Author Topic: Is England world's biggest open-air museum?  (Read 24547 times)

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Is England world's biggest open-air museum?
« Reply #45 on: December 04, 2013, 11:24:54 AM »
The problem is that there is lot of talk about "integration" but I think it's not something that will happen or that it's easily achieved. We already have a great example of ethnic group that really did not integrate well: romanis. They still pretty much live their ancient culture and refuse to integrate. Such strong culture background should be carefully remembered when talking about integration that possibly will never happen. I think this is also the reason why there has been problems with different ethnic/cultural groups.

Yeah, cuz' it's not like multiculturalism has been a part of human history since, like, forever. I mean, eras like the Hellenistic and the Migration Periods were certainly not marked by different cultures mixing, nosiree. In all seriousness, though, if certain early hominids had just refrained from migrating down from the trees, they would probably have saved us all a whole lot of trouble :P

To be clear, I don't think "integration" (in the sense that everyone living in a certain region must be assimilated into a common culture) is as important as being able to cope with your neighbors thinking and living differently than you. There are of course very real problems with things like forced marriages, but these are not solved by stereotyping, and most of the perceived "cultural clashes" just comes from not accepting that others choose a different lifestyle than oneself. So what if some Romani want to travel around, set up camp in the woods, play the accordion a whole lot, or whatever? (Krice's retort is probably that their culture is thievish or something, but the stereotype of Romani being child snatching thieves is just an untrue stereotype, it evolved in the Middle Ages along with similar prejudices against jews, and it's frankly shameful that European media is still persecuting them, as if we learned nothing in the aftermath of the Holocaust) Sure, I've had curses thrown after me in Romanian after not giving money to a beggar in the street – what a surprise to encounter unkind weirdos every now and then – but the (admittedly very few) Romani I've had any real contact with are just normal people, their brains wired exactly like my own, even if our cultures don't perfectly match.

If you put two [ethinc/cultural groups] in the same country it's either bad or very bad idea.
Well, that's one way of seeing it. Another would be to identify greed and powermongering as the real problem, and recognize how ethnicity has always been used as an excuse to divide, conquer and steal from the weak. But hey, whatever floats your boat, man ;)

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This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

Krice

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Re: Is England world's biggest open-air museum?
« Reply #46 on: December 04, 2013, 01:54:34 PM »
Krice, what if you were a member of a cultural group like the ones you described and you wanted to move to Finland to start a better life?

I know myself how it is, because I've spend some years in Sweden. I know that I would never have turned into a swedish person, but remain as finnish. What has happened is that children of finnish people learned swedish and they "kind of" have integrated in Sweden. Yet they are not swedish for I think many generations until they forget everything about Finland.

So, it's extremely difficult to integrate even you come from almost same kind of culture: Sweden and Finland. Yet there are differences. But if you come from totally different culture with different religion I can just vaguely imagine how difficult it must be. In fact it's impossible if you want to keep your own culture.

People who have always lived in one country just don't get it. They don't know anything about how it is like to live in a foreign country.

Krice

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Re: Is England world's biggest open-air museum?
« Reply #47 on: December 04, 2013, 01:59:31 PM »
identify greed and powermongering as the real problem, and recognize how ethnicity has always been used as an excuse to divide, conquer and steal from the weak.

When we provide homes for refugees how actually we are stealing from them? The real problem is that people want to keep their own culture. These "integration" guys just refuse to understand it.

miki151

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Re: Is England world's biggest open-air museum?
« Reply #48 on: December 04, 2013, 02:48:28 PM »
Just making sure we're not confusing Romanians and Gypsies. The people living in carriages that often have trouble with the law are Gypsies. A lot of them come from Romania, but they don't speak Romanian.
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AgingMinotaur

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Re: Is England world's biggest open-air museum?
« Reply #49 on: December 04, 2013, 05:11:38 PM »
identify greed and powermongering as the real problem, and recognize how ethnicity has always been used as an excuse to divide, conquer and steal from the weak.
When we provide homes for refugees how actually we are stealing from them? The real problem is that people want to keep their own culture. These "integration" guys just refuse to understand it.
If you reread my post carefully, I wasn't so much claiming that "we" are stealing from "them", but rather that greed and hatred may be a bigger problem in the world today than cultural distinctiveness.

But, well, since you ask, I guess one could say "we" are stealing from "them" by waging wars on their land to gain control over the natural resources, by destroying nature in the name of profit (I guess the joke's on all of us in that instance), by outsourcing our industrial production to sweat shops as well as doing business with slavers and warlords, by upholding ridiculously one-sided trade agreements and imposing market regulations that strongly favor western corporations, using as carrot and stick development aid/loans and foreign debts (often accumulated by previous dictatorial regimes, such that many populations today in fact continue to make down payments on the instruments used to oppress them a generation ago). You do know that this was a core principle of Reagonomics and continues to be the order of the day down at the World Bank and in similar institutions, right? Or do you really think it's a coincidence that "we" continue to be the rich and "they" the poor?

Now, I don't think it's worth dwelling too much on post-colonial "shame of the privileged", and I guess we agree on that point. But that shame can and should be used as a springboard to act, to try to make the world at least slightly better for the vast majority of humankind. Put frankly, a self-proclaimed adult in a western country who hasn't at the very least felt an occasional pang of shame at how much we continue to benefit from other people's sufferings, as we speak, is sorely lacking in either brains/education or common decency.

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Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Is England world's biggest open-air museum?
« Reply #50 on: December 04, 2013, 05:24:57 PM »
Just making sure we're not confusing Romanians and Gypsies. The people living in carriages that often have trouble with the law are Gypsies. A lot of them come from Romania, but they don't speak Romanian.
Yes, that's an important distinction, and sometimes muddled. I'm actually 1/8th Romanian myself, but not with any Romani (Gypsy) blood, AFAIK.

As always,
Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.