Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Walking Forwards to Go Backwards

What, I wonder does it do to a Kuwaiti soul when one is outnumbered four to one in one's own land? There's a British proverb  -"A Hindu comes into the house to serve, but a Chinese to become its master". Isn't it the reason why our "companions in fortune", the Middle East oil monarchies employ mostly Indians and Pakistanis, but never the Chinese, as migrant workers? Perhaps the Chinese met here are the new Australians - savvy, quick-thinking and can turn a hand to most tasks from pedicury to prostitution.
It's noticeable that cultural groups stay together, buttressed by the in-words, the uniqueness of body language and imperviousness to surroundings, secure in the cocoon of familiarity that such huddling provides. Brits tend not to do it as much - the BLS notwithstanding - and the concept of British multiculturalism has run the experimental gauntlet, emerging bruised and battered at the other side with no more idea now of how to persuade different cultural groups to assimilate as when, bright-eyed and optimistic it began to welcome first Jamaicans, then  Pakistanis, Ugandans, and all others with strange eating habits, festivals and customs to its shores.
France has banned the burqa in public and sent the Romanies home. Holland has Geert Wilders, the Pope has made it his mission to return Europe to Christianity. Some have been saying for years that the cultural soul of Europe has been spiced too highly for most tastes and a return to the familiar is becoming a political imperative; the preservation of identity a psychological necessity. Perhaps every expat here ought to have 'just passing through' as a bumper sticker.

1 comment:

  1. I speculate (idly) about the correlation between the extent of the British Empire, slavery, and the 'servitude' of today. The Chinese have an unbroken history of isolationism durng which the country developed almost implacable inscrutability.
    On the other hand, those countries exposed to Royal British and totally benevolent rule (coughcough) when "liberated" "freed" or "emancipated" evolved into something less than each might have been if not dominated by the Brits.
    And there is an effect on the national psyche as a result of being a minority in one's own country - given immigration rates Brits may soon understand. ;)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.