• There are three types of people in the world, those who don't know what's happening, those who wonder what's happening and those on the streets that make things happen.

It takes two to Tango!

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 30, 2012

While a lot of people living in western countries have been blamed for racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance towards immigrants, I cannot help feel that they are not the only ones to blame. Social integration is a grave concern across Europe, and is rightly so. New settlers need to recognize their responsibility in facilitating peaceful coexistence. Culture is a collection of traits and activities that have been formed over centuries of living. Several factors contribute to the nature of a society’s cultural ethos. One critical factor is geography. In what climatic, topographical andΒ  conditions a society evolves weighs heavily upon what it eats, what it wears and what it espouses as tradition. Hence, relocation from one’s motherland does not come without sacrificing some of these native habits. Immigration in many cases brings about a change in one’s environment and this demands a change in one’s lifestyle. To expect an immigrant to make this sacrifice is not hateful. It is a practical expectation. Such changes can easily be seen realized in third and fourth generation of immigrants. However, it is the reluctance of the first generation to let go of their cultural identity that creates friction between the settlers and the natives.

The point I am trying to make is clearly highlighted in this joke. Enjoy!

A young Arab asks his father, “What is that weird hat you are wearing?”

The father said, “Why, it’s a ‘chechia’ because in the desert it protects
our heads from the sun.”

“And what is this type of clothing that you are wearing?” asked the young

“It’s a ‘djbellah’ because in the desert it is very hot and it protects the
body.” said the father.

The son asked, “And what about those ugly shoes on your feet?

His father replied, “These are ‘babouches”, which keep us from burning our
feet in the desert.”

“So tell me then,” added the boy.

“Yes, my son?”

“Why the f**k are you living in Bradford , England and still wearing all this shit?” πŸ™‚

Disclaimer: This post does not intend to target any one particular community, nationality or religion. The joke is used only to depict a general opinion.

Comments welcomed.

14 Responses to “It takes two to Tango!”

  1. Haha! I think you make a very good point. We can assimilate into another culture/society without losing our identity but we should be practical in our choices.

  2. Irunsolo said

    Exactly! We see it here in America and I have experienced it while living overseas in NL. The natives of the host country AND the immigrants need to travel the same road and accept each other equally. Ostracizing one or the other because of misperceptions or demands onlyl leads to social strife and hatred….and more division.

    • Raunak said

      that’s a wonderful lesson for all to heed. Somewhere I tend to sympathize with the majority…
      thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. really appreciate it πŸ™‚

    • Raunak said

      thank you for sharing such wonderful thoughts πŸ™‚
      I do feel that more of the responsibility lies with the new settlers. Since this is not a perfect world, it is they who need to compromise and sacrifice more and it is something they should accept.

  3. I have always wanted to learn the Tango! Culture clashes are everywhere, love the joke.

  4. […] It takes two to Tango! […]

  5. Just to temper my previous comment, in your next post (ah, temporal shenanigans in a post-modern medium!)
    Some immigration is by choice. In this case, they should choose wisely and embrace the culture they choose, not insist on importing their own. Otherwise it’s like visiting a friend and demanding they redecorate a room for you because their taste offends you! Bloody rude πŸ™‚
    But, immigration without choice (to escape persecution etc.) does need more sensitivity. Enabling the incoming to hold to their identity whilst not compromising ones own culture is a complex question.

    • Raunak said

      you make a wise distinction there. It is important for people to recognize this difference and treat it accordingly. I agree that in the latter case we need to creat an environment where the immigrant can relive some of his native traditions. But you said it, it is a complex question indeed.

    • Ruleofstupid, your suggestion of a difference in reasons for immigrating is interesting.

      However, don’t forget, even refugees have CHOSEN to leave their own country and have chosen which country they want to apply to for asylum.

      I taught computer skills to refugees in London for a short while before moving to Sicily. It was striking that most of the refugees made immense efforts to assimilate with English culture, far more so than regular immigrants. There were Tamils from Sri Lanka who literally asked me if they smelled like curry and would that bother English people? They said they would start eating different food if I thought the smell of spices on them might annoy people. There was a boy from Afghanistan who had bought make up for his sisters and asked me to teach them how to put it on, so they could be like English girls; the girls said they felt self-conscious and bizarre walking outside without burkas on, but they were happy to be getting used to it. I could list many more examples of sacrifices they made which must have been extemely difficult for them.

      However, there were some Kosovan Muslims who first lectured me saying my skirt was too short, and then, when I told them politely that it is unacceptable to say that to an English woman, they decided to grope me instead.

      I think that whether people adapt to a foreign culture or not depends entirely on how much they respect others.
      If you are brought up to respect strangers in your own country, then you’ll do the same to strangers in a new culture.
      If you come from a place where respect for others is not valued and not taught to children as they grow up, well, you’re not going to respect foreigners, whether or not you have made a choice to live among them.

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