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Expatriotism

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Wind In My Hair
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Postby Wind In My Hair » Mon, 29 May 2006 9:22 pm

SMS, are you SMS? #-o

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Cheekybeek
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Postby Cheekybeek » Mon, 29 May 2006 9:24 pm

His score in pool would point that way, but can't be cos mod SMS was tending to his son.

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Postby T2K » Thu, 08 Jun 2006 12:53 pm

I'm not even sure what exactly the topic is anymore, but...

Integrating here is damn easy. You would have to be very anti-social not to. Safe, small, English-speaking (sort of, at least), etc. I mean, compare SG to Japan, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia.

However, having said that, I know many expats (the Western types) don't.

Here's why, I think:

1. Job. If you are the big boss and you travel all the time, you can't really get close to your local colleagues who are also your subordinates.

2. Family. If you are busy with work, family needs to be your second priority, so getting out and meeting people, doing social stuff, joining clubs, and getting to know Singaporeans and other Singapore residents takes a back seat.

3. Age. Lots of people seem to get posted here in their 40's or 50's. I think at that point in life many people just aren't as interested in jumping into new things.

I was transferred here in 1998 at 25 yo, had purely SG responsibilities, wasn't the big boss, and I was single. Compare and contrast to a guy who is the regional MD, has a wife and three kids, travels all the time, and is 45 years old. Which one of us is more likely to be found having big bottles of Heineken and wanton mee at 4am at Newton? Or having long lunch conversations with local colleagues about the PAP or whether Australians are really racists or whether locals who marry whites are sell-outs?

Also, about the supposed change in expats - I don't see it at all. Some pople have nice deals, some are scraping by. It was true in 1998 and it is true now. I knew a guy in '99 who was hustling by, changing EP's every few months at dotcoms, doing some freelance writing, had an unofficial business on the side that he wanted to build, etc. I know a guy now that has the huge house, car, schools, trips home, tax equalization, utilities and a per diem allowance (WTF?). It's all anecdotal. The SG gov't could provide stats, but they aren't talking.

I've been in some obscure HDB estates and seen other white people. But my apartment in an \"expat\" area seems to be filled with Chinese Singaporeans, at least that's all I ever see. More anecdotes, who knows the real situation.

I guess the main things here are: most Western expats aren't immigrants, we look different, we are mostly affluent, we come from cultures that are different to the predominantly Chinese one here.

In Europe, when I worked there for a while, I was not really more affluent than the locals and I looked like them and shared the same basic culture.

In the US, Australia and Europe - that are actually native born Asians. If I see an Asian in the States I assume he/she is American until I know otherwise. There may be some native born whites in Singapore, but so few that they don't matter. All whites are considered to be rich foreigners working here, or tourists. But, as I mentioned above, it isn't hard to overcome that with a little effort if you are in the right situation to do so.

gtea
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Postby gtea » Sun, 30 Jul 2006 7:38 pm

hi all,
your discussions had reminded me of a golden tale~THE UGLY DUCKLING
No offence here,just being humble :P

I think if we let go of all our nagative thoughts, accept others with our sincere hearts and pure intentions,we would live happily ever after :D :D

Heard this song ?Should have~Its A Small World After All? :mrgreen:

Hope you gals and guys crack your lips and smiles after reading my message ok?
oh yes!please bear with my english ....i'm lousy.. :(

thank u
gt

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Re: Expatriotism

Postby ksl » Sat, 26 Aug 2006 10:07 am

Plavt wrote:
GordonGekko wrote:

What is your take on that we have an ongoing discussion about assimilation/integration in Europe and the US for newcomers, while many expats are viewed in a negative fashion by many Singaporeans as a group who do not want to assimilate/integrate to the Singaporean society?
In your opinion, is it harder to this in Singapore, than say, Australia?


