Should Immigrants Assimilate?

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by RayCaptain, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. RayCaptain

    RayCaptain Stranger in a Strange Land

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    10,708
    Likes Received:
    279
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Not where I wanna be
    Ratings:
    +428 / 3 / -10
    You hear of the United States being the "Melting Pot". The idea is that if you come to America, from anywhere in the world, you would adapt your lifestyle to the American way, embrace freedom, liberty, equality, and pursue the American Dream. Or at least something like that.

    Today, there are people who argue that it is chauvinistic and unethical to expect immigrants to assimilate to a way of life, a culture. In Europe, many have fled in the name of finding refuge from poverty and violence, but do not consider themselves European in culture or even name. Others say that immigrants can never be a part of a country like Germany, that a goose born in a stable doesn't make it a horse.

    So, should immigrants be expected to assimilate? Or is that unethical? Can they even truly assimilate or is culture rooted in a shared history? Should certain things be non-negotiable? And how do we address the issue of large populations of individuals who do not share similar cultures or values, and who are perhaps hostile against those carried by most in the West?

    I know what I think, but I invite you all to politely share your thoughts and feelings on the matter in strict accordance to the forum rules.
     
  2. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    7,161
    Likes Received:
    359
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +646 / 3 / -1
    Assimilation takes one generation to begin. Children are a blank slate when born and thus if they are brought up in a different culture they can, and will, assimilate very readily.

    In fact most migratory groups will assimilate fairly readily and its important to realise that the vast majority of developed countries are already huge assimilations of many cultures and peoples over thousands of years.


    The problems tend to be when groups moving into a new country are put into areas with their own people. This is fairly normal behaviour and to be expected; if you freely moved to a new country you'd probably look for other people who share a similar background to move into an area with just to feel safer. IT can also happen (esp when there's a surge) that housing is found en-mass for them in the same area - again it encourages formation of isolated populations within the whole.

    It's a bad policy for assimilation as when it becomes extreme that segment of society can operate on its own without fully assimilating. This can set back the process and creates tensions within the country


    And we all do it. I've been to the Costa del Sol in Spain where there's a huge British population (mostly older generations) who have moved out there and not assimilated. A great irony is many moved there "because of so many foreigners who won't adapt in the UK" and they refuse to learn proper Spanish or even follow all local laws (mostly on registration elements and the like). So they are as guilty as those they blame from their own country.


    I should note that, in my view, assimilation has several big issues
    1) Religion. Always been there and where-ever there is religious division there has been potential for contention; even between people of the same nation (countries have been and continue to be torn apart by religious differences).

    2) Jobs. Lets face it this is a HUGE factor. When jobs are scarce and there is more workforce than work then racial tensions run high.
    On the flipside when jobs are plentiful people don't care; in fact at the end of WWII the UK accepted a huge number of immigrants from multiple nations to help repopulated and get industry and other lines of work going again after losing so many of our own population.

    3) Culture and cultural change. Always an element, even one generation to the next can have huge changes in culture which can lead to contention. Again this is not in any way unique to immigrants.



    In the end immigration brings not so much new as extremes of elements (and I use extreme NOT in the sense of extremist terrorists) that are already normal parts of social structures within most countries. The racial differences act only as an additional layer that also makes segregation and "oh its all them" blame systems work. Media can feed it too, a few trashy newspapers and poor reporting practice can fast create problems that are not even there; or put additional pressure on things.




    As to the question I believe that if you move to another country then you should assimilate. You should learn their language if you are going to live there. You should obey their laws and respect their culture and religion. That doesn't mean you have to believe their religion (religious freedom to worship who you choose, if any god, should be a thing); nor that you have to embrace all of their culture and cultural ways. But you should at least respect them.
    Similarly I would hope and expect the return from the hose nation; after all they've allowed you to come to their country. Though of course that is often at a legal level not at an individual per person level (there will always be opposition).


    In the end its complex, but I personally think that the rise of human society is beginning to accept and embrace other cultures for what they are and respecting that, in the end, we are all just people and the VAST majority just want lower taxes, better services, a job, some free money for a hobby, to raise a family, be safe and have some weekend time and a holiday.
     
