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Ethnicity vs Nationality Options · View
Dancing_Doll
Posted: Monday, December 20, 2010 7:52:50 PM

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Canada is seen as a "melting pot" of various ethnicities, but yet most of its cities seem very stratified with pockets of ethnic groups existing but not necessarily interacting with each other. Coining terms like "Little Italy", or "Chinatown" exist for almost every ethnic group that has a presence. In most cases, signs, advertising, the primary language spoken, and the general cultural feel within those areas is very homogenous to that specific ethnicity.

Do you feel that this kind of cultural segregation works in a positive or negative way?

Should we all make more of an effort to identify more as a nation, and have less segregation by ethnicity or race, or do you see this as a benefit to new immigrants who feel like they can still exist within a little microcosm or their country of origin by still speaking their native language and interacting with a cultural group that is familiar to them.

What are things like in the city you live in?

Do you identify more with your ethnicity or the nation you live in and why?

Guest
Posted: Monday, December 20, 2010 8:07:40 PM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
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It allows them to have a home away from home and its also a slightly good alternative to experiencing the culture without spending large sums of money to fly to like Japan or Italy. I think its good overall, as what I stated is mainly why these places exist. America is identified as a nation of many ethnicities and cultures; we're a land where you can freely practice your culture and live off of it.
Guest
Posted: Monday, December 20, 2010 8:58:07 PM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
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On the one hand, yes, the little pockets help the newbies become assimilated to the ways of their new surroundings, however, the pockets do sometimes work to control their own kin and many power brokers within those pockets never let the newbies think outside of those pockets for their own gains.

In Miami, there was the Mariel Boat lift and before Castro came into power many of the more affluent Cubans started to leave Cuba before the '58 revolution, and take over on January 1, 1959. That influx was and still is something that Miami has not fully settled with. Many other cultures, either latin american or Haitian, and especially the old crackers of Miami have strong and mixed feelings about it.

Was sitting at lunch with a peruvian american, puerto rican american, and cuban american, and we were discussing why Miami seems to be such a hostile place. The consensus seemed to be the new latin american, cuban american arrivals are just plain rude. The pockets have their merits, but there needs to be more of a human world view and skip that nationalist view, but since people can't even get over their own ethnic/cultural prejudices I guess we'll have to take baby steps out of the cultural womb.

TopThis
Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 7:03:52 AM

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Location: Mountains of , United States

(downtown Mayberry)

Cultural segregation is absolutely negative when it attempts to eliminate the existance of other cultures but as with all things, there are positives as well as negatives and I believe that it is our individual responsibility to ensure that the positives outweigh the negatives. On the positive, cultural segregation allows for total, sensual learning; sight, smell, taste, touch. Negatively, cultural segregation provides the perfect situation for abuse and neglect. Denying any person the ability to discover the world is neglect in my world, despite who is responsible for it.

There is a benefit to new immigrants who can still exist within a little microcosm or their country of origin by still speaking their native language and interacting with a cultural group that is familiar to them. The stepping stone onto a new land is as important as the foundation that you build your house on. The ultimate goal is to identify as a nation.

I live in Mayberry RFD, seriously. Its history has been televised via The Andy Griffith Show, one of which was not diverse at all. Thankfully, we are now 10,000 strong and diverse with no clear lines of cultural segregation. This may be due to the fact that diversity is fairly new here, 15 years is not long enough to promote healthy growth AND harvest cultures.

My bloodline looks a lot like the melting pot so I tend to identify on the national level.


Magical_felix
Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 8:35:36 AM

Rank: Wild at Heart

Joined: 4/3/2010
Posts: 6,060
Location: California
I see the advantages for new immigrants in having these ethnic communities in most big cities. I do tend to think that the negatives outweigh the positives.

I have lived in two heavily ethnic communities, Hispanic (mostly Mexican) and Asian (mostly Vietnamese and filipino) these places were great for people that were "fresh" to America. Especially the Asians because of the language barrier and the Asian grocery stores. The transition to a new country is fairly easy with the things they love from their country with the convinience and saftey of the united states. That's all great.

Where I see the disadvantage is that the first generation of Americans from these immigrants are stuck helping their family that never learned how to function properly in a new country. They get so used to cashing checks at convinience stores and buying calling cards and things like that from places that speak their native languages. They never learn English and the first generation even develop accents. They're American but get treated like immigrants because of it. The first second and third generations fall into the convinience of their ethnic neighborhood sometimes too and it just becomes a cycle. You also get those first generation "entrepreneurs" who take advantage of the people in these communities. One guy who I work with asked me if it was normal to have to pay $200 for your credit check when you get a new cell phone plan. I asked him where that happened and he said at ATT from their bilingual associate. So fucked up. But if this guy would bother to learn more about the way America works he wouldn't get taken advantage of like that.

Do I identify more with my ethnicity or nation?