GordonGekko,
I do not think foreigner can integrate fully into Singaporean society. The simple fact most have there roots elsewhere. As a friend ( a geography teacher whose first trip abroad was to Malaysia and Singapore) said: 'it is alright going abroad and having a look even spending a few years there but you can never really live there simply because you do not belong there'. I am in no doubt this is true. True some marry but marriage is between two people and not two cultures which can never meet. I am not sure I can believe Singaoreans view foreigners the way you have described above, is that your perception or do you have any evidence that is true?

Plavt.


To be honest PLAVT, there is no such thing as intergration, it's just an idolistic dream, but not reality! Back in the 80's I worked with refugees, in Denmark.

The simple fact is that all cultures are different, and they will remain so, a leopard can never change it's spots, no matter, if the zoo spray paints it.

I hear governments go on about integration, the world over, and think how stupid they are, trying to force people into doing something, which is alien to them, People integrate as they wish, total integration for the majority is not at ll possible.

After 23 years in Denmark, I felt integrated, but lonely, why, because the Danes are not as outgoing as the Brits, So in 23 years, I could count the danish friends on one hand, However there was and is a common feeling between foreigners, refugees, immigrants, they are all in a foreign land, so they can share and talk about the same strange culture shocks, between eachother.

I have become friends with far more foreigners in Denmark, simply because the Danes do not mix very well, and are a very private race, they tend to losen up after a few beers, however, it is an exception to be invited home, unless it's a sexual encounter. It is my belief, that troubles are caused by politicians, trying to score points, media exposure, by trying to force the issue of integration.

Full integration is not possible so why push the issue, the foreigner in most cases do what they have to do, to read, write and find employment, and everyone wishes to climb the social ladder. Which is next to impossible, because governments don't want foreigners moving up in society, it's a minority that make it, but the fight to get there is long and hard, and also includes racial discrimination organisation help.

It's the same world over! the sooner we all learn to realise the trueth, the sooner we will have peace and tranquility, and a sense of belonging. instead of finger pointing all the time.

I have a Chinese brother in law, who worked in Barcklays Bank in London, he told me one day how, is superiors and colleagues called him chinky all the time!! why is this? Because in may races, there are biggots, simple, and it will never change, no matter how much education on the subject.

The Brits are the worsed offenders, because of their sense of sarcastic humour, it's hamless fun, yet they don't understand the pyschological harm it causes the victim.

Cause and effect, thats all there is!!!! think about it!

I think Plavt really undersatnds what is going on in the world, because he is honest to himself.

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Re: Expatriotism

Postby Wind In My Hair » Sat, 26 Aug 2006 11:12 pm

ksl wrote:After 23 years in Denmark, I felt integrated, but lonely, why, because the Danes are not as outgoing as the Brits, So in 23 years, I could count the danish friends on one hand,

Nice post, ksl. Funny you should say that, that was exactly how I found the Brits when I lived there - not very outgoing! So I can only imagine what Danes are like if Brits feel that way about them.

Don't get me wrong, I have several dear Brit friends whom I'm still in touch with and visit every few years in England. But it took some time to get to know them. Unlike in many parts of the world where people make an effort to talk to foreigners, it was not my experience in Britain.

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Re: Expatriotism

Postby ksl » Sun, 27 Aug 2006 10:48 am

Wind In My Hair wrote:
ksl wrote:After 23 years in Denmark, I felt integrated, but lonely, why, because the Danes are not as outgoing as the Brits, So in 23 years, I could count the danish friends on one hand,

Nice post, ksl. Funny you should say that, that was exactly how I found the Brits when I lived there - not very outgoing! So I can only imagine what Danes are like if Brits feel that way about them.

Don't get me wrong, I have several dear Brit friends whom I'm still in touch with and visit every few years in England. But it took some time to get to know them. Unlike in many parts of the world where people make an effort to talk to foreigners, it was not my experience in Britain.


I agree with you!! After leaving the forces, I decided not to return home to my own City in UK, but remained in a village in the south of England, A place called Stockbridge on the winchester rd, a quaint, nice village.

