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Re: Europe... A Changing Continent

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  • qpwoei ru
    hi ron! ... yes, i know what you mean.. ... yes, that is true. the US is a melting pot where everyone is to assimilate, and canada is a mosaic , where
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 29, 2005
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      hi ron!


      >
      > This is an interesting question and, to be honest, I
      > was suprised to
      > read you are of Chinese background. I am used to
      > this
      > question being
      > raised in the U.S, but in a completely antagonistic
      > way.


      yes, i know what you mean..


      > I have often compared the Canadian paradigm on
      > immigrant populations
      > with that of the U.S.
      > Here immigrants are expected to assimilate
      > completely
      > and "speak
      > English!". In Canada, unless I have been reading the
      > wrong things, the office
      > stance is to live and let live, lingusitically, that
      > is. Is this only
      > an official stance, or does it reflect what native
      > born Canadians at
      > large think?


      yes, that is true. the US is a "melting pot" where
      everyone is to assimilate, and canada is a "mosaic",
      where everyone can speak and be whatever they want.

      does it reflect what the native canadians (i don't
      mean native indians) think? i always thought it did,
      since canada is a democracy..... but sometimes i
      wonder (i don't know why!) if that IS what most
      canadians want.

      for example, i can't imagine japan advertising itself
      as a multi-cultural paradise, inviting german-speaking
      and french-speaking and thai-speaking peoples over,
      handing them passports and inviting them to stay
      permemnently and then changing japanese-laws or
      japanese-customs to suit the newcomers, for example,
      learning german, putting up french-signs because these
      newcomers have "rights", etc.

      >
      > Here in the States some of us see acquiring
      > additional
      > langauges as an
      > upgrade of our professional skill sets, since,  in
      > my
      > city for example,
      > Spanish has become a desirable language in the
      > workplace, followed
      > increasingly by Somali.


      yes, learning a language for economic reasons. but is
      there a "threat" of one day, spanish becoming an
      official language in the US? what if spanish became
      more important than english, in then US? what if
      german became an official language in japan?


      >
      > Others feel intimidated and threatened by these
      > changes. And it's not
      > just the white majority population. I have heard
      > many
      > African Americans
      > voice negative feelings about "so many foreigners".


      true. cultures and languages have always changed,
      through out centuries and millenia, although change
      has always been slow, up until the last century or so.


      > Being Afro-Hispanic
      > myself I do NOT keep silent about my views on the
      > subject in the face
      > of such comments. Still, however steamed I may get
      > about this on the
      > inside I try to educate instead of antagonize.     


      what if the local people (eg: anglo- or
      european-americans in america, or, the indigenous
      japanese in japan, or indigenous french in france)
      want to protect their culture? i'm not sure japan
      would accept hundreds of thousands of german-speakers
      intot their country to live permanently, or france to
      accept hundreds of thousands malaysians... or
      arabs.... to live in france permanently.

      it is natural for japan to keep japan japanese, or
      france, french... or america, american.


       

      >
      > I hope with all this babble I have asnwered your
      > question, at least in
      > part. I would be interested in continuing this
      > discussion.


      no problem... i'm interested in the changes of
      language and culture!

      >
      > I also have about 1,000 questions for you about
      > living
      > in Hong Kong.

      sure!


      > Also,
      > what linguistic
      > changes have occurred in Hong Kong since the city
      > was
      > reintegrated back
      > into Mainland China? Has there been an influx of
      > Mandarin Speakers? Is
      > Mandarin now taught in Hong Kong schools? Does
      > municipal business now
      > have to be conducted in Mandarin? In both languages
      > (told ya I had a
      > 1,000 questions!)?


      there hasn't been much changes to hong kong, in
      general, since the hand-over back to china. not in
      everyday life, and i'm just your everyday person... i
      mean.. i'm not into politics or anything!

      yes, mandarin is taught much more widely in schools,
      english has fallen a bit, but in general there are
      parents who insist english is important as well (no
      kidding!).... gee... i think the truth is, all three
      (cantonese as well) are just as important.

      and guess what... there is racism against mainland
      chinese immigrants (even though they are the same
      "race").... they speak cantonese with an accent etc!