When I'm in the united states I say I'm Mexican-American because if I just say I'm American I will be countered with "but you look Mexican." A lot of Americans still don't understand the difference between the two, it's amazing really... When I'm anywhere besides the USA and Mexico I just say I'm American and that's all that is needed. When I'm in Mexico they all just call me a gringo no matter what so I don't even bother...



TopThis
Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 3:33:42 PM

Rank: Removalist
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Joined: 11/17/2010
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Location: Mountains of , United States
Magical_felix wrote:
I see the advantages for new immigrants in having these ethnic communities in most big cities. I do tend to think that the negatives outweigh the positives.

I have lived in two heavily ethnic communities, Hispanic (mostly Mexican) and Asian (mostly Vietnamese and filipino) these places were great for people that were "fresh" to America. Especially the Asians because of the language barrier and the Asian grocery stores. The transition to a new country is fairly easy with the things they love from their country with the convinience and saftey of the united states. That's all great.

Where I see the disadvantage is that the first generation of Americans from these immigrants are stuck helping their family that never learned how to function properly in a new country. They get so used to cashing checks at convinience stores and buying calling cards and things like that from places that speak their native languages. They never learn English and the first generation even develop accents. They're American but get treated like immigrants because of it. The first second and third generations fall into the convinience of their ethnic neighborhood sometimes too and it just becomes a cycle. You also get those first generation "entrepreneurs" who take advantage of the people in these communities. One guy who I work with asked me if it was normal to have to pay $200 for your credit check when you get a new cell phone plan. I asked him where that happened and he said at ATT from their bilingual associate. So fucked up. But if this guy would bother to learn more about the way America works he wouldn't get taken advantage of like that.

Do I identify more with my ethnicity or nation?

When I'm in the united states I say I'm Mexican-American because if I just say I'm American I will be countered with "but you look Mexican." A lot of Americans still don't understand the difference between the two, it's amazing really... When I'm anywhere besides the USA and Mexico I just say I'm American and that's all that is needed. When I'm in Mexico they all just call me a gringo no matter what so I don't even bother...


you look Mexican? *long sigh* Oh I have to post on the "name one thing that really pisses you off" topic now!
LadyX
Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 3:41:09 PM

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Magical_felix wrote:

When I'm in the united states I say I'm Mexican-American because if I just say I'm American I will be countered with "but you look Mexican." A lot of Americans still don't understand the difference between the two, it's amazing really... .




Hell, bowah, long as you talk American I don't care whut country you look like!
Magical_felix
Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 3:52:24 PM

Rank: Wild at Heart

Joined: 4/3/2010
Posts: 6,060
Location: California
TopThis wrote:
Magical_felix wrote:
I see the advantages for new immigrants in having these ethnic communities in most big cities. I do tend to think that the negatives outweigh the positives.

I have lived in two heavily ethnic communities, Hispanic (mostly Mexican) and Asian (mostly Vietnamese and filipino) these places were great for people that were "fresh" to America. Especially the Asians because of the language barrier and the Asian grocery stores. The transition to a new country is fairly easy with the things they love from their country with the convinience and saftey of the united states. That's all great.

Where I see the disadvantage is that the first generation of Americans from these immigrants are stuck helping their family that never learned how to function properly in a new country. They get so used to cashing checks at convinience stores and buying calling cards and things like that from places that speak their native languages. They never learn English and the first generation even develop accents. They're American but get treated like immigrants because of it. The first second and third generations fall into the convinience of their ethnic neighborhood sometimes too and it just becomes a cycle. You also get those first generation "entrepreneurs" who take advantage of the people in these communities. One guy who I work with asked me if it was normal to have to pay $200 for your credit check when you get a new cell phone plan. I asked him where that happened and he said at ATT from their bilingual associate. So fucked up. But if this guy would bother to learn more about the way America works he wouldn't get taken advantage of like that.

Do I identify more with my ethnicity or nation?

When I'm in the united states I say I'm Mexican-American because if I just say I'm American I will be countered with "but you look Mexican." A lot of Americans still don't understand the difference between the two, it's amazing really... When I'm anywhere besides the USA and Mexico I just say I'm American and that's all that is needed. When I'm in Mexico they all just call me a gringo no matter what so I don't even bother...


you look Mexican? *long sigh* Oh I have to post on the "name one thing that really pisses you off" topic now!


It never really pisses me off though. Most people don't mean anything by it, they just don't know better. The same why I'll admit to not knowing much about Canada even though they are my neighbors... I think it's funny when morans ask if I can translate something into Mexican too by the way.



TopThis
Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 3:55:13 PM

Rank: Removalist
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Joined: 11/17/2010
Posts: 979
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Magical_felix wrote:
TopThis wrote:
Magical_felix wrote:
I see the advantages for new immigrants in having these ethnic communities in most big cities. I do tend to think that the negatives outweigh the positives.