I tride my best to make friends in the pup every night, but no way, was i accepted, it took more than 6 months, before I was included in there discussions, and even then, not fully integrated in the village life, So you are quite right, some people are more outgoing then others.

I also find the working class people more friendly than the middle and upper class, I guess it's mainly due to survival and financial independance, the poor seem to come from very close communities, where everyone knows eachother. they make it a point to get to know strangers coming into the areas, and if they are disliked, this will soon be made known in the area.

Mind you role play is a main factor in all societies, there will always be, the bullies, the ring leaders, the community leaders, and the con artists. I don't expect the Brit's will lose their snobbish attitudes, until the aristocrats, the biggest con artists of all have died out!!!

Some may say that I am anti, this and that, but trueth known it is the aristocrats, that have their own cliche, and biggoted ways, that one can never join the ranks unless you are born into the blood line.

History shows that these con artists, through centries of rule, with their private armies, robbed and plundered Countries all over the world to get their wealth, it was not earned honestly.

From 1952 up until 1989 the British Government had officially authorised secret experiments on our own troops, at the Porton Down Biological & Chemical warfare Centre, I was also a guinea pig on these tests more than once, literally conned, and lied to, while they experimented with nerve agents for the sake of National Security, so they say!

My point is, that integration does not exsist, there are only them the governments and us, the fodder!!!, If we was integrated, the Countries may have a concience, but they do not.

The only heros' are dead ones! and to look at the smirks on Bush & Blair, says it all, (God bless America & UK) for integration is just a word, with no real meaning, we are but numbers, national insurance numbers, to be taxed to the hilt, to be sent to war, so the generals and politicians claim their prizes. Totalerism is not my idea of integration, for a more balanced aspect of society and democracy i look at Scandinavia, for they at least can manage their Countries in a more efficient and correct manner.

The UK system is designed, so that individuals have a difficult time, it's that simple, and believe me, the Civil Service couldn't give two monkeys, for integration. its not on the agenda

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Postby Plavt » Sun, 27 Aug 2006 4:55 pm

These are some interesting posts which include to some degree my own experiences. Denmark is a place I have never been but would like to, my understanding is; it is an expensive country with a small population. Perhaps the reason for them not being very out-going is they are likely much disciplined in their family lives in terms of education, finance and relationships. I do not know if this is actually the case I am just hazarding a guess. In addition the climate may in part be a factor since the bad weather must be worse there than in Britain although the fjords must be a beautiful sight in winter – certainly are when flying above them as I have on the way back from South Korea.

Perhaps the biggest mistake so many Britons make when they live abroad is they simply don’t bother to learn anything of the culture or language of the country they are in. I still find amongst my own this smug condescending attitude that everybody in the world speaks English which of course is nonsense. I have heard of foreigners living in Japan for years and never bothering to lean the hiragana or katakana script which is similar to our alphabet and takes about as long to learn, yet is most useful to foreigners since many signs are written in one or the other. I remember visiting Kyoto and finding some areas where the metro station signs were written in nothing other than hiragana which I can read. Some years back I was listening to a radio documentary about Britons who had bought houses in Spain when prices were cheaper. This was fine when they were a couple but there comes a time when one or the other dies and the remaining partner finds themselves very isolated.

This attitude is costly with our European neighbours when one lives or works in the respective country since the people there will read and speak their language, hardly surprising then that some find themselves alone.

However, it is very easy to fall prey to this situation not least because Scandinavians alongside Germans less than 50 years old speak good English.

