I tried to pick not the most popular blogs, nor those that I read most frequently. Not even those that are closely related to what I write about. Instead I tried to find views from abroad to things that interest me.
oDToday: written by the openDemocracy staff, this blog provides a raw feed to the news that influence the writing of a brilliant site. Call it the backstage.
fragments of a revolutionary mind: Marco Hewitt writes from Australia at the intersection of activism and cultural anthropology.
HorsePigCow: Tara is pinko marketer with a very interesting life and a brand new project. What is pinko? You’ll have to read her blog.
future perfect: while conducting research related to mobile technologies, Jan Chipchase uncovers very interesting aspects of the collision of people, society and technology.
Ironic Sans: sometimes you just need to relax. No need to watch TV, there are plenty of entertaining blogs out there.
Francesca from the “global village” blog provides an interesting follow up to our previous post a two-way street regarding the intent of migrants:
When we move to a new country, why are we really leaving our old home, and why are we claiming a new one? I think for some immigrants the move is political. They leave their homes fleeing persecution. For others it is economic. They anticipate jobs and a better environment to raise their offspring. And for others, it is pure cosmopolitan curiosity. It is the thrill of the new. It is the chance to absorb and live within a different culture. But perhaps we have not completely been honest with ourselves if we think that when an immigrant moves to a new country, it is with the expectation that they will fully embrace their new home’s culture.
Understanding the key reasons why people migrate is the first step to create a foundation that will lead to smart policy around integration of these migrants into their chosen destination. Using a marketing technique that is common nowadays, in order to provide a real good experience, societies should carefully analyze the various personas considering immigrating and provide a specific path for [...]
Georgetown is in fact located in Delaware, but over the last decade Guatemalan immigrants have taken over many of its neighborhoods, bringing profound transformation to the area. The full account of this evolution is given by Christopher Caldwell in “the weekly Standard” with an article entitled “Hola, Delaware!”.
I posted about a similar article in a tale of two towns about a month ago, emphasizing how these examples provide solid evidence of the power of the chicano network.
I’m thinking it would be interesting to keep a record of these symbiotic cities. Not the usual cosmopolitanism of big cities, but the quiet adoption of a predominant foreign culture by small towns.
“If you want to be understood… listen”
This how a very powerful trailer anticipates one of the best movies of the year, Babel from Mexican director Alejandro Gonz√°lez I√±√°rritu. Watch the trailer and then come back to read some of my previous posts such as “culture migration” or “guy-from-the-train”. They will make more sense.
Culture transfer is hardly more evident anywhere else than in an International Film Festival. For a few days a window opens to show us the world, whether it is the real thing or the thing that creators dream of, it is the world outside of our usual context. For me it has been the Toronto International Film Festival for the last few years. On purpose, I try to avoid the blockbusters and their fancy galas in lieu of maximizing exposure to the foreign films that won’t have another opportunity in the city. This year, however, “Babel” will be the exception to that rule.
Reading about the British-born terrorists which plot was discovered recently, and remembering how in Toronto 17 youngsters, Canadian born and raised, were planning to behead Stephen Harper, the question of multiculturalism acquires new relevance. We can define multiculturalism as how well a society will receive the different cultures that form the threads of its fabric. The other definition is how well people from different cultures can adapt to the new environment they chose to live in.
Reading Pewglobal you can discover that some groups still have more ties to their original culture than to the adopted one. Muslims in the Western world, born and raised here, still think that they are first Muslims, then British or Canadians. Other example from my own experience is that Italian-Canadian in Woodbridge, Ontario, who have never been to Italy, speak Italian or have any knowledge of Italian history, call themselves Italians and in some cases will cheer Italian teams over Canadian‚Äôs. Chinese diaspora in Markham, On. don‚Äôt bother with learning English and they live all their existence in the safe surrounding of their own. Read “No place like home” from Neil Bissoondath in the New Internationalist for more on the disfunctional relationship between immigrants [...]
This week we were all reminded of how real the sentiments of segregation are in the U.S., thanks to the comments Senator George Allen made to an Indian-American (see video below). The editorial of USA Today emphasizes that for a country that was born from immigrants, has the highest rate of immigration and plenty of immigrants in powerful positions, it is a shame that politicians still want to play the “diversity” card in their campaigns. Whether they are trying to empathize with ethnic groups or appealing to the cause of nationalists, the fact is that every time they voice their agendas all they do is undermine the possibility that this society will, one day, learn to live as one.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, many U.S. cities are a likely model of the society we should expect to see in the future: diverse, cosmopolitan, unaware of boundaries. This is why every effort needs to be made to make sure we get it right.
Via Michael Parekh
Thanks to EM from “Mind Unbound” for her inspired satire of a certain kind of Declaration that could very well have been the manifest that lawyers wrote when ideating the modern concept of a Corporation:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that in the pursuit of happiness we shall all compete against each other for the rights of the Victors, and that among these rights are counted the right to rewrite history to favor the Strong, the right to suppress the weak, and the right to withhold the spoils of Victory from even the most desperate among our own kind, such right deriving naturally from the Victorious right of Possession.
We hold furthermore that the entire realm of nature, from which Humanity is rightfully excluded and over which Humanity divinely presides, has no inherent rights whatsoever, and that any privileges extended to nature by Humankind shall derive directly from those Human needs which may arise naturally in the direct and immediate interest of Humanity’s own survival.
In the same way that anyone can’t help but empathize with the contents of the Declaration of Independence and the self-evident truths it states, most people should react negatively to the quote above, and yet it [...]