Rambling about Nationalities and Racism
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25-10-2012, 01:04 PM
Rambling about Nationalities and Racism
I didn't put this in politics because I didn't want to look at the topic exclusively from a political point of view.

CAUTION: WALL OF TEXT!!

During my life I moved a lot, I probably moved enough for 3 lives or more. I stopped counting by now. Not only have I moved within my country but also out of it.
And although I grew up poor, my mother got us to visit Egypt once, and my grandparents had me over to Sweden once. Once I moved out from home I kept travelling because I really love to see and feel different countries and cultures.
So as mentioned during the last few years I moved out of Germany, moved to Romania, lived there for a while, moved to Ireland, lived there for a while, and now am back to Romania (which is all no secret to those here who know me).

I have never felt connected to Germany. When I was young I would play that I speak another language and although most kids do that at some point, I was actually dead serious. As a child I wanted to learn many languages, so I tried French, Spanish, Swedisch, English, at some point Latin as well. Of course I didn't continue any of these languages but English (obviously).
But it was my step towards beeing a person of the planet and not a "German" anymore.
When I was 12 I decided that I will move away from Germany and stay away and I wanted it to be USA because it sounded so nice; "from the dish washer to the millionaire" is what they used to say about the US. I had my reasons. I still was serious about it but too lazy to study English properly. My grade in English was 4 and 5 all the time, no better. American this would be D and E.
At 14 years old I decided that my destination will be the UK. US didn't sound so great anymore but I wanted an English speaking country.
So naturally, once I was finished with school and college I signed up at Wallstreet Institute (http://www.wallstreetinstitute.com/) to polish my English skills.

So obviously, by now I made it and I am not living in Germany and I do not plan to go back.
Ireland was the first time ever in my live, where I could say that I am at home. I really felt good there and I would have loved to stay (reasons for leaving anyway are not important right now).

Now I have a problem.
Everytime someone online, who I just met, or in a chat, asks me "where are you from?" I honestly don't know what to answer?
I ask back by now: "Country of residence, country where I felt home, or country where I was born?"

See the problem? I don't see myself as a nationality or a race. I see myself as a resident of this planet and I think I do have a right to live where I please (even though governments do not agree on this, but noone said that governments are always right).

Not seeing myself as part of a specific country also makes me ignore other people's country unless they act very clichee.
With clichee in this context I mean for example "Hard working, cleanly German", "Pizza juggling, loudly laughing Italian", "5 times a day praying and woman beating Egyptian", "Fat, stupid American", etc... see where I'm going?

The point when I ask where someone is currently living (in the form of "Where are you from?") would be for specifics like timezones, climate, political discussions, etc.

The second point I want to note is racism. Not only negative but also positive racism.
Example for positive racism:
When I moved to Ireland without a job or any specific plans, I found a flat withing 3 days and a job within 3 weeks. People loved me for some reason. One time I got a call for an interview and the lady from the agency told me exactly this line: "So please dress well and bring your papers, but who am I telling, you are German!" Which sounds kinda ok, but actually it is not very fair. Because giving me an advantage or specially nice treatment just because I am born in Germany is unfair to everyone else.
When Malleus came about one year later, he had huge trouble to even get an interview. I have to add here, I have next to no qualifications (apart from the one thing I studied but don't wanna work that anymore) and Malleus has top qualifications for top jobs. He applied for everthing from McDonald's salesman to Windfarm engineer, and he did not get a job. Why? Because the Irish hate Romanians and it didn't matter how well he was qualified, he simply did not get a job. He had to go freelance in the end (which actually was a good step).

Negative racism... well we all know that one.

