They were initially bemused by the complexity of bus timetables, bin collections and—most of all—by the changeable weather. “In our country, when it’s summer, it’s summer,” says Ziead Alsaouah, Mr Batak’s son-in-law.
—The Economist | After the exodus
I had a very similar reaction to the weather when I moved here 8 years ago.
North India, where I spent the first 24 years of my life, has a very predictable weather. When it’s summer, it’s hot and dry for months on end. When it’s the rain season, it’s raining almost every day for a month. And when winter arrives, it’s bitterly cold, mostly dry, and frequently foggy (recently smoggy) for months on end.
Contrast that to the weather here on the island – it’s common to have at least two seasons in a day. Three’s not uncommon either. We had two months of constant dry, warm summers this year, and it’s already caused a mild panic. If we get a week of snow in the winter, news bulletins are full of ‘snowcalypse’ references.
It’s unsettling, at least initially, for people coming from places with stable, ‘continental’ weather patterns. Where culture, life, traditions, activities are based on the season, what do we do when the seasons just aren’t anymore?
Continue reading Welcome to the UK…
In the East, I’ve heard it said, there’s intimacy without friendship; in the West, there’s friendship without intimacy.
—Karan Mahajan, in The New Yorker
Continue reading Friendship, intimacy, commerce, and the West
Locals worry about who will care for the elderly and wait on tables in restaurants if migrants continue to leave. Moia Wood, a primary-school teacher who specialises in working with minority groups, says many people in Harrogate don’t realise how much migrants do for them.
The Economist: A northern English town offers a glimpse of life when migrants leave
They are beginning to find out—and soon the rest of Britain will, too.
The National Front has, in recent years, become more popular in many rural areas and small towns like Wizernes, places that are often relatively homogeneous and have few immigrants.
– Will France Sound the Death Knell for Social Democracy?, January 26, 2017 at 10:59AM
It’s the same here in the UK – many of the places that voted most heavily for Brexit, and are most anti-immigrant, are also the ones with very few immigrants.
I’m guessing it’s easier to whip up a fear of the unknown – immigrants people in, say villages of NE England, have never met – than of the known – immigrants people in London meet, work and play with every day.
Further down, in the same article… Lecoustre is anti-immigration, NF supporter, while Sailliot is anti-NF, leftist union leader.
I asked Lecoustre if immigration had changed his life in any direct way. He thought for a moment. “No,” he said.
Sailliot interjected. This was the absurdity of it all, he said. There were hardly any migrants in the area, and yet somehow, immigration was everybody’s biggest problem. How could that be?
“… away from multiculturalism and towards assimilation”
Segregation scars parts of Britain, some immigrant groups remain poorly integrated and minorities within them are hostile to liberal values.
Britain’s genius is its ability to integrate newcomers, January 13, 2017 at 06:03PM
Continue reading Multiculturalism vs Assimilation