      :)

      tony

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    • Ronaldo Jiminez
      On your questions about the idea of preserving a culture and the growing prominence of Spanish in America: all valid questions. But we have to distinguish
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 3, 2005
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        On your questions about the idea of 'preserving' a culture and the growing prominence of Spanish in America: all valid questions. But we have to distinguish between perceptioin and reality, no matter our ethnicity.
         
        For example most peoples have the perception that they preserve their culture as it has always been because they speak the same language, eat the same foods, sing the same songs they always have.
         
        The reality is that , even in the case of cultures/languages that have became isolated (Japan, Mongolia, Saudi Arabia, etc.) there is cultural drift, cultural development. Our accents and vocabularies are very different from those of our great grandparents. So the reality is that cultures and languages are living, organic things that change with time, faster if they interact with other cultures/languages.
         
        The truth is America is an amalgum of cultural cells that voluntarily cut themselves off from the 'Old-Country/Motherland'. North African culture in woven into the fabric of France. Cappucino, Tiramasu and cafe culture are now parts of Somali culture because of the Italian occupation. Somalis born after that cultural infusion refuse to believe these have not always been Somali cultural elements.         
         
        Quite a few countries have 'invited' foreigners in large numbers onto their soil, not for altruistic reasons, but because they needed them. Germany needed the Turks to replenish their labor force, Brazil needed the Japanese to populate the central plateau of the country, the U.S. economy would suffer a serious blow if all the illegal immigrants were rounded up and deported as some advocate.
         
        The Cubans still being welcomed to the U.S. are a symbolic slap in Castro's face and South Florida is full of signs in Spanish as well as English. Again the motivation was not generosity.
        Spanish is already as important as English in the U.S. and is already the defacto second language of this country. This is the reality.
         
        Now let's deal with the perceptioon of those who have a problem with this and believe it is a threat to American culture.
         
        Go to Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or Southern California. Non-Hispanic Americans born and raised in those states grew up with an American culter that includes Mexican food and the music of many Spanish speaking countries.
         
        Americans in Louisiana cook food at home that is obviously of Creole/Caribbean origin, yet this is their 'American' culture. Is one more 'American' than the other?
         
        Among African Americans there is NO homogenous culture. Oh sure, there are cutlural elements everyone will recognize and these form a commonality that is real. But just put a Black person from New Orleans, Boston, Chicago and Seattle in the same room for an hour!   
        The communication snafus alone is the stuff of reality TV.
         
         
        Language is an instrument for communication and the transmittal of cultural elements. But so is food and music and dance.
         
        The wave coming in to this country now is just that, a wave. The English, German, Irish, Italian and Hungarian waves preceeded the present one(s).
         
        I'm not attempting to oversimplify, just see this for what it really is: The 'us against them' mentality is traded off from time to time, sometimes based on skin color, sometimes linguistic affiliation, sometimes because of politics.
         
        But the fear is one of change in the position of 'our' group. This is usually whoever dominates in a given area. They want to keep it that way and the 'encroachment' of another language and
        all that represents (real or percieved) represents the realization of that feared change.
        OK sermon over.
         
         
        I appreciate your insight on life in Hong Kong.I am like you; a everyday guy with no interest in politics. I am interested in knowing how  the Cantonese and Mandarin speakers see you. Although your face is Chinese, are you still a foreigner? What are the criteria for being accepted as "one of us"? How is you Cantonese by the way?
         
        Thanks so much for you input, this is really fascinating for me.
         
        Ron     
         
             


        qpwoei ru <qpwoeiru134679@...> wrote:
        hi ron!


        >
        > This is an interesting question and, to be honest, I
        > was suprised to
        > read you are of Chinese background. I am used to
        > this
        > question being
        > raised in the U.S, but in a completely antagonistic
        > way.


        yes, i know what you mean..