I have lived in two heavily ethnic communities, Hispanic (mostly Mexican) and Asian (mostly Vietnamese and filipino) these places were great for people that were "fresh" to America. Especially the Asians because of the language barrier and the Asian grocery stores. The transition to a new country is fairly easy with the things they love from their country with the convinience and saftey of the united states. That's all great.

Where I see the disadvantage is that the first generation of Americans from these immigrants are stuck helping their family that never learned how to function properly in a new country. They get so used to cashing checks at convinience stores and buying calling cards and things like that from places that speak their native languages. They never learn English and the first generation even develop accents. They're American but get treated like immigrants because of it. The first second and third generations fall into the convinience of their ethnic neighborhood sometimes too and it just becomes a cycle. You also get those first generation "entrepreneurs" who take advantage of the people in these communities. One guy who I work with asked me if it was normal to have to pay $200 for your credit check when you get a new cell phone plan. I asked him where that happened and he said at ATT from their bilingual associate. So fucked up. But if this guy would bother to learn more about the way America works he wouldn't get taken advantage of like that.

Do I identify more with my ethnicity or nation?

When I'm in the united states I say I'm Mexican-American because if I just say I'm American I will be countered with "but you look Mexican." A lot of Americans still don't understand the difference between the two, it's amazing really... When I'm anywhere besides the USA and Mexico I just say I'm American and that's all that is needed. When I'm in Mexico they all just call me a gringo no matter what so I don't even bother...


you look Mexican? *long sigh* Oh I have to post on the "name one thing that really pisses you off" topic now!


It never really pisses me off though. Most people don't mean anything by it, they just don't know better. The same why I'll admit to not knowing much about Canada even though they are my neighbors... I think it's funny when morans ask if I can translate something into Mexican too by the way.


Stop my blood is boiling!
Dancing_Doll
Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 4:25:48 PM

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I think a lot of people forget that America and Canada are just countries of immigrants. It's not an ethnicity. The only people indigenous to these countries are native indians.

My city has very distinct cultural/ethnic areas for italians, greeks, chinese, vietnamese, west and east indian, and jews (with some smaller groups existing in less defined areas). It really is like its own cultural microcosm within these areas. The stores, signs, restaurants and demographic is very homogenous. These areas also seem to have a business and power dynamic that operates independently of the rest of the city (to varying degrees). I think it's great for new immigrants to feel like they have a place where they can access their homeland culture, but I agree... it can often be at the exclusion of assimilating within the rest of society. It really creates an "us" and "them" situation, and certainly for the next generations born in the country, there is the conflict of obeying the "old traditions" (and the expectations and demands of their family and culture), while being exposed to the rest of society which is basically modern, westernized and focuses less on religion and cultural influences. I've seen kids deal with a lot of confusion and pressure when it comes to this.

I know Canada has often been accused of being 'less patriotic' than Americans. Our "melting pot" philosophy explains some of that. It seems that people often identify more with their ethnicity and less with their nationality than our neighbours to the south (but that point is perhaps debatable).

For me, I'm a Swedish/English blend but I was born in Canada, and I didn't grow up with cultural expectations either way. If I had been born to two Swedish parents, maybe things would have been different. As it is now, there is not a huge Scandinavian section of my city. They just blended in with everyone else. Besides, when I want the full cultural experience, I can just go hang out at IKEA. geek

Guest
Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 7:43:35 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 691,353
I grew up in a neighborhood with mostly Chinese people, then my parents moved to a place that was a mix of Chinese and Vietnamese with some Latinos mixed in. But it's not so much that we all live in the same neighborhood with each other as much as that we go to the same restaurants, including the ones we own, plus the same temples, spas, saunas, grocery stores, parks. But this is in suburbs of Dallas so I know that is different from like Chinatown in New York.

My parents are first generation and way more comfortable speaking Mandarin than English. They consider themselves American but are still very much Chinese in every other way. We all depend on each others company and it can be an extended family in a country like this which does not feel like home right away, even with all the opportunity for success.
WellMadeMale
Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 9:29:07 PM

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Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,511
Location: Cakeland, United States
I can only control my own prejudices, thoughts and actions. It's the other 6.7 billion people around me...who freak me out.

Most intelligent people are introspective and doubt themselves while many fucktards are proudly over-confident. - a tip of the hat to Charles Bukowski
myself
Posted: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 4:42:00 PM

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Joined: 3/17/2010
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Location: .showyourdick.org/
Because we moved around a lot due to dad's job, we grew up in and around many different neighborhoods. Our travels also took us to places where, if you saw a man, woman or child with different color skin, everyone turned and looked, sometimes at us. These places are where I heard the phase 'token black, token white, token whatever' for the first time. When I became a grownup with children of my own we lived in many places also. My children grew up color blind as I did. When a community around us made color or culture an issue we felt confused and still do. I love the little places from around the world in my country. They feel like home.

