February 23, 2010

Immigration and ethnic perceptions

***Political correctness in speech is almost always applicable to the English language only. It starts at US universities and quickly spreads to other Anglo countries- UK, Canada, OZ, NZ. Maybe some W. Euro countries share the correctness- France, Spain, Germany, Holland, etc.

In other, more remote countries that speak languages that are not mainstream, people have no qualms about using insulting terms about those who are different and the parents there even teach their children to use them. There is no movement for political correctness there and most speakers are not even aware that the words they use cause moral, mental and emotional stress. And there is not enough power on the part of the minorities to press for any kind of language reform.

If you translate the terms with which many Chinese describe Westerners, these would be horrible- White Devil, White Ghost, Red Haired Monkey, Golden Haired Monster, etc. In the US, these would cause a court hearing.

If you can read Asian languages, the way some groups, including foreigners are described would cause closure of printing establishments if these were in English and on the territory of the US, Can. NZ, Oz, etc.

Since most English speakers are not very numerous and cannot understand other languages, the language reforms in those "remote" places will probably never be carried out as a a result of influence by US universities.

***Italian Americans are not Italians. Chinese Americans are not Chinese. German Americans and Irish Americans are not Germans and Irish. They are only called German, Irish, Chinese, etc. on the territory of the US. And African Americans are not Africans. They only have the 'African" in their designation as "required" by the context of the US culture.

Those who think that the US has every culture represented and it is not necessary to travel overseas are deluding themselves. It is hard to describe why they are wrong. You need to go and see where the differences lie between an African and an African- American for one.

A person who thinks that instead of going to Rome, he can visit Little Italy in NY and experience Italian culture is similar to a person who says that he does not need to go on a safari as there is a zoo in his town.

Ah, it's not the same.

***The world is like a palace with over 200 rooms ( as there are 200 countries or so). Each room provides delights and opportunities that the other room may not. Why stay all your life in one room? It would be very myopic and plain si lly. Yet, most people do just that and think they are as happy as a pig in s h i t.

Once you learn to roam the other many rooms and discover the tantalizing treasures in each one, you will open for yourself a life of such glory and richness that returning back to the "one" room and staying only there will become an impossibility.

You will also find out that you will have very few people who would be able to give you advice on how to go about the 200 rooms as most people do not travel and are not aware of what it is like in other rooms.

You will have to join PT ( perpetual traveler) online clubs and hang out with other international travelers if you want to be fully informed.

Everything you need is in the house of 200 rooms and you are entitled to most of it.

Before I started traveling I was told that my future would be beyond my wildest dreams and it did turn out to be beyond them.

You life must be a journey through those rooms , otherwise you have not lived.

So called underdeveloped countries with bad reputations are actually great places to visit and live in and look for social life in.

The so-called exciting, romantic and "good" countries are often boring and sterile and are populated by stuck up and unfriendly people and unattractive women

The international media reputation distorts reality so much that it creates huge numbers of countries where most people will not go because they see them as ugly and dangerous and their people as "bad" and unfriendly.

Normally things turn out to be exactly opposite of what media teaches us.

***A traveler or immigrant seems daft, naive and trusting to the host national and a host national often seems bigoted and ignorant to the traveler.

Emigration and immigration are part of a worldwide migration. One is usually aware of the immigration as one sees numbers of people coming into one's country but is less aware of the emigration as one cannot see people leave just as clearly.

One also cannot see people coming in and out of other countries unless one keeps special tabs on them by doing specific research on the matter. Most migrations are money oriented with political and social reasons coming in second and third.

*** This is how the Japanese describe the Brits:

Open, friendly

And the French describe them as reserved, unfeeling and cold.

The Japanese describe Americans as open, jovial, expressive.

The Mexicans describe them as reserved and tight-a$$ed.

The Russians describe Americans as passionless and as smiling automatons.

The Chinese describe the Japanese as inscrutable.

Interesting how depending on one's cultural perspective people can be this or that.

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