  3. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    8,207
    Likes Received:
    206
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Not in Amsterdam :)
    Ratings:
    +316 / 2 / -0
    Well, the best perspective to take is not to see immigrants as a problem. I think the best perspective to take is to see them as you.

    I mean, if there is any trait you share with an immigrant, it would be that they are also human. Whilst not to be expected, having to flee your country for whatever reason is not entirely outside the realm of possibility.

    But then the question becomes: you have arrived in, let's say, Morocco. Different culture. Different religion. Different language. I mean, would you readily assimilate? Would you let go of your Western ways in favour of the couleur locale. Would you incentivise your children to let go of the identity you were born with?

    I mean, there's going to be many grey areas in that question. However, I will tell you what. You will become quite frustrated at the culture you are facing, simply because it does not always operate in the way you have come to expect from a society to operate. And that can be on a very fundamental level. And, as a result, I am going to guarantee you that you will seek out people with a similar background to your own. There will always be individual exceptions, but once an expat population reaches a certain critical mass, then it will form a subculture almost automatically, and almost invariably.

    I can attest this first-hand, too. For some time, I was part of an expat population when I lived in Malawi for a while. Now, Malawi already has an expat population. But both the local population, as well as them, naturally assumed me to belong to the Western expat population there. There is a push, and a pull. And you will have to fight very hard to escape that.

    The short of it is that assimilation does not come naturally to immigrant populations. There are ways around that. One way is to lower the boundaries between the main culture, and immigrant subcultures. The other is to set up laws, rules and regulations so strict that every action outside the norm of society is punished. Examples do exist, but I do think that the latter is damaging for any country to do so in the long run.

    Let's just say that I am not a fan of that...
     
  4. wanderingmagus

    wanderingmagus King Anakin's Royal Advisor, Constantly Around :D

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    11,024
    Likes Received:
    266
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Middle Earth
    Ratings:
    +635 / 1 / -1
    I most definitely feel that immigrants to any particular country should be required to assimilate as much as possible. In the case of moving to Morocco, if you didn't like Moroccan culture, language, borders and religion, why did you move there in the first place? If it's just because of persecution back home, fine, then move to someplace that's closer to your own culture, like somewhere else in the West, for example. Don't go to Morocco expecting to impose your Western beliefs and cultural expectations on everyone, people who have been here for generations.

    The same goes the other way around. Are you a super-conservative Muslim who believes Sharia is absolutely meant to be enforced by violence if necessary and infidels are to be taxed jizyah or beheaded if they refuse to convert? Move to another Muslim country, one closer to whatever values you consider important, instead of the West. Try Saudi Arabia or Iran or Pakistan or Afghanistan or Turkey.

    A nation is defined by its borders, language, and culture. America is defined by its borders, American English, and American culture. The advent of the Internet means you don't even have to leave wherever it is you are to get yourself a job these days, so if you'd feel more at home with a mosque at every street corner, stay in the Middle East or go to Malaysia. If you think everyone should speak Spanish, move to a better Latin American country, or try Puerto Rico. If you think China is the greatest thing since sliced bread, why'd you leave in the first place? If you think the same of Japan, I'd invite you to try living there, gaijin, and see how tight your nakama is after jyuunenkan in, say, Okinawa.

    So you've come to America to be an American citizen? All right then, how's your English? Nonexistent? Come back when you can read, write and communicate fluently. Got that down? Now let's talk about cultural norms. Scandalized by the fact that women have rights? Looks like you're not quite ready to join us here in the 21st century, mate. How about freedom of religion and free speech? Can't handle infidels and heretics and blasphemers? Back of the line, pal, there's plenty of others who are perfectly willing to set all that aside for a chance at the Land of Opportunity. There's a waiting list, in fact.