Being exposed to areas where ethnic differences are not excepted makes me understand, at least for this reason, why these concentrations exist on both sides of the fence.

1 vote for -identifying more with nationality



Torture the data long enough and they will confess to anything.
Woman
Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011 9:55:51 PM

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Joined: 11/21/2009
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Location: Stopping the war 'tween Harold and Kumar
I don't know.

I was born in Canada, but I do not always identify myself as Canadian. I say I am a child of the world. But that being said.

I live in China. And in a sea of people that generally only reach up no further than my shoulder, weigh less than my left leg.... I am indeed a minority.

When I first came to China, I moved to a city that was very small by Chinese standards at 3.3million. Nothing really made this city special, it really didn't have anything... except really good fish restaurants as it fell along the Yangtze region. There was nothing in the city that one could buy that even remotely resembled something familiar. Hell... nothing was in English either. Or if there was English on a package, it was such terrible Chinglish that you ended up peeing your pants laughing in the middle of the store. (I will never figure out how they got "spread cream over face and not more erective disfunction") Only a handful of people in the school I worked in had the ability to speak English at a level passable for communication, and in the city there were only eighteen foreigners.

God it was fun!!!!

I loved going into the stores and trying to buy packaged foods. Trying to see what everything was.... my nose got lots of working out by trying to remember scents before taste testing things. Going to restaurants trying to explain that I want that dish but NO salt in it... watching their faces turn from amusement to shock and horror at that thought...

But it was also as frustrating as hell. In so many different ways.

Their computer systems were not set up to input English writing into their databases so that made simple things like buying a SIM card next to impossible. The number of accidents that happened when you walked down a street because the people on the bikes tried to look backwards at you while you are walking and they ended up falling over and taking countless cyclists down with them. (Must to my amusement!!) But the staring... a novelty to start with quickly turns from something to chuckle over to something to want to tear their eyes out with for not giving you a moments peace.

Every day, when I leave my apartment, I am called an American. And the Americans joke and chuckle about it saying that it is ok, Canada is just little American anyways... it does get to you and you do grow feircly proud of your roots.

I've watched over the years foreigners who have been here for longer than a year and discover who has been successful living here and who has not been. Those that are successful have immersed themselves into the culture and into the lifestyle... picking up the day to day activities yet still maintaining what makes them different. And the ones who are not successful and hate their time here and the ones that constantly complain about Chinese people... are the ones that create little pockets of minorities and only live within that shell. They only eat at Western restaurants then complain that the food is not good. Only buy western food from the shops and refuse to indulge in the local dishes because Chinese/Mongolian food is not clean!!!

Don't get me wrong... there are some days where everything is just way too much and I break down and cry wishing I could just move back to Canada were life is easier and I can get all the comfort foods I am missing and eat BBQ hamburgers without soysauce or ketchup on them and be able to have a proper steak and not have to worry about intestinal worms because the meat is not cooked then worry for the next few weeks about my digestive track, or to be able to go into a store and buy socks that fit, or buy lotions and creams that have bronzer in them and not crap that makes your skin so white that I can see my veins through my now translucent skin.... oh yes... trust me.... I have my Fuck China days.... And especially when you are ill and have to go to a hospital, a doctor even have a surgery... try being told you must have an operation like today, for it is urgent, and not being able to understand fully what is wrong only that you have a pain on a part of your body, but no idea what is causing that pain, and no one can translate it or help you to understand.... Want to feel so alone and lost and confused...

I do understand why people ban together and make little ethnic communities within a larger community.... it is easier. When you speak, you do not need to spend twenty minutes trying to explain what you are saying, or break down your joke so your new friends can understand you.... The comfort of the familiar is so much easier to deal with then the unknown. It is REALLY hard to move to a new place and foster friendships. It does take a hell of a lot of work and a heck of a lot of patience.... but it is so worth it when that bridge is built and both sides are there... so very much worth it. Nationality... ethnicity... it is a toss up for me...

I do beleive it is important to maintain a link to your past, and hold feircly onto it remember where you came from. But; without building a bridge connecting your past to your future and pulling the two together, making a new culture out of the deal... we loose what makes us special and unique. There has to be some give and some take... but in the end... I made the choice to move here, I must meet the way of life more than halfway as I came here. I made the decision to live and work in China. It is my responsibility to adapt and be productive in their society. It is not their job to adapt to my way of life.



Living life and enjoying life are two different things... just need to figure out how to do both at the same time to live it right!

Woman... GO FLY A KITE!!!!! Take a slideshow walk with me on a walk through the parks of Inner Mongolia, China. Then enjoy the tale of a very traditional day in the life of a white Woman in China.
Dancing_Doll
Posted: Sunday, January 09, 2011 8:39:43 AM

Rank: Alpha Blonde
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Joined: 2/17/2010
Posts: 6,767
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Woman wrote:
I don't know.

