I ain’t an immigrant, I’m an expatriate!

I ain’t an immigrant, I’m an expatriate!

Why do Western people hate being called immigrants? Do they associate the word immigrant with poverty? Is being poor shameful?

I’ve been living in Asia for a long time and I can tell you that no matter where you are, there are bound to be expatriate communities.

Western people hate being called immigrants, they don’t want to be mixed up with other foreigners who are apparently forced to move and live in another country to earn a better living.

However, most Western immigrants do move to Asia, South America and Africa for economical reasons. Some of them want to get a job there because they don’t stand a chance in their own country – sometimes this is due to the economical downturn  or because of the high rate of unemployment. Retired people move to the above mentioned countries because the cost of living can be almost half that of their own countries.

Do we really need to differentiate between an immigrant and an expatriate?

Isn’t that just another way to tell people once more that we are different somehow even if we are in the same situation of million others?

Words are very powerful. They define our world and who we are. Discrimination is, first of all, found in our language and to make our dream of living in a fair world come true, we must be humble enough to admit to ourselves who we really are.

We are just human beings. We come in different shapes, sizes and skin tones but we are all human.

Remember that next time you travel abroad or meet foreigners in your country!





Karma Time

Karma Time

Due to the current economic situation  and the ever rising cost of living in Western countries, the number of people migrating to Asia, South America and Africa has been dramatically increasing.

Some are people like me who truly enjoy visiting foreign countries and learning the local culture and language. Others may be just people who are seeking a new beginning and then you have the die hard types; those who believe they have the right to do whatever they want and treat people like shit only because they have more money than them.

I’ve recently had very interesting conversations with different farang  (foreigners) living in Thailand.

While walking peacefully along the seaside, I was called by a drunk Australian man who was having a beer with a small group of men. – What’s a chick doing walking alone? – he asked trying to get my attention. The term “chick” is really offensive to me but I’m very curious about human behaviour so I stopped for a while to listen to what those drunken gentlemen had to say.

They raved on and on about the number of immigrants and refugees in Australia, North America and Europe and urged that they have to be kicked out of our countries and sent back to their original countries. In particular, their hatred was directed at the Muslim community . Some of my good friends are Muslim and I’ve recently spent over 6 months in Malaysia: a Muslim country where I had a great time and zero harassment! I explained peacefully while smiling at each single one of them.

As the atmosphere was becoming more and more inflamed, I reminded the gentlemen that Australia is the land of the aboriginal people and that the only reason why people of European descents are there, is because it was used as a prison by the British. And what about America? Did the native Americans consider the first settlers as refugees or immigrants? Yet, we took their land, we killed, raped them and locked them up in reservations and still today we are not able to grant them what we have borrowed without ever getting their consent. I smiled and left quickly, their expression blank and shocked.

In Buddhist countries they call it karma; whatever you do in this life, will find its way back to you.

I personally do not consider myself a religious person though I strongly believe in mutual respect. Originally, the people on this planet were mainly nomads and I guess some of us still feel that way. We live in a beautiful world that, as Mother Nature teaches us, we are supposed to share not only with other fellow humans but with other species too.

Mother Earth is full of abundance for all so there is no need to go to war to seize more than your share. Do not justify your greedy and violent behaviour with religions because the core of each religion has always been to unite people and not divide them.

The evolution of humanity has been based on primordial instincts for too long.

Time to take responsibility.

Time to change.