Friday, June 3, 2011

Foreign Interaction

Expat Column No.3

Do you ever think of the psychology of being a foreigner? Just like any minority, that status brings with it both negative and positive aspects. But let’s look at us, for a moment, and the way we act together. How many fellow foreigners do you associate with on a regular basis? How many of those people would you consider actual friends?

In a natural environment, such as your home city, would you still choose the same people as your companions? How much do you have in common and how much do you share? We’re a group of people within a group of people. Not only do we adapt to our surroundings, but we also adapt to each other.

In my experience it’s amazing to see how we interact. If there was a big party, where we all stayed for a night, but had absolutely no alcohol, how would we act in a situation where we were all linked together by our foreign status, and had to find things in common without the social relaxant of drinking?

As a Canadian, I don’t know anything about British football, so would I be able to follow such a conversation? Would an American know anything about being a soldier in Canada? What would we really hear from each other, while waiting for our turn to speak?

I think it gives us a chance to look at the entire world, in our own little community, and the ways we’ve found to feel secure with each other. The ways we are able to learn about new people, to coexist, and what we are able to do in order to find peace in a community. In a few generations, I hope people will have learned on a global scale about communication; what we’ve learned as foreigners living together here in Kochi.

Taken from vol.11 (June, 2006. How to enjoy the rainy month of June) 

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