22
   

Which is the best country to live in?

 
 
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 09:07 am
@MatthewB7621,
Quote:
Why, if I am on a bus filled with asian people for example. And I have no idea what they are saying. Why should I not feel a little intimidated by them? I think you would in the same position.


Recently I was on a bus surrounded by people speaking in Haitian Creole. No big deal.

Why should I have felt intimidated?
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 09:11 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
I can say that I think it is ridiculous to be intimidated by people speaking different languages

Well, I think it all depends on what you're used to. You're used to Boston - I was raised outside of NYC- so different languages and races and cultural diversity feels very familiar and comfortable to people like us.
In fact, I don't know about you, but I prefer it. I feel very constricted and stifled when I'm in situations where everyone seems the same.

But it's just like anywhere else. In America, if you grow up in some holler in West Virginia - you might be freaked out when you see anyone other than people just like you speaking just like you do.

Matthew says he's from London, so I'm a little surprised at his discomfort - it's one of the most cosmopolitan and diverse cities in the world - one of my friends has a daughter who teaches there and she said that in her daughter's school, 26 different languages are spoken.

But on the other hand - I can see how that might seem a little overwhelming- even if you have grown up around it.
MatthewB7621
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 09:13 am
@maxdancona,
And in the area you live in, do these foreign people make up the majority of the populataion. And do you have to deal with that every day? Because I can tell you that I do. I live in London, Hayes. And everytime I get the bus I am surrounded by foreign people.
maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 09:13 am
@aidan,
Quote:

But it's just like anywhere else. In America, if you grow up in some holler in West Virginia - you might be freaked out when you see anyone other than people just like you speaking just like you do.

...

But on the other hand - I can see how that might seem a little overwhelming- even if you have grown up around it.


Sure, I understand it. But I would think that this was inability to adapt would be something to grow out of. Diversity is a fact of life in modern urban life.

I did come from a small town to Boston to go to college. I don't remember adjusting to the diversity to be that difficult.



maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 09:17 am
@MatthewB7621,
Quote:
And in the area you live in, do these foreign people make up the majority of the populataion. And do you have to deal with that every day? Because I can tell you that I do. I live in London, Hayes. And everytime I get the bus I am surrounded by foreign people.


I bet there are a lot of people living in London who don't have the problem you have accepting diversity.

In Boston, the people on the bus depend on where you are going (I imagine this is the same in London). Often if I am going into some areas of the city there are more "foreign people" (I will define this rather strange term as meaning people who were clearly born in another country) then not-foreign people (another strange term, but ok).

It's not a big deal.
aidan
 
  2  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 09:18 am
@maxdancona,
Yes well, individual temperament plays a part in it too.

I remember once on a trip back from Mexico, I was standing behind people in the airport waiting to go through customs in Boston, as a matter of fact - we were living in Maine at the time and had to drive down to Boston to get a direct flight and we were behind these people who were saying, 'Oh thank god, we're back in America...people are speaking English...no more shitty Mexican food...'
and I'm standing there thinking, 'I miss the food, music, atmosphere in Mexico - I miss the music of the language...even though I didn't understand it.'
So yeah, it takes all sorts to make the world go round.
0 Replies
 
MatthewB7621
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 10:04 am
@maxdancona,
I am not directly refering to the whole of London. I live in Hayes, Middlesex. And believe me I know many many peoplen who feel a similar why to me.
0 Replies
 
MonaLeeza
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 02:58 pm
@MatthewB7621,
Quote:
Why, if I am on a bus filled with asian people for example. And I have no idea what they are saying. Why should I not feel a little intimidated by them? I think you would in the same position.

No. I've been on buses with Asian people lots of times. Why would I care what they're talking about? It's none of my business and I'm certainly not so egocentric that I think they're talking about me. Actually I don't know what English speaking people are talking about on the bus either - unless it's unavoidable I don't tend to listen in on other people's conversations. If you do think people on the bus are talking about you then I'd suggest that you suffer some form of paranoia and should seek medical advice.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 03:08 pm
@MonaLeeza,
Quote:
If you do think people on the bus are talking about you then I'd suggest that you suffer some form of paranoia and should seek medical advice.


Hehehehehehehehe . . . bingo!
0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 04:03 pm
@MatthewB7621,
Quote:
Why, if I am on a bus filled with asian people for example


That is what you get for England invading all those countries. What goes around comes around.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 04:05 pm
@maxdancona,
Quoting Max - "I am sorry. I don't understand what your problem is."