    If you can't follow our laws, can't accept our cultural norms, can't understand our language and can't deal with our way of life, I'm wondering exactly why you came here in the first place. You don't see me moving to Japan, not without years of studying the language and culture, learning the ins and outs of keigo, proper feminine vs masculine speech patterns, etc. I would expect no less of someone planning to come to America.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  5. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    5,807
    Likes Received:
    208
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +330 / 2 / -1
    Here we have a national policy of multiculturalism. It isn't perfect and cultural differences can and do cause problems occasionally, but overall I think we're doing OK with it. We seem to function as a nation just fine. We definitely tend to have sections of cities or geographic areas where immigrants from other nations settle in a community. You can go to these places and get authentic cuisine, buy items or clothing unique to that culture and if you're into comparative religious studies there's no shortage of other belief systems around to investigate. Not far from here there are a lot of Dutch farmers so you can find all kinds of Dutch stuff in the local grocery stores. There's a large Asian/Oriental population around where I work and a lot of East Indian communities not far from there either.

    Do I encounter people who can't speak English sometimes? Yes. Does it cause problems? Rarely. They know they can't speak the language and they don't like not knowing what's going on any more than I would. They make sure to bring an interpreter with them or a cell phone with a phone number for one. Do we run into problems with first gen immigrants from other cultures breaking our laws? Yes. I personally know an individual who figured it was OK to sexually assault women. He was prosecuted to the full extent of the law and I believe eventually decided to return to his home country. It doesn't matter what is acceptable in other places, if an act contravenes our laws, we won't put up with it here. Within the boundaries of the law however, you can do what you like, eat what you want, wear what you want, listen to whatever music you like, watch your Bollywood on Netflix and pray to whatever God, Gods, Prophet, (or lack thereof) you want to pray to.

    Interestingly, second and third generation Canadians (the descendants of the original immigrants) tend to assimilate anyway. I went to school with a lot of these kids and they rarely hold the same values and attitudes of their parents towards a lot of things. My generation and younger are also a lot more tolerant than our parents because we did go to school with kids from other cultures. They were our playground buddies, best friends, university roommates and came with us on late-night runs to get candy at the bulk food store during exams. One of my favourite childhood memories was going to visit my friend down the street whose parents had immigrated from India. She was born here and her grandmother would come to visit and stay for a month or two sometimes. She didn't speak English and my friend didn't speak her language so communication was terrible between them. Still, my friend and I would play together and her grandma would make us "salty cookies"... an Indian dish which we had no hope of properly pronouncing. I loved her grandma because she was a sweet old lady. They also had a lot of cool stuff in their house...ornate Indian carvings, and lots of elephant statues. As a kid I found all that stuff fascinating and my world would have been lesser without those experiences.

    I'd say the laws of a society define it's moral character and anyone who breaks those laws doesn't belong in that society. As long as somebody agrees to uphold the laws of their new home, it shouldn't matter how they live within them.
     
  6. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    7,161
    Likes Received:
    359
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +646 / 3 / -1
    Thing is that isn't always a viable choice. Immigrants are not just thinking of culture when they move countries, they are often thinking they want to live somewhere safe where they've a chance at earning a decent wage whilst living there and/or sending that money home for their family.
    So culture isn't the first thing they are thinking of, its survival and choosing to live somewhere which offers them a better quality and standard of life.

    The UK has national health, its got benefit systems, its got generally good human rights support and the £ (even now) is a strong currency. It makes the country sound like a paradise to live in. It's no shock people want to come here and want to take advantage of those benefits.



    As for adaptation I agree that immigrants should respect their host countries culture, beliefs and laws; similarly I feel that a host country should respect the beliefs of its immigrant populations - where they do not conflict with the laws of the land. There are some grey areas such as the preparation of meat (some cultures require killing methods that are not considered humane, however there have been efforts to work around those limits to find humane compromises).

    As for change, change is constant. The England that was here 50 years ago isn't here today. Each generation imposes its own changes on the country and the world around them. So even without any immigration there would be cultural swings and changes happening all the time; some a deliberate push, some a casual drift.
    Immigrants are going to want to push for some changes, to bring some of home with them. Personally I feel that that is ok; where those changes do not infringe upon the basic rights and laws of the country that they are migrating to.


    Heck the UK stole so much from other nations. Tea and curry are two huge things that came from other nations. Tea Drinking is considered very British and yet its a totally imported product from another culture.
    There's a richness in variety of life and, handled properly, there is the means to integrate and share and have benefits.
     