I was born in Canada, but I do not always identify myself as Canadian. I say I am a child of the world. But that being said.

I live in China. And in a sea of people that generally only reach up no further than my shoulder, weigh less than my left leg.... I am indeed a minority.

When I first came to China, I moved to a city that was very small by Chinese standards at 3.3million. Nothing really made this city special, it really didn't have anything... except really good fish restaurants as it fell along the Yangtze region. There was nothing in the city that one could buy that even remotely resembled something familiar. Hell... nothing was in English either. Or if there was English on a package, it was such terrible Chinglish that you ended up peeing your pants laughing in the middle of the store. (I will never figure out how they got "spread cream over face and not more erective disfunction") Only a handful of people in the school I worked in had the ability to speak English at a level passable for communication, and in the city there were only eighteen foreigners.

God it was fun!!!!

I loved going into the stores and trying to buy packaged foods. Trying to see what everything was.... my nose got lots of working out by trying to remember scents before taste testing things. Going to restaurants trying to explain that I want that dish but NO salt in it... watching their faces turn from amusement to shock and horror at that thought...

But it was also as frustrating as hell. In so many different ways.

Their computer systems were not set up to input English writing into their databases so that made simple things like buying a SIM card next to impossible. The number of accidents that happened when you walked down a street because the people on the bikes tried to look backwards at you while you are walking and they ended up falling over and taking countless cyclists down with them. (Must to my amusement!!) But the staring... a novelty to start with quickly turns from something to chuckle over to something to want to tear their eyes out with for not giving you a moments peace.

Every day, when I leave my apartment, I am called an American. And the Americans joke and chuckle about it saying that it is ok, Canada is just little American anyways... it does get to you and you do grow feircly proud of your roots.

I've watched over the years foreigners who have been here for longer than a year and discover who has been successful living here and who has not been. Those that are successful have immersed themselves into the culture and into the lifestyle... picking up the day to day activities yet still maintaining what makes them different. And the ones who are not successful and hate their time here and the ones that constantly complain about Chinese people... are the ones that create little pockets of minorities and only live within that shell. They only eat at Western restaurants then complain that the food is not good. Only buy western food from the shops and refuse to indulge in the local dishes because Chinese/Mongolian food is not clean!!!

Don't get me wrong... there are some days where everything is just way too much and I break down and cry wishing I could just move back to Canada were life is easier and I can get all the comfort foods I am missing and eat BBQ hamburgers without soysauce or ketchup on them and be able to have a proper steak and not have to worry about intestinal worms because the meat is not cooked then worry for the next few weeks about my digestive track, or to be able to go into a store and buy socks that fit, or buy lotions and creams that have bronzer in them and not crap that makes your skin so white that I can see my veins through my now translucent skin.... oh yes... trust me.... I have my Fuck China days.... And especially when you are ill and have to go to a hospital, a doctor even have a surgery... try being told you must have an operation like today, for it is urgent, and not being able to understand fully what is wrong only that you have a pain on a part of your body, but no idea what is causing that pain, and no one can translate it or help you to understand.... Want to feel so alone and lost and confused...

I do understand why people ban together and make little ethnic communities within a larger community.... it is easier. When you speak, you do not need to spend twenty minutes trying to explain what you are saying, or break down your joke so your new friends can understand you.... The comfort of the familiar is so much easier to deal with then the unknown. It is REALLY hard to move to a new place and foster friendships. It does take a hell of a lot of work and a heck of a lot of patience.... but it is so worth it when that bridge is built and both sides are there... so very much worth it. Nationality... ethnicity... it is a toss up for me...

I do beleive it is important to maintain a link to your past, and hold feircly onto it remember where you came from. But; without building a bridge connecting your past to your future and pulling the two together, making a new culture out of the deal... we loose what makes us special and unique. There has to be some give and some take... but in the end... I made the choice to move here, I must meet the way of life more than halfway as I came here. I made the decision to live and work in China. It is my responsibility to adapt and be productive in their society. It is not their job to adapt to my way of life.



Wow... what a great post! I really enjoyed reading and learning about this from a different perspective! You're right, it's impossible to understand what it's like to be in the minority, until you are living it yourself. Thanks for sharing this... icon_smile

mercianknight
Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2011 12:29:39 PM

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Joined: 8/11/2009
Posts: 2,027
Location: whispering conspiratorially in your ear, Bermuda
Woman puts it better than I probably can, however, my opinion is that the sooner we dump the 'ethnicity' baggage the sooner we can move toward a more idealistic world that would also see the decline (and elimination?) of racism. I'm not saying forget your roots etc, but the negatives of these so-called "China Towns" or whatever far out-weigh the positives.

Why?