        > I have often compared the Canadian paradigm on
        > immigrant populations
        > with that of the U.S.
        > Here immigrants are expected to assimilate
        > completely
        > and "speak
        > English!". In Canada, unless I have been reading the
        > wrong things, the office
        > stance is to live and let live, lingusitically, that
        > is. Is this only
        > an official stance, or does it reflect what native
        > born Canadians at
        > large think?


        yes, that is true.  the US is a "melting pot" where
        everyone is to assimilate, and canada is a "mosaic",
        where everyone can speak and be whatever they want.

        does it reflect what the native canadians (i don't
        mean native indians) think?  i always thought it did,
        since canada is a democracy..... but sometimes i
        wonder (i don't know why!) if that IS what most
        canadians want.

        for example, i can't imagine japan advertising itself
        as a multi-cultural paradise, inviting german-speaking
        and french-speaking and thai-speaking peoples over,
        handing them passports and inviting them to stay
        permemnently and then changing japanese-laws or
        japanese-customs to suit the newcomers, for example,
        learning german, putting up french-signs because these
        newcomers have "rights", etc.

        >
        > Here in the States some of us see acquiring
        > additional
        > langauges as an
        > upgrade of our professional skill sets, since,  in
        > my
        > city for example,
        > Spanish has become a desirable language in the
        > workplace, followed
        > increasingly by Somali.


        yes, learning a language for economic reasons.  but is
        there a "threat" of one day, spanish becoming an
        official language in the US?  what if spanish became
        more important than english, in then US?  what if
        german became an official language in japan?


        >
        > Others feel intimidated and threatened by these
        > changes. And it's not
        > just the white majority population. I have heard
        > many
        > African Americans
        > voice negative feelings about "so many foreigners".


        true.  cultures and languages have always changed,
        through out centuries and millenia, although change
        has always been slow, up until the last century or so.


        > Being Afro-Hispanic
        > myself I do NOT keep silent about my views on the
        > subject in the face
        > of such comments. Still, however steamed I may get
        > about this on the
        > inside I try to educate instead of antagonize.     


        what if the local people (eg: anglo- or
        european-americans in america, or, the indigenous
        japanese in japan, or indigenous french in france)
        want to protect their culture?  i'm not sure japan
        would accept hundreds of thousands of german-speakers
        intot their country to live permanently, or france to
        accept hundreds of thousands malaysians... or
        arabs.... to live in france permanently.

        it is natural for japan to keep japan japanese, or
        france, french... or america, american.


         

        >
        > I hope with all this babble I have asnwered your
        > question, at least in
        > part. I would be interested in continuing this
        > discussion.


        no problem... i'm interested in the changes of
        language and culture!

        >
        > I also have about 1,000 questions for you about
        > living
        > in Hong Kong.

        sure! 


        > Also,
        > what linguistic
        > changes have occurred in Hong Kong since the city
        > was
        > reintegrated back
        > into Mainland China? Has there been an influx of
        > Mandarin Speakers? Is
        > Mandarin now taught in Hong Kong schools? Does
        > municipal business now
        > have to be conducted in Mandarin? In both languages
        > (told ya I had a
        > 1,000 questions!)?


        there hasn't been much changes to hong kong, in
        general, since the hand-over back to china.  not in
        everyday life, and i'm just your everyday person... i
        mean.. i'm not into politics or anything!

        yes, mandarin is taught much more widely in schools,
        english has fallen a bit, but in general there are
        parents who insist english is important as well (no
        kidding!).... gee... i think the truth is, all three
        (cantonese as well) are just as important.

        and guess what... there is racism against mainland
        chinese immigrants (even though they are the same
        "race").... they speak cantonese with an accent etc!

        :)

        tony

        __________________________________________________
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      • Lance
        Greetings from an American living in Canada. I agree with the mosaic idea. It definitely rings true here in Winnipeg, in Toronto and Vancouver. As for the
        Message 3 of 3 , Aug 4, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          Greetings from an American living in Canada.  I agree with the mosaic idea.  It definitely rings true here in Winnipeg, in Toronto and Vancouver.  As for the other cities, they tend to be more conservative overall.  However, I believe the reason for such a "mosaic" is due to Canada's comparitively young status as a nation (I assume you're all familiar with the history of Canadians and Canada).  I myself am a 2nd generation Norwegian-American (most of my family reside in Norway still).  All of my Canadian friends are 1st and 2nd generation citizens; I think that's pretty normal here, while in the much of the States it's not uncommon to find people who can't trace back their families beyond the borders of the country.
           