  7. wanderingmagus

    wanderingmagus King Anakin's Royal Advisor, Constantly Around :D

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    11,024
    Likes Received:
    266
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Middle Earth
    Ratings:
    +635 / 1 / -1
    I have no problem with bringing the best of your home culture to enrich the new culture. Where I draw the line is trying to drag the new culture backwards because of prejudices and outdated attitudes in your home culture. Welcome to the West, we invented these wonderful things called Rights and Freedoms. If you think people outside your religion should be jailed or executed, tough luck, and I better not catch you so much as THINKING about enforcing your disgusting "laws" on others here, not even on "your" wife and children. They and their lives no longer "belong" to you, they are their own independent, FREE individuals, citizens with the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, not slaves, not property, not walking breeding mares to be sold off to the highest bidder like animals. Don't like our new freedoms and civility? Wish you could gang-rape whatever attractive female you see walking down the street just because she's showing ankle or even leg? I dare you, try something and tell me how "tolerant" our police forces are afterwards.

    By all means, bake us the food of your people, play us the music of your people, sing us the song of your people. Show us the beauty of your artwork, enlighten us to the wonders of your literature and philosophy, your scientific discoveries and astronomical traditions. Throw us an amazing quinciñera with tres leches and flamenco. Enlighten us to the mathematics of Al Jebrah and the infinite variations of your flutes and nasheed. Enrich our clothing with your intricate embroidery, our rugs with your amazing and beautiful patterns and stitch work.

    But never, ever dispute our Rights. They're delineated in the Bill of Rights every immigrant should receive in citizenship class. Read them. Take them to heart. And don't you dare question or contravene them.
     
  8. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    8,207
    Likes Received:
    206
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Not in Amsterdam :)
    Ratings:
    +316 / 2 / -0
    It appears to me that you have never been a stranger in another culture.

    I don't know about impose though. Examples of new cultures actively trying to overthrow local culture are scarse by my counting. Clustering, as illustrated, is more or less natural. It happens.

    But the perspective you take is that of a member of the local culture, and there appears to be some frustration involved. Care to explain about that?

    This.... Is a somewhat extreme example. Sure, there are muslim immigrants who actually actively support sharia. The violence you describe though is something I totally don't recognize from the real world.

    It is, by the way, my firm believe that ostracized immigrantant will cling to a conservative take on their native culture and religion. In that sense, it can be seen as a reaction as much as it is an action. By and large, people want to live, get the opportunities they need to carve out an existence, and pretty much be left alone beyond that. Take one away, and they will start to feel alienated. And, yes, that comes with its own risks.
     
  9. wanderingmagus

    wanderingmagus King Anakin's Royal Advisor, Constantly Around :D

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    11,024
    Likes Received:
    266
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Middle Earth
    Ratings:
    +635 / 1 / -1
    My frustration is from both sides of the equation - both that of a fellow immigrant in a Western culture and of a "Western" individual. I also feel some frustration as a native of a non-western culture when Westerners come to visit or try to stay. For instance, you have Gaijin coming to China and Japan, making noise and disrupting the general flow of society, proclaiming this and that and the other about "rights" that don't exist in the local laws, filing lawsuits and demanding special treatment and refusing to treat the locals with the respect that is customarily due to them. Refusing to take off their shoes, insulting their hosts, acting provocatively and indecently towards the female members of the house and community, even disrespecting the police and the government, as if it were their God-given right to do so in a foreign country. Other countries are not zoos or resorts, we don't exist for your pleasure or convenience and it's insulting that you think we do.

    As a fellow immigrant, albeit second generation, I feel extreme embarrassment and frustration at my fellow immigrants doing and expecting much the same of our American hosts. It's one thing to criticise the food, the music and such in our native tongue, in the privacy of our homes, or to others of our culture, or perhaps politely explaining our grievances to a close American friend. It's another entirely to outright wish the death of American politicians, soldiers and leaders, to even joke about revolution or invasion, to disrespect and disobey all laws of the land and disrespect all your fellow immigrants by simply hopping the border fence and waltzing into the country like you owned it when millions of others are patiently waiting their turn, for decades, like my mother and father, and their mothers and fathers before them. It infuriates me when you proudly proclaim your undocumented status, the fact you stole in like a thief in the night. That you claim all the privileges of a citizen, all the social services, with none of the responsibilities. People would give their lives to come to this country, yet you sit here, with your twelve children and twenty cousins, using our welfare and our schools, and paying nothing, no taxes, no expenses, contributing nothing, and bragging about it to my face. It disgusts me, thinking about what my grandmother went through to get here and finally see Ellis Island, when you just walk in and claim "rights".

