March 2, 2010

You Love the Country But Will It Love You?

Some people who are interested in other cultures to the point of wanting to expatriate and go to another country to live, need to keep one thing in mind and ask themselves this question: "Will the country love you the way you love it?" Prejudice against certain groups is very strong in some parts of the world. Find out how you will be perceived in that particular nation or region, and whether you happen to be a member of a group that is not very popular in that country.

For example, an Israeli guy who likes Italian music and culture may not be making a wise choice when he contemplates moving to Italy long term. Prejudice against Jews in Italy is still quite strong. He may run into unpleasant incidents while there, and many people may not like him.

A Canadian guy who has always enjoyed Russian music and is fond of Russian culture and people, is contemplating a long trip to Russia. He is hoping to make new friends and, possibly, even to meet a great Russian woman and have a romance with her. The problem is, he is black. Now may not be a good time for black people to go to Russia. Skinheads are attacking people of color in many parts of the country. Black people have been beaten, stabbed and shot at. While he may love Russia, many people there may not like 'him'.

A Russian guy loves Cuban music. He is contemplating a trip to Cuba and a possible relocation there. He has always been fascinated by the sultry Cuban women, Havana cigars and, in his heart, he may even like Fidel. However, Cuba may not be a good place for a Russian to be. Anti-Russian propaganda is very strong there now. Since Russia became capitalist, many Cuban people feel that they have been betrayed by the Russians. He may feel resentment coming from a lot of people there. Therefore, planning to go to Cuba may not be a good choice for him.

The good news is that there may be a culture similar to the culture we like, but whose members are not nurturing a grudge against someone like us. An Israeli guy may want to go to Uruguay instead. It is a cosmopolitan society with not much prejudice towards the Jews. And the culture is very similar to the Italian culture.

A black Canadian may choose Croatia or even Slovenia- a similar culture to Russia but without much prejudice against blacks or black Canadians.

A Russian may do better if he goes to a place like Brazil or even Venezuela. People in those two countries have similar cultures to Cuba without much prejudice or grudge against the Russians.

So, choose wisely. Do not invest time, money and energy in preparing yourself to love a country that may not love you back. Unrequited love hurts. It hurts even more if it is accompanied by daily frowns, a beating or a gun shot.

If you want to expatriate, I can assure you that there is a country just for you where you will feel at home. So do your homework, research, ask around and you will soon find your true love which also returns your feelings.

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