          Best regards,
          Lance 

          qpwoei ru <qpwoeiru134679@...> skrev:
          hi ron!


          >
          > This is an interesting question and, to be honest, I
          > was suprised to
          > read you are of Chinese background. I am used to
          > this
          > question being
          > raised in the U.S, but in a completely antagonistic
          > way.


          yes, i know what you mean..


          > I have often compared the Canadian paradigm on
          > immigrant populations
          > with that of the U.S.
          > Here immigrants are expected to assimilate
          > completely
          > and "speak
          > English!". In Canada, unless I have been reading the
          > wrong things, the office
          > stance is to live and let live, lingusitically, that
          > is. Is this only
          > an official stance, or does it reflect what native
          > born Canadians at
          > large think?


          yes, that is true.  the US is a "melting pot" where
          everyone is to assimilate, and canada is a "mosaic",
          where everyone can speak and be whatever they want.

          does it reflect what the native canadians (i don't
          mean native indians) think?  i always thought it did,
          since canada is a democracy..... but sometimes i
          wonder (i don't know why!) if that IS what most
          canadians want.

          for example, i can't imagine japan advertising itself
          as a multi-cultural paradise, inviting german-speaking
          and french-speaking and thai-speaking peoples over,
          handing them passports and inviting them to stay
          permemnently and then changing japanese-laws or
          japanese-customs to suit the newcomers, for example,
          learning german, putting up french-signs because these
          newcomers have "rights", etc.

          >
          > Here in the States some of us see acquiring
          > additional
          > langauges as an
          > upgrade of our professional skill sets, since,  in
          > my
          > city for example,
          > Spanish has become a desirable language in the
          > workplace, followed
          > increasingly by Somali.


          yes, learning a language for economic reasons.  but is
          there a "threat" of one day, spanish becoming an
          official language in the US?  what if spanish became
          more important than english, in then US?  what if
          german became an official language in japan?


          >
          > Others feel intimidated and threatened by these
          > changes. And it's not
          > just the white majority population. I have heard
          > many
          > African Americans
          > voice negative feelings about "so many foreigners".


          true.  cultures and languages have always changed,
          through out centuries and millenia, although change
          has always been slow, up until the last century or so.


          > Being Afro-Hispanic
          > myself I do NOT keep silent about my views on the
          > subject in the face
          > of such comments. Still, however steamed I may get
          > about this on the
          > inside I try to educate instead of antagonize.     


          what if the local people (eg: anglo- or
          european-americans in america, or, the indigenous
          japanese in japan, or indigenous french in france)
          want to protect their culture?  i'm not sure japan
          would accept hundreds of thousands of german-speakers
          intot their country to live permanently, or france to
          accept hundreds of thousands malaysians... or
          arabs.... to live in france permanently.

          it is natural for japan to keep japan japanese, or
          france, french... or america, american.


           

          >
          > I hope with all this babble I have asnwered your
          > question, at least in
          > part. I would be interested in continuing this
          > discussion.


          no problem... i'm interested in the changes of
          language and culture!

          >
          > I also have about 1,000 questions for you about
          > living
          > in Hong Kong.

          sure! 


          > Also,
          > what linguistic
          > changes have occurred in Hong Kong since the city
          > was
          > reintegrated back
          > into Mainland China? Has there been an influx of
          > Mandarin Speakers? Is
          > Mandarin now taught in Hong Kong schools? Does
          > municipal business now
          > have to be conducted in Mandarin? In both languages
          > (told ya I had a
          > 1,000 questions!)?


          there hasn't been much changes to hong kong, in
          general, since the hand-over back to china.  not in
          everyday life, and i'm just your everyday person... i
          mean.. i'm not into politics or anything!

          yes, mandarin is taught much more widely in schools,
          english has fallen a bit, but in general there are
          parents who insist english is important as well (no
          kidding!).... gee... i think the truth is, all three
          (cantonese as well) are just as important.

          and guess what... there is racism against mainland
          chinese immigrants (even though they are the same
          "race").... they speak cantonese with an accent etc!

          :)

          tony

          __________________________________________________
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          Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
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