    As an American, it disgusts and frustrates me when immigrants come to this country and declare it and all its culture to be degenerate and decadent, joke about its leaders and its downfall. When they praise our enemies, flaunt our cultures, force their children on pain of beating or disowning from taking part in this American culture, dances and foods and friendships and love, fellowship and the peaceful sharing of ideas, the freedom to wear whatever we choose without covering our hair, to paint our nails or put makeup on our faces, to sing, to dance, to take joy in life and choose who we marry rather than let our parents force us to marry a man twice our age. It infuriates me. It disgusts me, that's father or mother would even consider female genital mutilation on their daughters, that they would abuse their own flesh and blood, abuse animals, abuse each other, in the name of tradition or culture.

    THAT is my reason.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  10. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    8,207
    Likes Received:
    206
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Not in Amsterdam :)
    Ratings:
    +316 / 2 / -0
    Okay, that is a pretty interesting perspective. Thank you for sharing :)
     
  11. wanderingmagus

    wanderingmagus King Anakin's Royal Advisor, Constantly Around :D

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    11,024
    Likes Received:
    266
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Middle Earth
    Ratings:
    +635 / 1 / -1
    No problem. Any comments or thoughts on it? I'm open to discussion if you think I'm being unreasonable in my frustrations, given my experiences. I understand very well that not all immigrants, perhaps even not most immigrants, behave in this manner, especially given that my family immigrated in the first place, but for some individuals and families... I just can't.
     
  12. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    8,207
    Likes Received:
    206
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Not in Amsterdam :)
    Ratings:
    +316 / 2 / -0
    I'm currently on the train. When I arrive, I have about half an hour to get home, change, and make my ass over to cycling training. I'll get back to you whe I have the time :)
     
  13. wanderingmagus

    wanderingmagus King Anakin's Royal Advisor, Constantly Around :D

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    11,024
    Likes Received:
    266
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Middle Earth
    Ratings:
    +635 / 1 / -1
    Have you mulled over things and gotten settled down, @Turambar ?
     
  14. RayCaptain

    RayCaptain Stranger in a Strange Land

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    10,708
    Likes Received:
    279
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Not where I wanna be
    Ratings:
    +428 / 3 / -10
    I honestly think you won the whole thread. You have a perspective that lets you just lay down such a solid argument :D
     
  15. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    5,807
    Likes Received:
    208
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +330 / 2 / -1
    This post highlights my shame at being a descendant of the people who destroyed our Canadian indigenous cultures.
     
  16. RayCaptain

    RayCaptain Stranger in a Strange Land

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    10,708
    Likes Received:
    279
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Not where I wanna be
    Ratings:
    +428 / 3 / -10
    White Guilt(tm)? Really? I'd say Canada is a thousand times better off than it would have been, left to the natives. Certainly, hospitals and roads are better than scrounging for berries? Not to say the ends justify the means, but my goodness, shame for your ancestors settling a wild country for the better of it all?
     
  17. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    7,161
    Likes Received:
    359
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +646 / 3 / -1
    Yes but you don't have to march in with armies, shoot the natives and give a massive bout of diseases that they never had before in order to help advance them to the modern age ;)

    Sure modernization has helped, but I think one can still feel shame for the way in which first contact and diplomacy and all unfolded in the past. Even if you rationalise it ot the point where you accept that competition for resources is a natural element in life
     
  18. RayCaptain

    RayCaptain Stranger in a Strange Land

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    10,708
    Likes Received:
    279
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Not where I wanna be
    Ratings:
    +428 / 3 / -10
    At the time, literally anyone capable of it did it. If the natives had had the capacity, they would sail across the oceans and colonize those savage pale skins! But they didn't. Because they couldn't. Because they were busy trying to store food for the winter.

    And if you think that natives didn't murder and war one another all the live long day over whatever people murder and war one another acrosd the world for...