I notice that some countries are really liberal and others very hateful. I found that, as liberal as Germany shows itself politically, the population is pretty racist. The population is actually so racist that the imigrants kinda group up with their own race and hate other imigrants.
I haven't really had that feeling in Ireland. Apart from the Romanian hating part they are really very nice and friendly. And actually a very happy country. Where else do you see people randomply smiling at you or singing something while having a walk alone (not drunk!). I had people telling me their live story or just a silly joke while waiting for the bus.
In Romania I see a lot of worried faces, empty eyes. Rarely someone smiling at you, and I understand that on a economical and political level. But the racism here is not existent as far as I can tell. This excludes the problem with the gypsies.
I know that for some reason the US is pretty racist although I see no reason for that because US is made of imigrants and always has been. At school we had an English lesson with the title "Meltingpot America" and it hits it pretty well. So I don't understand where all the hate comes from, around there.




What is your take on nationalities and racism in the above contexts?

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25-10-2012, 01:28 PM (This post was last modified: 25-10-2012 01:40 PM by Vera.)
RE: Rambling about Nationalities and Racism
Hiya neighbour! (hehe, this was to annoy you a bitWink)

I couldn't agree more... I always, always say that what defines me as a person is not my race, my gender, my nationality, my sexual orientation, what have you. I (and everybody else) is first and foremost a human being, everything else is secondary at best (not even important - at worst). Sure, where I was born, my gender, etc. have influenced who I am, but this hasn't formed who I am. If stripped of all those things, I would still be me.

I've lived in other countries, as well, and thanks to the fact that I wasn't working there and that by my looks I could be from just about anywhere (well, other than Asia), I've never felt like a foreigner and have never been subjected to racism (I have, however, had not so pleasant experience with German people, so I know where you're coming from; no offence to all the Germans here, I also have some very good German friends).


During my last stay abroad I met this American muslim girl and she said she'd been discriminated against her whole life (which I could easily imagine); yet her take on discrimination was "I don't mind it, as long as everybody is equally discriminated against." No

Also during this stay abroad, there was this Russian girl who was literally scared of black people... to the point that she would actually cross the street if there was a black person coming her way... Oh, did I mention that that was in Brazil? And that she was a volunteer, working in a creche and then complaining that all those nasty black kiddies wanted to touch her... She was only 21 and it kinda broke my heart that in this century someone this young could be so deluded and full of fear and hate...

It also broke my heart when they told me that my naive belief that there couldn't possibly be any racism in Brazil, of all places, where they are such a mixture of ethnicities, was, well, just that - a naive belief.

To me this is the tribal instinct at work - back from the time where the unknown neighbouring tribe was to be feared, exactly because it was unknown... How this caveman instinct can be alive in this day and age however, is beyond me...Sad

I guess I'd better stop now, 'cause on this particular subject I can go forever...

EDIT: I so know what you mean about the vacant stares and no smiles around these parts. Every time I come back from a visit abroad, it's such a shock, they mean, critical way they look you up and down... grrr

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderĂ²."
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25-10-2012, 01:34 PM
RE: Rambling about Nationalities and Racism
I blame the Gypsies, but I've never met one so I don't really know why. I actually thought they were a make-believe cultural group when I was a kid. Shocking
It could be the fault of the Bulgarians, though. Evil_monster

Leela, I really like the phrase you used, "person of the planet and not a German anymore."

This is probably the simple solution to ending racism. Of course, getting folks rallied around the idea of being a person of the planet may difficult in this present age. Consider

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25-10-2012, 01:38 PM
RE: Rambling about Nationalities and Racism
Well, it is a pretty simple matter for me.

Concerning nationalities...

Countries are little more than lines drawn on maps. They cannot tell you who you are. Identify yourself however you feel. Whatever feels like home for you is home. For me, my home is in Tennessee. I lived in Virginia from 2007-2012, but no matter what, when asked I was a Tennessean. I am like you and love to travel and experience new things, new cultures, new ways of doing things. Also like you I grew up poor and didn't get the opputunity to travel much. The military allowed me to travel most of the Eastern half of the US, parts of Europe, the middle east, islands in the Atlantic and allowed me to work with virtually every ally we have, and some countries we weren't. I may very well live in Europe sometime down the road, but I will always end up coming back, because this is my home.


