort issues that suits me in each country. It’s true too that after all these years living in France, switching my nationality for the French one, I still don’t feel naturally blended in.
It’s not my choice that my skin colour and hair colour’s not familiar with the people around but I do become a subject of jokes pretty often in bus rides with the teenagers and young kids, different treatment in service oriented places sometimes. Well, life goes on.
France is beautiful as it is. Like what Stephen said, things move slowly. But that’s what I like about this country too. In UK, in Japan, in Thailand,etc. Sunday’s a day where you go sweat it out in the shopping malls getting all the shopping done and as a result of this, we lose a lot of family time. My french in-laws are really loving. The tradition of calling someone when it’s their fête, thinking of getting a birthday present when your birthday draws near or helping out with the renovation when you bought a house are precious gestures that are disappearing everywhere around.
I like it when people greet you on the streets. A nice ‘bonjour’ is a nice way to start your day. Many people replied with a bonjour when you stare at them which is a good way to break the ice and prevent conflicts. In other parts of the world, if you stare at the person, they will either ask ‘what are you looking at?’ or look down to see if their pants have been unzipped.
But multicultualism is a word too modernised for France for the moment. They are still not ready to be cosmopolitan.