Regarding what Ksl says about the secular nature of Britons particularly those living in rural communities is only too true. Since this is my own country I can say sure the climate has a good deal to do with the lack of out-going. I am sure both Ksl and WIMH remember those frosty winter mornings when the cold bites right into your skin (bet you had to wear your little gloves windy :P), those foggy and damp mornings and ice from packed snow. Add to that the fact that is wasn't until fairly recent years that us Brits didn't travel that far abroad. I should mention here that those that travel to Japan and many other Far East destinations are still in a minority. During my two weeks in Japan I only met one other foreigner on holiday and he was resident in the country! From this you may understand why so many Britons have such difficulty even socializing with other cultures particularly Asians although that doesn’t excuse those calling DSL’s brother in law 'Chinky', hope he mentioned it to the relevant authorities.

Plavt.

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Sun, 27 Aug 2006 8:12 pm

Plavt wrote:Regarding what Ksl says about the secular nature of Britons particularly those living in rural communities is only too true. Since this is my own country I can say sure the climate has a good deal to do with the lack of out-going. I am sure both Ksl and WIMH remember those frosty winter mornings when the cold bites right into your skin (bet you had to wear your little gloves windy :P), those foggy and damp mornings and ice from packed snow.

Yes I remember the cold wet winters. Dreary, but somehow seeing my own breath made me feel more alive than I'd ever felt in my life and I miss that now. No gloves though, back then I was young and invincible and okay, perhaps lazy and stubborn, but no gloves even when cycling. Of course now if I go to winter climes I bring the thickest woollen ones I can find. Comfort has overtaken gungho-ness, sign of age... :oops:

I suppose to the extent that the cold discourages people from going out, then yes it would explain the lack of socialising. But most social situations are indoors where I would have thought huddling together for warmth would promote socialising. It's funny, I always had the heater way up in my room so I could dress in T-shirt and shorts the way I was used to. My British friends, who of course had their rooms almost as cold as outside, would come into my room in woollies and all and couldn't believe the blast of heat that hit them!

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Postby Plavt » Sun, 27 Aug 2006 8:28 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:But most social situations are indoors where I would have thought huddling together for warmth would promote socializing.


In the more northerly countries in Europe that is mostly true but in Spain, Italy and the more southern countries you no doubt will have noticed people are more 'out-doorish'. The reason is simply the climate although curiously the French are similar in nature even though they are only next door in geographical terms and Spain can be quite cold in winter.

I think there is a cultural factor in this since pubs in Britain can be quite threatening and unpleasant in their nature. In some big cities in certain areas when you walk in everybody turns and looks at you (at least that's how used to be haven't done this for while so I am not sure now). Whereas the rest of Europe has the cafe as an institution which somehow seems to lack the situation described above. Quite why this should be so I don't really know so perhaps other posters can make their observations and tell us why?

Plavt.

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Postby ksl » Sun, 27 Aug 2006 11:08 pm

Quote Plavt "Denmark is a place I have never been but would like to, my understanding is; it is an expensive country with a small population"

Population just over 5 million, 2.5 working population. GDP 34000USD I believe.

I sincerely believe Denmark to be much cheaper than the UK now, especially good quality clothing, some foods are cheaper in UK, yet I can live without all the unhealthy food, even though it tastes good.

So I would say ones eating habits automatically change, to suit the financial situation, one eats less in Denmark, and one becomes more conciouse of health issues, especially when the unhealthy food like ice cream, cakes, sweets, are rather expensive, it is so much easier to do without.

Dining out is quite expensive also, the teenagers are much more mature, at the age of 15, than the UK kids, and at 16 many have their own apartments, and bank loans, So yes they are much more responsible and disciplined race, than the British.

I have been to many Countries, and mixed with many people, yet the Danish are the most wonderful, people, in fact I will say that about Scandinavians in general.

It's not surprising to me, that many become quite well established in the IT business, the education is very, very good, and quality goods you can always count on.

This summer was very good, yet the winters tend to drag on for 5 months or more, I do believe the last 20 years have hit Denmark very hard with the influx of refugees, it will never be the same again, crime is up, and the welfare system under threat and abused, like all other leading Countries in Europe. Something drastic has happend since joining the common market.

Where it will end god only knows!


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