    Anyhow, this tangent is very much off topic, but I guess Magus won the topic?
     
  19. wanderingmagus

    wanderingmagus King Anakin's Royal Advisor, Constantly Around :D

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    11,024
    Likes Received:
    266
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Middle Earth
    Ratings:
    +635 / 1 / -1
    I mean, if it's basically social darwinism, you might say that it's a perfectly valid method of imperialization and colonization for, say, Muslims to go out and culturally dominate formerly Western-culture lands, drive out the inhabitants with Sharia and riots and high crime, and then multiply like rabbits to fill the void left behind. The same could be said for Chinese billionaires buying up acre upon acre of land and colonizing it, Latinos coming back north to take back the American Southwest with pure population growth, etc. It's not their fault that nobody's putting up any resistance, and the fact that the soon-to-be-colonized are dying out is only further proof, according to social darwinism, that they have no right to exist in the world, and that their place in society is to be wiped out entirely, so that the stronger races can take over. Any thoughts or theories of "superiority" would just be so much arrogance and pretense, based on the work of ancestors who aren't alive anymore, in a world where their descendants are weak, immature, pathetic beings worthy only of serving as breeding mares for the stronger, superior races.

    That's how social darwinism works, right?

    I think that almost all cultures have some beauty to them, and that the best of each should be incorporated into the global community. America embodies the idea of taking the best of each culture and mixing them together in the melting pot. Admittedly, it has its flaws, but overall, it hasn't done too poorly. Are other cultures older? Certainly. But did they walk on the moon? Did they develop smartphones and 3d printing? Multiculturalism allows one to walk down the street and choose between burgers, sushi, chow mein and curry, or take some of everything. It allows you to go see an opera while dressed in Chinese silk, Indian embroidery and African bead necklaces while sipping Japanese sake in comfortable Persian slippers. It lets you read and reference the annals and sayings of Confucius while touring the Great Pyramids of Giza, to have Turkish delight while sipping on Mexican cacao.

    But as I've said, immigrants to a new place are just that - immigrants. They should respect their gracious hosts, the local laws and traditions, inasmuch as is ethical. I'm not advocating that a visitor to Korea go look for dog meat, or a visitor to India to take part in a literal witch burning. I'm just suggesting that, if you visit a Japanese household, go ahead and take your shoes off at the door, wash yourself thoroughly before getting in the bathtub, bring a gift when visiting, wait until your host says itadakimasu to eat. When visiting the Maasai tribe, be polite and respect their dances, their songs and stories, take the time to learn about their culture and what each bead and feather means in their traditional garb. I'm sure they'd appreciate a foreigner actually being genuinely interested in their culture, rather than snapping photos and snickering "filthy savages" behind their backs. The same goes for any immigrant coming to America. We don't beat our wives and children black and blue. We don't arrange marriages between prepubescent children and sixty-year-old men. We don't mutilate women or force them to cover their faces and bodies. And we certainly don't go around calling for the death of our elected leaders. Respect goes both ways. Set aside history, focus on what's actually at hand.
     
  20. RayCaptain

    RayCaptain Stranger in a Strange Land

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    10,708
    Likes Received:
    279
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Not where I wanna be
    Ratings:
    +428 / 3 / -10
    Well, fortunately, I stressed a great deal that what happened was not ethically correct. So, fortunately, I don't have to back pedal a single step to denounce Sharian hordes or Chinese new imperialism or drug cartels... Although, ironically (I say ironic because I think you are being facetious) you hit on a few very real issues in the West. But it's all digression since no one here is a Social Darwinist, least of all myself.

    And while I very much enjoy unagi don and Cuban sandwiches, I think we can enjoy the superficial things without perverting our deeper, more esoteric roots. What makes a Brit a Brit is more than tea and an accent. Or at least it should be. The same that America is more than BBQ and Silicon Valley.

    And you knock it out of the park on the last paragraph, again. That's all I ask, really. I should add that no one be ashamed of their history, perhaps learn from it, but I would not ask a Turkish shoppette owner to apologize for enslaving Europeans a thousand years ago. No one should ask me to apologize or mourn the loss of the Apache nation.