I left England in 1984, but you would be hard pressed to find a more patriotic Englishman than I in my neck of the woods. However, as so eloquently stated by Woman, the only reason I have been 'successful' in living abroad for this long is because I allowed myself to be immersed in the local culture. I've embraced its traditions, warts and all, and have steered clear of "Little England" societies that are peopled by embittered immigrants who object to every facet of the society we are living in. I almost want to scream at them that if they are unhappy because the restaurant/tea rooms do not steep the tea leaves a full two minutes then they should get the hell out!!

I have been unreservedly accepted by the 'locals'. Sure I still root for England in the footie, rugby, cricket or whatever, and I take the ribbing along with the accolades, but I also stand up and be counted for my 'new' home. A bit like Felix, the locals easily point me out as not being one of 'them', but accept me. I am not offended by what is simply a factual observation and seem to kinda like that I am not always comparing their home to England (in public).

"Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English." - Korben Dallas, from The Fifth Element

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience?" - George Bernard Shaw
Guest
Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2011 1:09:32 PM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 691,353
With Respect to you Merciaknight I disagree with your opinion about Chinatowns. I already said that I grew up in an area that was heavily Chinese so no need to repeat all that. But having an area where Chinese businesses, even mixed in with some Vietnamese and Korean businesses, and temples too, that does not keep racism alive or keep people from feeling like Americans. Its all about culture and a way of life. If we don't keep that then what do we have? Applebees 7-11 & Wal Mart? Yeah we go to those places too but its not all we have. In my opinion there is not much to American culture at all. I like gossip mags and reality tv and all the things that the rest of America likes too, but its not all we have.

What do you pass on to your little cousins or maybe your kids one day? Other than the empty stuff that just pure America has. Everybody should have something special that they think is of themselves and their people. The things from overseas, and the native foods, the temple, thats what we have. So the problem is not anything to do with us, it is resentment that we have those things. I see that from time to time too. Don't you just want to be American? They say. But culture has nothing to do with the country you live in and agree to be a part of, in my opinion. It go without saying that you don't act like everyone else should live the way you live, to do that is to just be an ass hole. But your opinion sounds like everything that is of that country should take the place of whatever people bring with them in the way of food and other things. That is more racist than having a Chinatown where we can be more comfortable and keep what is ours. Otherwise there is nothing to pass on and everyone is exactly the same? So much is lost then in my opinion. This was long but needed to be said.
Woman
Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2011 6:55:55 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 11/21/2009
Posts: 674
Location: Stopping the war 'tween Harold and Kumar
shi_squared wrote:
But culture has nothing to do with the country you live in and agree to be a part of, in my opinion. It go without saying that you don't act like everyone else should live the way you live, to do that is to just be an ass hole. But your opinion sounds like everything that is of that country should take the place of whatever people bring with them in the way of food and other things. That is more racist than having a Chinatown where we can be more comfortable and keep what is ours. Otherwise there is nothing to pass on and everyone is exactly the same? So much is lost then in my opinion. This was long but needed to be said.


I agree with you and I disagree with you here.

Keeping ones past and culture and traditions alive and to pass them onto the youth and to the new culture you live in is admirable. It really is. It is exactly what I do here, and what countless of immigrants have done when moving to a new country. Bringing the best of their country with them. However; when people make the choice to move to a new country, they should not demand that their rights and such are any more important than a citizens of the country.

I say for example, Merry Christmas. Canada was founded with the beleif in God and Jesus and many other things as well. Now I may have my doubts about organised religion, and question it, but tradition is not saying "Happy Holidays/ seasons Greetings because we have become such a bleeding heart society that I am afraid of hurting your feelings and putting your soul into eternal damnation because you moved to a country where it is Christmas. But we can no longer say it." Which is exactly as it has become.

You do not move to a country and bash what your new countries traditions are pushing your own beleifs onto others. You adapt. For a choice was made.

It is easier to live in say a China Town, and lord knows when I return to Canada, I do feel a hell of a lot more comfortable in China Town (and my stomach thanks me too!!) BUT in order to be a good human being, is to share what makes a society and culture great.

MericanKnight, I do not think was saying that one should just forget where they came from, but adapt into the new society. I may have adapted to the way of life here in China so well that most Chinese people think I am the local and they are the foreigner. But, I am more anal about keeping some points that I think are the most important about my culture and traditions. It is a compromise. For example; the hard core aspect about no meaning no and you WILL respect me for saying it, is far more important than two days off at Christmas time. Even though I need not say "xie xie (thank-you)" when speaking Chinese as it is implied, I still say thank-you often, in the hopes that people pick up on it, and make an effort to be thankful for people helping them out. And this is more important too me than wearing a tank top out in public.

It is not loosing your history, or your cultural identity, or giving up the things you hold most dear. It is about sharing them, and stopping the thought of being called an outsider because you were born in another country. It is about sharing them so people can learn and understand that your basic human desires are the same no matter which country you are from.

And then as well, it is about putting your national pride to rest in thinking that you and your country are better than everyone elses. (This point is made as a general statement for everyone and not directed at one person.) If you do not want to adapt and learn about another culture, then by golly gee whiz... don't leave your hometown.

