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!





2 thoughts on “I ain’t an immigrant, I’m an expatriate!

  1. This question comes up a lot lately. I absolutely agree with you that people don’t want to be called immigrants because they think it has a negative touch. And I even more agree with you that we are all just human beings. Well said!
    I read this post a few weeks ago https://lebenzurich.wordpress.com/2016/02/13/the-expat-and-the-immigrant/ and commented. Maybe you want to check it out?
    I still consider myself an expat because I still don’t want to stay in the US forever. For me that might be the distinction. If you’re an expat, you only move for a certain time. If you’re an immigrant your move is meant to be permanent. What do you think?


    1. I personally believe in equality and I do think that no matter what you want to call it, a person migrating to another country – whether permanently or not – is an immigrant!
      However, I do not like labels and I consider myself a global citizen. I think that mainstream media often associate bad news with immigrants so it would be much better if we were all called global citizens rather than immigrants. I’ll have a look at the article you mentioned. Thanks for writing and have a great life no matter where you are 🙂


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