Seems like fear to me; in this situation, I'd call it xenophobia. Also, Matthew seems to lack curiosity, but that probably is an aspect of fear.

Oh, and I like dosas too. I'm from Los Angeles, a city with uncountable distinctive restaurants serving food from "foreign" lands, cooked by people who may have emigrated from those lands. It's a fabulous food adventure to try all these differing foods, and get to know all these people.

I'm with Aidan on the musicality of spanish, and I near swooned on my first ride in a subway in Rome, at the beauty of the voices speaking italian, probably in several dialects than I'm not canny enough to differentiate, since I can only get the gist of a conversation in italian, or spanish, if people speak slowly - and they usually don't. My italian is better than my spanish, but in both cases my ability falls under the "horrible" category.
MatthewB7621
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 04:06 pm
@talk72000,
Yeah because that makes a lot of sense. Name some countries England has invaded then?? Britain made it's empire though invading other countries, which is why it is so powefull. But when has it recently invaded any country??
MatthewB7621
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 04:08 pm
@MonaLeeza,
I couldn't care less if they're talking about me. They should at least speak the language of this country.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 04:35 pm
Oh, on Somalia, I've read a fair amount about it and feel badly about the situation there, little as I understand it even after reading. Years ago I had a co-worker and friend who was from Eritrea, and through him a bunch of us got to go to events at the university international center, where eritreans and ethiopians (then with their homelands and families still at war with each other, a seemingly eternal war) were sharing food and conversations. I don't remember if we met somalians then, for sure, but I think so. An italian friend's sister married a woman from Somalia; as far as I know, they are still happy, twenty some years later. All the fear seems silly to me. (and yes, I know there has been a recent 'stupido' acting out in Portland, Oregon)

For an interesting movie that deals with a relationship of an italian and a 'straniera', check out Bertolucci's Besieged. I just plain love that movie. I need to rent it from netflix again.
http://www.culturevulture.net/Movies/Besieged.htm
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0149723/
0 Replies
 
MonaLeeza
 
  2  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 05:22 pm
@MatthewB7621,
Quote:
Yeah because that makes a lot of sense. Name some countries England has invaded then?? Britain made it's empire though invading other countries, which is why it is so powefull. But when has it recently invaded any country??

England was quite recently involved in the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan I believe. I would guess also that some of the Asians that you are referring to might have migrated from countries such as Pakistan and India which were under English rule until only a generation ago.

Quote:
couldn't care less if they're talking about me. They should at least speak the language of this country.

That's not what your original argument was - you said it was intimidating because you didn't know what they were saying. Why should you be intimidated by other people's conversations - which are most likely about the weather or what they're going to cook for dinner or something equally mundane?
And why should they speak English just because it suits you? If you find other people's bilingualism intimidating then maybe you should try learning another language yourself . It might give you a new respect for the efforts that immigrants have taken to learn English - and why it might be easier for them to speak their own language when they have the opportunity. At the same time maybe you could study a little about the history of the countries that these people come from and develop a little empathy for why they're in 'your' country to start with.
Anyway, would you really like to live in a country which dictates
what language people have to speak in their private lives.... or what clothes they have to wear... or whether they can have an education or not.... Maybe if you did you'd want to go and live somewhere else.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 05:26 pm
@MonaLeeza,
I agree, Mona. I have been thinking about the irony of people from invader countries whining when the previously invaded come to live there (or here, as the case may be). It's almost a knee slapper.
iamsam82
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 06:25 pm
@ossobuco,
Italy. As long as you white, male and have some way of accessing TV from another country.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 06:36 pm
@iamsam82,
I'm a mad white female sans tv that might enjoy living in italy, an unlikely possibility (oh, where, where, where, is my prince, o sea). I do have a friend who lived there nine years with nine years of stories of life, and, also, some italian pals. I could endlessly diatribe stuff going on there, but I'm too busy staring at the U.S., my own country. On diatribing Italy, I recommend the sicilian folks and their website, Only in Italy.
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 06:43 pm
@ossobuco,
Quote:
sicilian folks


Aren't they of Greek origin?



There was this blond Italian girl at my company who winked at me and I didn't do anything. How stupid!
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 06:50 pm
@talk72000,
Sicily has quite a history and the greeks were there, on the island, and elsewhere, on the peninsula. They weren't the only ones.
 

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