(The above paragraph is a rant due to some moronic numpties yesterday at the hospital from America. They were hurt and needed a doctor, but no doctor on duty spoke English, to which they started putting down all of China, how horrible the country is, how much better America is, and how backwards and stupid China is. THEN when a nurse who spoke broken English came to offer some assistance, they bitched and complained and ranted at her, and in my opinion verbally mean, she looked like she was going to cry as they were speaking so fast, she couldn't keep up and from what she said later only understood the word "fuck" with every other word. She being Chinese, could not walk away due to the way the culture is. She stood there with tears in her eyes taking it all.

They went on about how much better America is to China, and when I finally got the needles out of my back, was unhooked from the traction harness, I went out and looked at them, quietly said that they should be ashamed of themselves and stop taking their fear out on the poor nurse whose job it is to be a nurse not be a translator. )

Living life and enjoying life are two different things... just need to figure out how to do both at the same time to live it right!

Woman... GO FLY A KITE!!!!! Take a slideshow walk with me on a walk through the parks of Inner Mongolia, China. Then enjoy the tale of a very traditional day in the life of a white Woman in China.
Guest
Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2011 8:17:45 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 691,353
Woman wrote:

It is easier to live in say a China Town, and lord knows when I return to Canada, I do feel a hell of a lot more comfortable in China Town (and my stomach thanks me too!!) BUT in order to be a good human being, is to share what makes a society and culture great.

It is not loosing your history, or your cultural identity, or giving up the things you hold most dear. It is about sharing them, and stopping the thought of being called an outsider because you were born in another country. It is about sharing them so people can learn and understand that your basic human desires are the same no matter which country you are from.



Woman, I am sure that there are plenty of rotten people in the group of people north of Dallas that identify ourselves as Chinese-American, or Vietnamese- or Korean- etc. But there is nothing about maintaining a tiny piece of a giant metropolis that means we are not good people, as you say in your message. You do not have to dissolve your community "in order to be a good human being"! Plenty is shared and its not like just because you live in a certain part of a city that you don't assimulate and just keep to yourself all the time. Maybe a real chinatown some place that I haven't been is that way, but plenty of other ethnic peoples come to shop and eat in the part of town where I was raised, and its not like I wasn't always at The Galleria, or Uptown, or any other part of town growing up. Now I don't even live there, but thats because my work is closer to here than driving in from there.

Calling ourself outsiders? No I don't think so. We are in lots of ways but don't dwell on it. We live in a great country, why do you think we end up here? Its not about just isolating at all. I just respond to the guy saying China town has more negatives than positives. Easy to say for others!
Guest
Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2011 8:39:14 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 691,353
I am going to venture a guess and say that knight was not saying China-Town as in actual pockets of Chinese inhabitants within a city consisting of a predominately non-Chinese populace. He was merely saying "China-Towns" as in the pockets that form from whatever cultural background you're from, i.e. Little-italies, greek-towns, and so on.

Correct me if I am wrong.
Guest
Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2011 11:37:54 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 691,353
eviotis wrote:
I am going to venture a guess and say that knight was not saying China-Town as in actual pockets of Chinese inhabitants within a city consisting of a predominately non-Chinese populace. He was merely saying "China-Towns" as in the pockets that form from whatever cultural background you're from, i.e. Little-italies, greek-towns, and so on.

Correct me if I am wrong.


Yeah that's what I got out of it too, and so my opinion could be for any group, not just the Chinese. It's not like everyone stays in their neighborhood all the time and nobody ventures in or out. We're all living under the same government, and mostly get along. Then to say that's not enough, now all the different neighborhoods need to go away and just be American, or whatever, is taking it too far. Do that, and you will have lots of unhappy people and for what? We get all excited because our neighborhood is gone? Sorry but I don't see where you are coming from.
Guest
Posted: Friday, January 14, 2011 6:44:38 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 691,353
The pockets have their merits, but there needs to be more of a human world view and skip that nationalist view, but since people can't even get over their own ethnic/cultural prejudices I guess we'll have to take baby steps out of the cultural womb.

Your neighborhood is already there. To enclose yourself and not let others in is antithetical to a global view. We should just be humans.
Guest
Posted: Friday, January 14, 2011 6:50:06 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 691,353
I agree with you eviotis. its not enclosed at all and everyone is always welcome. :)
Guest
Posted: Friday, January 14, 2011 7:51:16 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 691,353
Cool. And I believe that is all that Knight was trying to say. Peace.
Woman
Posted: Friday, January 14, 2011 11:36:38 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 11/21/2009
Posts: 674
Location: Stopping the war 'tween Harold and Kumar
shi_squared wrote:
Woman wrote:

It is easier to live in say a China Town, and lord knows when I return to Canada, I do feel a hell of a lot more comfortable in China Town (and my stomach thanks me too!!) BUT in order to be a good human being, is to share what makes a society and culture great.