Concerning Racism...

Racism is like any other prejudice. There is no good reason to discriminate against someone based on where they are from, the color of their skin, their native tongue, religion, sexual orientation, etc. This includes 'positive discrimination' (Usually in the US, reverse racism). I am against it whole-heartedly, even when it works to my advantage. Recently the US passed a law which rewarded employeers who hired veterans, especially combat veterans due to the high unemployment numbers. I hate that we have a more difficult time getting jobs, but I hate this law as much. The best man (or woman) for the job should get the job, full stop. I am convinced that part of the reason why our unemployment numbers are so high is because people fear that we will snap, or we have other mental issues, but two wrongs do not make a right. That is just my opinion. Thanks for sharing Smile

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25-10-2012, 02:01 PM (This post was last modified: 25-10-2012 02:17 PM by Vera.)
RE: Rambling about Nationalities and Racism
(25-10-2012 01:34 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  It could be the fault of the Bulgarians, though. Evil_monster

This is probably the simple solution to ending racism. Of course, getting folks rallied around the idea of being a person of the planet may difficult in this present age. Consider

Bring it on, I can take it. I'm so used to guilt, that I might get withdrawal symptoms if I go without any for too long... I shudder to think what might've happened had I been born Catholic.... can you overdose on guilt?

As for the simple solution to end racism... I have this deep fear that we need to divide ourselves into groups and it ain't going anywhere... whenever we evolve into accepting a group we've been marginalising, due to race, gender, what have you, we quickly substitute another one for it...

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderĂ²."
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25-10-2012, 02:29 PM
RE: Rambling about Nationalities and Racism
oh my gosh Vera, you have no clue how happy it makes me that you are from Bulgaria!!!
(which is actually not racism but simply the fact that I knew a Vera on another forum and hoped that you are not this same girl, so thanks, you are not!)

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25-10-2012, 02:37 PM
RE: Rambling about Nationalities and Racism
(25-10-2012 02:29 PM)Leela Wrote:  oh my gosh Vera, you have no clue how happy it makes me that you are from Bulgaria!!!
(which is actually not racism but simply the fact that I knew a Vera on another forum and hoped that you are not this same girl, so thanks, you are not!)

She that horrible? Am not surprised...

Probably it ain't me, 'cause I'm not on any other forums (unless my split personality is getting worseWink)

I have a very very good Romanian friend (actually, a couple), but they're still in Sweden... story of my life, the people I've cared for the most in my life, I've had to leave behind in other countries Sad

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderĂ²."
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25-10-2012, 03:56 PM
RE: Rambling about Nationalities and Racism
(25-10-2012 02:37 PM)Vera Wrote:  
(25-10-2012 02:29 PM)Leela Wrote:  oh my gosh Vera, you have no clue how happy it makes me that you are from Bulgaria!!!
(which is actually not racism but simply the fact that I knew a Vera on another forum and hoped that you are not this same girl, so thanks, you are not!)

She that horrible? Am not surprised...

Probably it ain't me, 'cause I'm not on any other forums (unless my split personality is getting worseWink)

I have a very very good Romanian friend (actually, a couple), but they're still in Sweden... story of my life, the people I've cared for the most in my life, I've had to leave behind in other countries Sad

I'm sure they've been thankful to see you go. Big Grin

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25-10-2012, 04:40 PM
RE: Rambling about Nationalities and Racism
Erx that was just mean Sad Be nice to the not-horrible-Vera

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25-10-2012, 04:50 PM
RE: Rambling about Nationalities and Racism
(25-10-2012 03:56 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  I'm sure they've been thankful to see you go. Big Grin

If they were indeed thankful, then they'll never see me coming when I come back for them Evil_monster:

(25-10-2012 04:40 PM)Leela Wrote:  Erx that was just mean Sad Be nice to the not-horrible-Vera

About two weeks here was what it took for me to get used to how people are No
Wink

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