It is not loosing your history, or your cultural identity, or giving up the things you hold most dear. It is about sharing them, and stopping the thought of being called an outsider because you were born in another country. It is about sharing them so people can learn and understand that your basic human desires are the same no matter which country you are from.



Woman, I am sure that there are plenty of rotten people in the group of people north of Dallas that identify ourselves as Chinese-American, or Vietnamese- or Korean- etc. But there is nothing about maintaining a tiny piece of a giant metropolis that means we are not good people, as you say in your message. You do not have to dissolve your community "in order to be a good human being"! Plenty is shared and its not like just because you live in a certain part of a city that you don't assimulate and just keep to yourself all the time. Maybe a real chinatown some place that I haven't been is that way, but plenty of other ethnic peoples come to shop and eat in the part of town where I was raised, and its not like I wasn't always at The Galleria, or Uptown, or any other part of town growing up. Now I don't even live there, but thats because my work is closer to here than driving in from there.

Calling ourself outsiders? No I don't think so. We are in lots of ways but don't dwell on it. We live in a great country, why do you think we end up here? Its not about just isolating at all. I just respond to the guy saying China town has more negatives than positives. Easy to say for others!


Please re-read what you quoted. Specifically about the part of what I feel is being a good human being is to SHARE what makes one unique.

If you read the whole post, you will notice I made no mention of giving up who you are or where you came from, only that one shares with others what they have brought with them and in turn, accept and respect that everyone thinks and acts differently. And secondly, if one does decide to move to a new country, you made the choice, so should be willing to adapt to a new way of life and not dig in ones heels forcing those around you change.

The opposite of what I wrote is what I see daily here. And have witnessed the opposite of what I have said in opposite parts of Canada as well. But then again, I've witnessed some of the best of what humanity has to offer in those pockets, especially in Nunavut and scattered throughout China. So I am left to my original post saying simply, "I don't know."

Living life and enjoying life are two different things... just need to figure out how to do both at the same time to live it right!

Woman... GO FLY A KITE!!!!! Take a slideshow walk with me on a walk through the parks of Inner Mongolia, China. Then enjoy the tale of a very traditional day in the life of a white Woman in China.
Guest
Posted: Saturday, January 15, 2011 4:17:12 AM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 691,353
I think the main problem with nationalism, is the idea that the place you were born is better than the place of anybody else.

What is the place you are born? It's just a greographical coordenate, the intersection point between a longitude and a latitude.

What if instead of places like Japan or Brazil people said they were born in 35´56´´ ? Wouldnt that remove a lot of trouble?

mercianknight
Posted: Monday, January 17, 2011 6:09:44 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/11/2009
Posts: 2,027
Location: whispering conspiratorially in your ear, Bermuda
Wow, look what happens when you post a well meaning comment and then cannot get back to the forum for a few days. Sword Fight

My deepest thanks to eviotis and Shi for working out that I was not trying to be inflammatory. Kudos.

Nothing else for me to say. blah5

"Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English." - Korben Dallas, from The Fifth Element

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience?" - George Bernard Shaw
Rembacher
Posted: Monday, January 17, 2011 10:04:25 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/16/2008
Posts: 1,107
javier wrote:
I think the main problem with nationalism, is the idea that the place you were born is better than the place of anybody else.

What is the place you are born? It's just a greographical coordenate, the intersection point between a longitude and a latitude.

What if instead of places like Japan or Brazil people said they were born in 35´56´´ ? Wouldnt that remove a lot of trouble?



It's an interesting idea, but I think people would still have some sort of a connection to the place you call home. Being a country boy I have only limited knowledge of this, but I would argue that inner city communities can be like this already, most blatantly with the gangs. Whether you call it 8th street, or Brazil, people will still think it is a badge of honour to come from where they did, even if it is only for the fact that they survived it. (Thinking of my friends from Oakland who seem to have a little of this attitude)
Magical_felix
Posted: Monday, January 17, 2011 10:35:55 AM

Rank: Wild at Heart

Joined: 4/3/2010
Posts: 6,060
Location: California
javier wrote:
I think the main problem with nationalism, is the idea that the place you were born is better than the place of anybody else.

What is the place you are born? It's just a greographical coordenate, the intersection point between a longitude and a latitude.

What if instead of places like Japan or Brazil people said they were born in 35´56´´ ? Wouldnt that remove a lot of trouble?



Probably would be the same thing Javier. In california people tattoo their area codes onto themselves. It's just numbers but it's still where you're from.



LadyX
Posted: Monday, January 17, 2011 11:52:05 AM

Rank: Artistic Tart
Moderator

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,804
Magical_felix wrote:

Probably would be the same thing Javier. In california people tattoo their area codes onto themselves. It's just numbers but it's still where you're from.


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